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How to land that job

How to land that job

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There is going to come a time when you need to apply for a job. 

It may be while still at school (such as work placement or a part-time job) or when you graduate.   You’ll want to make sure you put your best foot forward. Here are some tips to help you along the way. 

Communication, communication, communication!  
  • Speak professionally and directly.  
  • There are three rules to a good resume: Use good English. Check your spelling. ‘Don’t text talk’. If you aren’t very good at this, jump online and do some research. There are plenty of skill development programs available.  
  • Skill up on Microsoft Office. This is an important one. Most businesses use Microsoft products. If you use a Mac at school and home, consider getting onto YouTube to get some basic training in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word. 
Adapt and learn 

In the world-of-work, you are going to experience things that will challenge you. Take those experiences and learn from them.  

  • Show how motivated and confident you are.  
  • Take the initiative and make suggestions or ideas to your team. Even if it isn’t chosen – they can see that you are eager to get involved.  
  • Be cooperative and positive. You don’t have to be friends with everyone you work with, but you do have to work together. 
Interview tips 

Answering questions: 

  • Provide thought through responses. Yes / No ≠ response. 
  • Show off your critical thinking. Think about situations at school or socially where you needed to use this skill.  
  • Make sure your answers reflect your resume.  
  • Show that you are excited about the job.  
  • Answer confidently. Nerves are normal (we all feel it). Take the time to think when answering questions. Try to speak clearly and make eye contact. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question.  
Do not… 
  • Make salary the focus  
  • Be overly confident – you don’t have to know it all.  
Questions interviewers may ask 
  • “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” This shows how aware you are of your capabilities. It’s okay to have weaknesses – we all have them (even your interviewer).  
  • “Discuss your ability to deal with situations under pressure.” This looks at your ability to meet deadlines, solve problems and manage your time. 
  • “Discuss your experience working in a team.” It is almost always guaranteed that you will be working with people. The employer needs to know you will be able to do that. 
  • “Discuss a time when you have had to approach challenges in a team setting.” This shows your interpersonal and conflict resolution skills. 
  • “How will you add value to the organisation?” This helps the employer differentiate you from your competition. 
  • “What do you know about the organisation?” This shows your interest and enthusiasm in the position and the company. 
  • “What are your hobbies and interests?” This is usually an ice-breaker but employers also use this as a way to learn more about your personality. Remember to keep it professional.
Pro tips 
  • Research the organisation you are interviewing for.  
  • Read and re-read the position description. If you are unsure about something, call the contact person – they expect these calls.  
  • Know where you’re going – being late is never a good sign.  
  • Dress to impress and keep it professional.  
  • Prepare and rehearse answers (start with the questions above).  
  • Turn your phone off and put it away.  
  • Don’t give the same covering letter for every job – change it to suit the job/organisation you are applying for.  
  • Experience is more than work. It includes volunteer positions, community service and involvement in sport or recreation clubs. You can use it to show you can work in a team, manage your time and communicate with people.