Key tips to help speed up your job hunt

Whether you're about to enter the job market for the first time or you're looking to make the next step in your career journey, finding and securing that dream job can be a nerve-wracking process.

Ideally, you would nab that coveted position after just one interview, but the reality is usually a bit more complicated. Endless rounds of interviews and applications may have you feeling discouraged, but the important thing is not to give up on the job search.

Research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the provision of jobs in Australia has seen positive progress over the last decade, with the unemployment rate decreasing from 6.4 per cent to 5.2 per cent between 2002 and 2012. The ABS states the average level of job satisfaction for Australians has remained relatively steady throughout the period between 2001 and 2009, and economic opportunities in the country have progressed positively.

For those looking to take advantage of these favourable conditions and enter the job market successfully, it helps to have a few tricks and tips up your sleeves.

General resume and cover letter tips

A CV template should include a number of items to ensure your talents are displayed to their best effect. These include your contact details, a summary of skills and strengths (through either a bullet point list or a career overview), your employment history, key responsibilities and achievements, education and training and referees.

Your CV should also include any hobbies, interests and professional memberships you hold as these will give your employer insight to your personality and potentially help you stand out from the crowd. Recruitment website Working In Australia also advises using a common program such as MS word to create your CV, so there's less chance the employer won't be able to open the file. If you're applying from overseas, a brief description of your current employer may be necessary as well. When it comes to length, most recruiters recommend keeping information short and succinct over three to four pages. If you need help preparing your CV, there is a number of CV writing services available to help you put your CV together.

Cover letters should also be brief and no longer than one page, and tailored to each job listing. Working in Australia recommends identifying and discussing the skills that relate most closely to the essential criteria or requirements from the job listing.

Interviewing and job search strategies

When it comes to the interview, you can never be too prepared. Learn as much as you can about the company, your interviewer and the industry before going in for an interview. Put together a list of questions that the interviewer may ask and rehearse the interview with a friend or coaching service, so that you are know what you are going to say.

Being under-prepared for the interview is one of the top mistakes job seekers make.

Both recruiters also emphasise the importance of networking, both physically and through online channels such as LinkedIn.

Things to remember on the day:

  • Ensure that you are dressed appropriately
  • Arrive early; you may need to research your route in advance.
  • Show enthusiasm and be friendly.
  • Follow up afterwards.

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