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Winning Job Applications
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 2 Getting started – Brainstorm What are your interests Identify your skills Confirm your work values What are your career dreams? What are your life goals?
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 3 Research Careers fairs Company Websites Campus Information sessions Careers & employment services Student associations Industry associations student member Vacation work RMIT ejobs Voluntary Work http://www.rmit.edu.au/careers
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 4 The application process Determine the required method of application – on-line – letter – resume – selection criteria Briefly review the required information and estimate time required to complete application Apply prior to the closing date
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 5 The application process Target key criteria: – University entrance score – Academic results – Work experience – Leadership and team experiences – Extracurricular involvement in university, social & community life – Company research
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 6 What Do Employers Want? Generic skills (competencies) - Refer to capabilities that you have developed over time that are transferable – Academic achievement in relevant discipline – Interpersonal skills – Oral & written communication skills – Literacy and numeracy – Research skills – Problem-solving skills – Teamwork skills – Time management skills – Basic computer skills – Understanding of business processes Values and Personal Attributes Refer to aspects of your personality which will influence how you fit into the workplace – Enthusiasm & motivation – Ambition – Creativity & flair – Maturity – Personal presentation, grooming, dress – Work ethic – Sense of responsibility – Initiative – Self confidence – Leadership – Intellectual capacity – Interest (in the job/industry)
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 7 What are Selection Criteria? ‘Selection criteria’ are all the knowledge, skills/competencies, experience and aptitudes that are required to be successful in a role A kind of a shopping list of what the employer wants for the role and your key to getting an interview! – well-developed communication and interpersonal skills – teamwork skills – commitment to the delivery of quality customer service – self-management, setting priorities, meeting deadlines – analytical, conceptual and research skills – flexibility and a willingness to adapt to change – enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Often divided into 2 categories- –‘Essential’ and ‘desirable’ or perhaps ‘key’ and ‘other’
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 8 Selection Criteria: How to find them Employers will differ in the extent to which they emphasise selection criteria – Advertisements: extensive/brief – Position Descriptions – On-line applications – Contact person Either way your chances of getting an interview are enhanced if all your application documents reflect the selection criteria This means: – Understanding what the employer is looking for – DEMONSTRATING this understanding by showing how you meet the criteria in your application
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 9 Writing cover letters A brief explanation why you are writing to the company and specify for which position A summary of your key skills and qualifications which match the criteria An explanation as to why you have chosen their organisation - why do you want to work for them
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 10 Writing cover letters Succinct - one page Ensure that there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors Ensure that your letter is addressed to the correct person Thank the potential employer for taking the time to read your letter and resume
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 11 23 Smith Street Carlton Vic 3053 Mobile: 019 487 234 email:firstname.lastname@example.org 23rd March, 2008 Ms Susan Boyle Graduate Recruitment Manager Victorian Public Service Melbourne Vic 3000 Dear Ms Boyle, I wish to apply for the 2009 Victorian Government Graduate Recruitment Development Scheme, following my discussions with you at the recent 2007 RMIT Careers Expo. The opportunity for a career in government excites me as I value public service and the rewards which I seek from my career are linked to my ability to make a difference with what I do. Soon to complete my Bachelor of Social Science (Environment) at RMIT University, I am confident I could make a valuable contribution to any area of government, with my particular preference for work related to creating sustainable futures, environmental and/or social. Three years experience as a part-time customer service officer for Telstra has equipped me with well developed oral and written communication skills. My research and analytical abilities are evidenced by my voluntary participation in a project conducted by the Social Science Students Association, in which I coordinated the collection and analysis of data from over 300 current and past SSA members. Involvement in an overseas exchange program in year 12, and a recent 6 month Study Abroad trip to Asia, demonstrate my initiative and genuine interest in international issues, as well as my ability to adapt to other cultures. My commitment to social justice and the environment has been demonstrated by my extensive voluntary work with Environment Victoria and Oxfam. Thank you for your time in considering my application. Please find attached my resume, including my claims in support of selection criteria. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my suitability for the graduate program and can be contacted on the above phone number for an interview. Yours sincerely Catherine Marks Clarifies reason for writing, position, source Suggests genuine knowledge of / interest in company. Clarifies major criteria: ie degree, university. Conclusion: What next? Other relevant info Demonstrates what they have to offer & PROVES IT! Uses figures/ facts to add weight to argument
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 12 Writing your resume 2-3 pages Layout and design should be legible, consistent and easy to follow with good clear headings Use bullet points Avoid abbreviations and jargon
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 13 Writing your resume Write in clear, concise terms using active words (eg created, launched, managed) Put your work history and educational details in reverse chronological order (start with your most recent) Target your application- not one size fits all Highlight your skills and achievements for each position
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 14 Writing your resume Clearly state your education – school/university, dates, type of degree, and major/s Detail your involvement in extra curricular activities Include personal interests ‘Keep it honest’
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 15 Jamie Penney 17 Willobah CourtTel. 8300 9876 Coburg, 3058 mobile(0412)345 email@example.com EDUCATION 2008 – current RMIT University Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Arts Majors: International Business and Italian Expected completion: Dec 2009 2007 Melbourne Secondary College Awarded the VCE ENTER - 94.6 WORK EXPERIENCE May 2008 – current Big Bite Café Customer Service Assistant Liaised with suppliers regarding daily order requirements Served customers in high-pressure environment Prepared catering orders accurately and promptly Operated computerised payment system & handled cash Jan 2006- Dec 2007 Kensington Indoor Squash Centre Office Assistant Maintained computerised client booking system, coordinating up to 150 transactions per shift Supervised and trained 3 casual staff in kiosk and reception procedures Monitored hygiene standards throughout the entire complex, including liaison with suppliers for stock requirements when necessary Achievements: Promoted to office assistant position after one month in kiosk Awarded 'Employee of the Month' in September 2005 Successfully managed the implementation process of new booking system J.Penney Pg. 1/3 Reverse chronological order résumé
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 16 PROFESSIONAL SKILLS SUMMARY Research & Analytical Designed and conducted a study analysing social justice issues in Far North indigenous communities as the foundation for a report that identified the specific causes of health and educational inequities. Achieved competitive scholarships and travel grants based on academic merit and research ability, including RMIT Study Abroad Scholarship. Communication Communicated complex concepts as a tutor within very limited time frames, which resulted in noticeable improvements in students’ academic performance. Developed rapport and effective working relationships with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Presented seminar and conference papers at national and international conferences. Collated and wrote information for the School of Social Sciences website, student handbooks and project reports. Organisational Designed a user-friendly, streamlined database to monitor in-coming and out-bound calls for market research, which decreased time spent in clerical tasks increasing staff productivity. High level computer skills in Microsoft Office 2000; Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Access Sam Pang Page 2/3 Skills Summary
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 17 On-line Application questions Answer all questions Take note of word count Answer honestly!
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 18 Competency based questions Most accurate predictor of future performance is past behaviour in a similar situation Ensures candidates are judged: – on the same criteria – only on their true ability to do the job – on impartial criteria
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 19 Competency Based Questions When asked to describe different work or university experiences, e.g. dealing with difficult people or a time with many competing priorities, etc choose a topic that highlights your strengths and use the STAR approach: 1.Situation/Task – provide an outline 2. Action – describe what you did 3. Result – detail the outcome S T A R
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 20 Example – demonstrating initiative After my internship with TBL Corporation in Bunyip, I continued to develop a detailed plan - in my own time - on a range of proposals for “The Triple Bottom Line” project that I was working on during my internship. I drafted a number of scenarios that would increase stakeholder engagement. These were analysed by my mentor and recommended to the Executive who implemented one proposal in 2007. So far it has achieved an increase in community participation and responsiveness to the Corporation’s business”
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 21 Common questions Team work / interpersonal skills We’ve all had to deal with difficult people. Give me some examples of when this has happened to you? Why was it difficult? How did you handle it? Achievement drive What would be the best example of you giving a project or piece of work your absolute best effort and being disappointed by the outcome? What would you do differently a second time?
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 22 Other sample questions Describe any positions of responsibility that you held during school &/or university Please give details of your interests outside of school &/or university Describe your key personal qualities and how they enable you to contribute as a valuable team member Please outline your interest in working for XXX
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 23 Watch out for… No spell check on on-line application Be professional – email & voicemail Print your application for your own reference Complete your application with time to spare Get someone to triple check your application
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 24 Further resources Career Development & Employment www.rmit.edu.au/careers/ eJobs CD&E Quick Tips flyers Action Words for Resumes Application letters Resumes Resume & cover letter feedback after completing online tutorials Application Express www.rmit.edu.au/careers/applicationexpress Resume Express www.rmit.edu.au/careers/resumeexpress Seek www.seek.com.au Tools and Resources, sample resumes and cover letterswww.seek.com.au References: “How to Write and Talk to Selection Criteria” : Dr Ann Villiers “Resumes That Get Shortlisted”, Bright & Earl
RMIT University©yyyy School/Department/Area 25 QUESTIONS
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