Job Seeking -
recent years online advertising of jobs has become popular, with many
organisations advertising their vacant positions online. With online job advertising becoming more common, email has become the most common way to apply for a job.
have become easier to find and apply for through online means, the increased numbers of job applications for recruiters and employers to sort and read through mean it's important to know how you can
stand out amongst the crowd.
Here are some tips:
Searching Online For Jobs
- Try more than one place when looking online for jobs. One online job site might
have some jobs that aren't listed by other major job search sites. Take
time to also look at the websites of organisations and businesses that you would
like to work for. They may have vacancies listed that are not
otherwise advertised. Remember to also check out offline sources like the jobs sections of both major and local newspapers.
Understand The Role or Opportunity
- Read the advertisement carefully. If you are only at an "entry
level", it's best not to waste your time applying for
inappropriately high level jobs. Some job search websites allow you
to search for jobs in particular salary ranges, helping you
distinguish jobs above the level you're currently aiming at. Click here to see a jobs website which specialises in "entry" level jobs.
- Feel free to call the contact person listed in the advertisement
to both introduce yourself and find out some more about the job. By
demonstrating clear and competent oral communication skills and a
friendly manner (which are hard for a recruiter to discern from just
a résumé), you can help your chances. Ask them to tell you some more
about the characteristics they require for the role and listen
carefully - you may pick up some relevant information about areas to
make sure you address in your cover letter or résumé.
Using Word Processing Software (e.g. MS Word)
- Always spell check your résumé and cover letter! Aside from
demonstrating that you are careful and are able to make good written
presentations, the presence of spelling errors may be a quick way
for some people to cull your résumé, no matter the content.
- While it may be printed later, your résumé is likely to be read initially on a computer screen - as such, make sure any formatting in your soft copy does not distract from the message you want to convey in print.
- If you are modifying a saved document to use in applying for a
role similar to another role you have applied for previously, make
sure you change your application appropriately. A cover letter
addressed to Mr Johnson of ABC Company probably won't be well regarded if
you're in fact this time applying to Mrs Smith of XYZ Company. Check to
ensure correct Mr / Mrs / Sir / Madam references as well as the correct
spelling of the contact person's name - the last thing you want is for a person to stop reading your résumé at the second word!
- Avoid scanning résumés, saving in unusual file types or changing
page margins dramatically. These can end up as excessively large
files, unprintable, or even unreadable on the employer's computer.
Saving in .doc format is usually a good idea. If your résumé utilises graphics, the pdf file type is recommended to reduce the file size.
- Use an appropriate email address and ensure your software program has an appropriate name where the
author is listed. An email from "unreliableguy" or a document
authored by "i_hate_everyone" might not give a favourable impression
- Change your cover letter for each role you apply for and make the cover letter relevant to the role.
- Proof read your cover letter - make sure it makes sense.
Alternatively ask a friend to proof read or make suggestions. If it
doesn't read well to you, it isn't going to read any better to
someone trying to reduce a pool of 100 résumés down to 1!
- Use the key words that you find in the advertisement for the
job. These might include words like "computer literacy",
"autonomous", "team player", "initiative" etc. Some organisations
use automated programs to scan for these key words, automatically
rejecting résumés that do not contain any of the key terms.
Make Your Résumé Relevant
- When you refer to the key words or skills required from the
advertisement, describe how you have previously demonstrated your
competency in these areas. Think of relevant examples in work,
school, sporting or extracurricular activities - sporting and
extracurricular activities can be particularly good for
demonstrating your familiarity with teamwork.
- If you have work experience, explain briefly about the
organisation you worked for.
- When listing any businesses or organisations you have worked for, explain a little about them. Not everyone will know all about them and it will help if you can relate where you have worked to the job you are applying for (e.g. the size, industry sector, culture, business model, etc.):
eg. Mrs Smith's Grocery Store (period of employment: Aug 2008 -
A small grocery retail business specialising in organic fruit , the
emphasis at Mrs Smith's was upon quality customer service.
Supporting Your Resume
- Make sure your contact numbers are contactable and don't have
inappropriate voice mail messages on them. Be mindful of providing a
daytime contact number, or ensure that a potential employer can at
least leave a message for you during daylight hours.
- Remember that a
message like "Hi this is Robbo and I'm probably off my face drunk or
skipping class right now" might not set a great impression. Avoid music in your voice messages or caller tones as well.
The Résumé Check Sheet for Online Job Seeking
Activity Sheet now.
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