Tips for a great application letter and resume

1) COVER LETTER (application letter)

Whether you are writing a letter of application in answer to a job advertisement or just searching for work that has not been advertised, the reason is the same – to get an interview! The letter of application is likely to be the first correspondence you will have with an employer on which he/she will be able to judge you. Competition for jobs can be tough and your job application needs to stand out.
At times, employers may deal with hundreds of applications for the one position.
Application letters are an important part of the job package you send to the employer. Although your resume will necessarily outline your relevant work history, qualifications, dates and specific details about your job duties – the cover letter will generally contain more personal information and will include your motivations for seeking the position.
Cover letters are a useful way to ‘fill in the gaps’ that may be present if an employer was only to read your resume. For example, your cover letter can explain things like:
interstate relocation, career change, periods of unemployment and other details that may be unclear from reading your resume alone.

Sample Cover Letter

YOUR NAME
YOUR ADDRESS
YOUR TELEPHONE NO.
YOUR EMAIL
DATE
MR EMPLOYER
JOB TITLE
COMPANY NAME
COMPANY ADDRESS
RE: POSITION TITLE AND POSITION REFERENCE NUMBER (IF APPLICABLE)
Dear Mr Employer
Paragraph 1 Explain the basic reason for the letter. What job are you applying for?
When and where did you see the position advertised? When applying for a job that has not
been advertised, state how you heard about the position.
Paragraph 2 Briefly outline how your technical and transferable skills match the position.
Refer to any relevant qualifications you may have and recent or prior employment experience
that matches the role you are applying for. Demonstrate confidently that your skills are
suitable to the requirements of the company. When applying for a job that has not been
advertised, follow these same principles.
Paragraph 3 Outline any further skills related to the position and how they are highly suitable
to the role. Any knowledge of the company or business may be mentioned here, if
appropriate. Mention you have attached a resume.
Paragraph 4 Mention how your personal skills enhance and support your technical abilities
and state that you would highly regard an opportunity to work for the company.
Paragraph 5 State your availability for interview and include your contact number.
For unadvertised positions, mention that you will contact them by a certain date to follow
up your application.
Yours sincerely
Your signature
TYPE YOUR NAME
Attachments: Resume and Academic Results

2) RESUME

What is a resume and why is it important?
Your resume will be one of the most important documents in getting you an interview with an employer. Most applications for jobs require a resume at a minimum.
A resume is a description of your education, paid employment, volunteer activities (including school
activities), general interests and personal strengths.
It should outline your Technical, Transferable and Personal skills relevant to the position you are applying or.
‘Curriculum Vitae’ is simply the Latin word for ‘history or course of one’s life’. A resume and curriculum vitae are different words used to describe the same thing. They are both documents which are used to outline your skills and experience when applying for a job.
Your resume is an important document. It is your advertising brochure and needs to be ‘targeted’ to each position you apply for. It needs to be written in a way that is easily modified, so you can update it for each job application.
Whilst it is fine to use a similar version of your resume for different jobs, you will need to make sure each time you send a resume that it reflects the skills the employer is looking for. That is why you usually require more than one version of your resume.
Your resume should focus on your skills and abilities – regardless of where you developed those skills and abilities.
There are many different styles of resume, and no one way to write a resume correctly. However, there are
some basic things that you definitely need to include and these are outlined in this section.

What to include in your resume

Profile
Personal details
Key skills
Key achievements
Educational qualifications
Employment history
Professional memberships/community Involvements
Referees
Profile
A profile is a snapshot of your experience, skills and abilities relevant to the position. It gives
the employer a clear indication of what is to follow in the rest of your document. It may or may
not include a career objective. It should be clearly outlined on the front page, using a
combination of paragraph style formatting and dot points. This should encourage the employer to
want to read the rest of your application and is an important part of your resume.

Personal details
These details need to be provided somewhere in your resume. You may have a heading for ‘Personal
details’, or depending on the layout of your resume, you may provide the information elsewhere (eg
header or footer). As long as it is easy to find, as it advises of basic information about
who you are and how you can be contacted. Always ensure you have updated this information to
include the correct details:

first and last name;
address;
telephone number/mobile;
email address; and
optional: health, date of birth, licence, citizenship.
Key skills
This section outlines your specific abilities, skills and experience for the job you are applying
for. It is what tells the employer whether you are ‘right’ for the job based on the information
provided. Other terms used to highlight this section of a resume include: demonstrated abilities,
relevant skills, competencies, capabilities, skills summary, work skills. Here you should list all
the skills that you have acquired from both paid and unpaid work – grouping skills
together that relate to the job. This section may also be used to list any licences or special
qualifications.
Example: for an Administrative Position you may have the following headings:
Office administration skills;
Organisational skills;
Customer service skills; and
General skills.
Key achievements
This section is used to highlight anything you are extremely proud to have achieved in your career.
It may include personal achievements (only when related to the position). This section lists 5–10
dot points of key achievements related to your technical and transferable skills suitable
to the job.

Educational qualifications
Include your most recent educational qualifications that are relevant to the position. If you are
just out of school, include your highest level achieved. Information possible to include in this
section:

university degrees;
certificates;
short training courses;
workshops; seminars and conferences;
other professional training; and
licences and accreditations.

Employment history
This section explains your past and present work activities. ‘Employment history’ is preferable to ‘Work experience’ due to the confusion between work experience and unpaid work which is usually only short term. However, if you are just out of school, it is worthwhile to include ‘Work experience’ if
you do not have a history of paid employment. Each job listing should include the following:

job title;
company name and location;
dates of employment; and
duties (you may or may not list duties here, depending on
the style of resume you choose to use. Duties can also be
grouped under your ‘Key Skills’ section to avoid your
resume becoming too long and too repetitive).
Professional memberships/community involvements

If you have any professional associations or community involvements relevant to the job, you may list them under this heading. Use your common sense in making a judgement about the relevance of your professional and community memberships – be mindful of listing anything that is not relevant or unsuitable. If you do include this section, you will need to list:
name of the organisation;
dates/duration of involvement; and
title/nature of your involvement.
Referees
Referees provide details on your experience and can comment on your personal qualities to a potential employer.
They must be willing to be contacted by telephone to provide information about you – so always make sure to ask if they are willing to speak on your behalf and inform them of any positions applied for.
You must obtain permission from your referees before including their details on your resume. It is common to include a minimum of two referees (preferably three).
This is the last piece of information to go on your resume. If you do have the correct details and have sought their permission to include on your resume, the information is required as follows:
referees name;
job title;
employer; and
contact details, eg phone/mobile/email.
If you are unable to locate your referees in time to submit your application, you still must include this section on your resume. Simply state ‘Available upon request’ and then if you are invited to an interview, ensure you can provide referee details to hand to the potential employer in person.

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