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Cheat Sheet: Job Finding Tips to Stick to Your Desktop

Maybe keep these to yourself.

Below are a bunch of tips, trade secrets and inside scoops to give you a competitive edge in your job-hunt.

Job Search

Polish your personal brand

Do this before beginning your job search. Make sure all information about you is consistent, that any unprofessional online content has been removed and that you’ve maximised your online exposure. Read about why personal branding is important here and more about how to polish yours here.

Send applications ASAP

Hiring managers usually won’t wait until the closing date to start reviewing applications. Generally they’ll read them as they the come in and may start interviewing straight away. If they’re in a hurry, they may even hire, so make sure you send in your applications as soon as possible.

Fill your skills gaps

If you’re thinking of passing on any jobs because you feel your lacking some niche skills, think again. Here are a bunch of online free courses to help you get more qualified.


Shorten your personal summary

Your resume will most likely be skimmed, so you need grab the reader’s attention with this pretty quickly. In a quarter of a page max, include who you are, what you do, your area of expertise and your top three skills relevant to the role.

Use statistics to prove achievements

Nothing catches the attention of a potential employer like solid performance stats. It’s a lot more impressive if you say the turnover of a restaurant improved by 40 per cent over a 12-month period under your management than just saying you helped increase its number of customers.

Order it correctly

To make your CV easy to read, your sections should be in the following order: contact details, personal summary, core industry skills, professional history, education and references.

Cover Letter

Tailor it in every way possible

Make sure each cover letter reflects the language of each job advertisement by mirroring its tone and using its keywords throughout. And, to impress potential employers subconsciously, use a font similar to the one used across their communication channels.

Be as specific as you can

Try and avoid mentioning generic attributes like “good team environment” or “good culture” when taking about why you want to work for the business. Research the company and find more distinctive attributes like their “environmental efforts in minimising waste”.

Finish with a call-to-action

Most cover letters will finish with a comment that more or less says the applicant looks “forward to hearing back” from their potential employers. It’s better however to close with a passive call to action, such as requesting a “meeting to discuss the application in more detail, and to talk through the ideas you have”.


Make you small talk relevant

Rather than partake in any frivolous small talk early on, steer the conservation towards any news related to their business. For example: their new chef, their recent industry award or their latest clothing line. This will show that you’ve done your research and are interested in the organisation.

Ask questions throughout

If opportunities arise, ask questions throughout the interview rather than dishing them all out at the end. That way they’ll fit in more naturally and help create more of a conversation than a stiff Q and A session. You’re also less likely to forget them that way.

Say the important stuff first

Interviews fly along, so it’s important to be economical with your words. The best way to do this is to say the most important information first when replying to questions. Practise this in the days leading up to your interview using anticipated questions and try to keep all responses less than two minutes.


Send your reference a personal summary

Include your key experiences, achievements and skills, as well as your personal strengths and how they relate to the work you did with or for them. This will prime your referee to use certain key words that relate specifically to the applicable role.

Follow up a week later

Or, if you have been provided a process timeline, a few days before the decision-making deadline. Also, if the job is a nine-to-five, call at around 10am or 4pm. That way you’re more likely to catch them.

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