Liz Ryan has worked in HR since 1980, is the author of “Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve” and is a contributor to and LinkedIn. She’s written an article titled “Ten things I look for in a job candidate”. Here’s an abbreviated version of her […]

We all want to be our best selves in our spoken communication particularly when we need to connect with and impress others with our knowledge of a topic, present information persuasively, report on action taken or offer a cogent argument. One of the key ways in which we may sabotage this objective is with our […]

On a daily basis we keep hearing that the world of work is changing. This is something everyone agrees with, however how to best prepare for the fast changing world of work raises a diverse range of views!  The problem is that even as I write this, a new job is created.  How do you […]

I don’t like it when I make mistakes. So I’m reading Atul Gawande‘s book, The Checklist Manifesto. While on the one hand, most of our best learning comes from the mistakes we make, they are also really annoying/embarrassing and can cost time and money to fix.  In some jobs they cost lives or millions of dollars.  In Gawande’s […]

Career Expos are a great way to meet potential employers in an informal, easy, non-intimidating way. It offers you the opportunity to meet the ‘face’ of the organisation and really get an understanding of them in a way you can never get from just reading the recruitment material.   The way in which employers engage with […]

You hear it all the time if you’ve been job searching or even thinking about getting work. If you’ve been to Vic Careers you would have heard it from us as well. Interpersonal Skills – one of the key set of skills most actively sought by employers. In fact, strong interpersonal skills always appear in […]

OK, you’re really busy…and you need to get in that job application quickly. So you rush it through and then quickly click on ‘send’. BIG MISTAKE! I’ve been recruiting this month for a role here at Vic Careers. My name was clearly stated as the contact, and if anyone had actually taken the time to […]

Since March through May is a heavy recruitment time for summer internships and graduate positions, just about every second student coming into our office is asking for advice on interviews. Louise has written an excellent blog on this earlier in the month, and I thought I would just add a few additional tips. Just as […]

Looking for an internship or graduate role at the end of the year? Then you’ll need to be clued up about what employers are looking for when recruiting. Do you have business acumen? Are you commercially aware? Do you even know what these terms mean? In all of our discussions with employers, time and time […]

Many student and graduates struggle to find work so if this has been your experience, you are not alone. The current job market for university students and graduates is difficult but ‘an inconvenient truth’ is that many applications are poorly prepared and miss-targeted. If all your job applications are being rejected, it’s time to audit your application technique and strategy.

A poorly presented application or one that appears ‘generic’ rather than ‘tailored’ to the job being applied for will almost certainly be automatically rejected. Inundated selectors look for easy ways to reduce the number of applications that will make it to their long-list – this is the pile of CV’s that they select to ‘read in detail’ with a view to creating a short-list of interview candidates. Employers rarely spend more than a few seconds looking at each application received so impact, quality and relevance should be the keys to your application strategy.

If your applications aren’t resulting in interview offers, is this genuinely the result of a shortage of jobs or is there a more obvious reason? Although there is no ‘one-way’ to prepare a job application, clearly the application should be attractively presented, well organised, address the job criteria and explain your motivation in applying for the position. The first page of the CV has a critical role to play as does the cover letter.  The employer is unlikely to look beyond the first page of your application unless that first page impresses.

Pre-application research matters. If you don’t really understand the role you are applying for and the organisation’s business, how can you present yourself convincingly enough to deserve an interview? Good quality research will help you to understand the role and the context, and decide whether this is a role that you could do well and enjoy; applying for a job that you have no chance of getting an interview for, wastes your time and the employer’s. In most instances when you apply for a job you should be confident that you can do most of the tasks involved. You should also have given consideration to any gaps in your skills and knowledge, and have potential remedies. If you are unable to meet any of the key criteria, it may be worth contacting the employer to find out what weighting the employer gives to these.

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