5 Ways to HalloWIN at Your Career: Resources to De-Spook Employability

By Mia Casey

When you’re looking at starting your career, it can seem like a pretty scaaary process. I mean, where do you even start? Well my freaky friends, here is your quick and easy break down of top tips for some of the more spooktastic elements of the career process.

RIP: Resumes Induce Panic

Honestly it’s true: people freak out about writing their resume. And sure it can be tricky, and sometimes uncomfortable, but crafting your perfect resume doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. It can actually be relatively straight forward, if you know what you’re doing!

Our top resume tips:

1) Get with the formatting program

Formatting is one of the easiest ways to take your resume to the next level. Ensuring that your layout is clear, segmented, and easy on the eye is the first step in getting an employer to read it. So here are some quick rules in that regard:

  • Use easy to read, professional font – not fancy, curly stuff.
  • Utilise headings to separate your resume into different sections (Education, Employment History, Other Experiences, Technical Skills, etc.), and then subheadings to separate these areas into specific experiences (eg. Past job titles, educational institutions you’ve attended, etc.)
  • Under each listed experience, have 3-5 dot points describing what you achieved there.
  • Keep your resume to 2-3 pages max.

2) Tailor each application to each job

Regardless of whether each job you’re applying for is within the same industry, it’s important to tailor your resume to each individual job you apply for. This means that the descriptions of your experiences should mention skills and examples that directly respond to the selection criteria of the job you’re applying for.

3) Enlist the help of a proof-reader

There’s nothing more terrifying than sending off your resume, only to reread it and find it riddled with spelling errors and awkward sentences. Before applying for a role, have a friend or family member read over it for mistakes. It’s also a good idea to carefully read it out loud to yourself, as that can help you determine when a sentence is poorly phrased.

Resume Resources:

 

Interview (with the Vampire)

Interviews can be a bit spoopy, but if you’re prepared you can take their spoop level down a few notches. And how do you prepare?

1) Research the company

Having a thorough understanding of the company, what they stand for, and their goals, is one of the best ways to prepare for any upcoming interviews. Once you have a feel for the company, you’ll not only have a better idea of what sorts of questions they may ask you, but you can also tailor your answers to best fit what they’re looking for.

2) Test yourself

In the days leading up to an interview, pop online, track down some practice interview questions, and get a friend to quiz you. Being put on the spot in a similar way you will be in an interview gives you the opportunity to mentally prepare your answers and the examples you’d like to touch on. That way, when interview day arrives you’ll have already had time to structure your responses.

3) Time for a resume cram sesh

Before your interview, reread over your resume – you should know everything mentioned in there off the top of your head. There’s nothing worse than having an employer question you about something you mentioned in your resume, and you having no idea what they’re talking about – trust me, they’ll be able to tell.

Also, don’t forget to have a solid understanding of what examples you’d like to bring up, even if you didn’t have space to mention them fully in the resume itself. For each example, formulate a clear structure that keeps it precise, to the point, and highlights your achievement.

Interview Resources:

Job Search Spooktacular

Like we said on Friday, the good ol’ job search can be draining. The key is finding balance between searching for that dream gig, living in the moment, soaking in the things that you’re passionate about, and continuing to produce meaningful work. Our advice?

1) Don’t let the search take over

When you’re spending your days scouring job boards, it can feel like every second away from the computer is taking time away from you landing that ideal job. The job search is stressful, so it’s important to maintain a balance that includes taking part in things that bring you joy. Spending every spare second searching for your next role can be anxiety-inducing, so keep up with your hobbies, hang out with your mates, and savour your down time.

2) Don’t take rejection personally

Rejection can sting, particularly if you’re hearing it over and over again, but try not to take it personally. Rather than letting it get you down, try to focus on ways that you can improve your application and interview skills. Sit down with others in your industry and get their advice, and find out how they got to where they are. Responding to rejection proactively can not only help you feel better, but you’ll actually be productive as well.

3) Keywords are your best mate

If you’ve been looking for a job recently, you’ve probably noticed a few different terms being thrown around that seem to ostensibly mean the same thing. For example, ‘admin assistant’ and ‘admin officer’ roles may involve very similar tasks, but if you’re searching for just one of them then you’re missing out. The trick is to avoid being too specific when searching for job titles, and to keep an eye on what terms keep reappearing for jobs in your industry.

Once you start seeing a pattern, make note of the terms that keep reappearing – maybe (like above) the roles you’re looking at have different titles but are practically the same job. Or maybe you keep seeing mention to a program that seems to be commonly used – making a list of these keywords cannot only help you broaden your job search when searching for particular roles, but can also help point you in the right direction for what skills you should work on developing to get a leg up in your industry.

Job Search Resources:

 

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

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Author: Mia Casey

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