In acknowledgement of World Youth Skills Day, James Whiting from Orygen's employment and education partnerships team shares with us five tips to help you get your next job interview.
While the job market is slowly improving after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding work can still be competitive. If you feel like you’re doing everything and still not getting interviews, think outside the box. There are things you can do that will your application stand out.
Here are five things you might not have thought of that could help you land that interview.
1. Know your skills and how to present them
Landing a job interview doesn’t always start with the application - it starts with you. Reflecting on what you are good at and what you enjoy will help you identify the jobs you want and the skills that employers want to hear about.
Do some research about organisations you want to work for; look for themes in their advertisements for the jobs you want and reflect the language they use in your applications.
Always be prepared to talk about yourself. You don’t need to tell your whole life story, so think carefully and make sure each thing you tell them is what they are looking for.
2. Access the hidden job market
To increase your chances, look outside of the usual job-searching channels.
Along with the common job boards such as Seek, Indeed and LinkedIn, make sure you are using networking techniques in person and online, as well as keeping up to date with your industry’s peak bodies.
Try talking to people you already know who work in similar industries and attend networking events in your area where possible. You can add the people you meet on LinkedIn to keep in touch.
You could also use LinkedIn to start connecting with people who work in organisations of interest, as they are likely to share posts about new vacancies. Always send an introductory message when you connect and remember, networking is not asking for a job.
Keeping up to date with organisations you are interested in ensures that you will be one of the first to know when positions become available. Also, if people know of you and your skillset, you may be approached to apply for a position!
3. Ask questions
When you do find a job you’d like to apply for, call the person managing the recruitment process. This allows you to introduce yourself, show your interest and clarify exactly what they are looking for so that you can tailor your application appropriately.
By doing some research, the questions you ask at this stage will give employers an early indication of your suitability for the position. After applying, follow up with another phone call to confirm they received it and reinforce your interest. Thank them for the opportunity and tell them you look forward to hearing from them.
4. Less is more
It can be tempting to write a long resume, cover letter and response to the selection criteria, especially when job advertisements can be quite long and detailed themselves. But long documents will be skimmed over and not read closely.
It is better to write short, sharp application documents that are tailored to the job and the employer. You should know through your research of the company and through the job advertisement exactly how you need to present your skills to capture the attention of the employer.
5. Back yourself
You’d be surprised at how many skills you already have, even if you’ve never worked in a particular role or industry before.
While you should meet a lot of the requirements of a job, you do not need to meet them all. Your job is to show the employer that you understand how your skills apply to the position. Try to leave self-doubt behind and instead let employers know that you’re confident, ready to apply your skills and learn more!
Use these tips to reflect, research and start talking about the great skills you have to make sure you land your next interview.
If you still can’t get a job interview or you interviewed but did not get an offer always ask for feedback. By asking an employer why you weren’t chosen for interview you can learn and make sure you adapt your resume, cover letter and response to the selection criteria for your next application. Employers appreciate passionate and interested applicants that know what they can do and what they want to do.