Welcome to Midwestjobseeker

Jobseeker Hints & Tips

Jobseeker Hints and Tips

Entering the world of work for the first time, making a career move or getting back on-board after a career break can be a daunting and scary moment.
The good news is that we all generally have to do it at some time so you are not alone.
Joblink Midwest is local, we are free and we can help. We have also provided some information to assist you.

Resumes ..... How to create a great resume

Cover letters for a job application .... Easily create a professional job application letter

Addressing Selection criteria making sure they understand you can do the job required

Interview tips you are in the chair, staring down the ‘barrel’ what now?

Career planning life is full of choices and the world of work is no different

Job searching where to look and what to look for and how to look

Apprenticeships and Traineeships gain a skilled qualification, get experience and are paid too

Self help Stay active and positive, there is a job out there for you –you can make it happen


"Here are some Golden Resume Rules to follow & plenty of tips to make sure you get it right. WDC Midwest can also assist you with your resume for free. Call 99641022"

Golden rules:

1. Provide a pertinent, compelling and concise cover letter (1-2 pages)

2. Make your resume between 4 and 6 pages

3. The first page of the resume should be a preview of you.

4. The resume starts with the most current or last position you held and works back chronologically.

Important points to remember:

  • Thoroughly research the company, the job requirements, the competencies and the commercial requirements of the role. Remember that in presenting your written information and at interview you must match your background and personal presentation to the criteria the organisation seeks to fill. The key to getting a job is looking, sounding and reading like the organisation’s ideal candidate.
  • The ideal resume is perfectly tailored to fit the role, while presenting your background accurately and honestly. It must be commercially orientated, succinct and display your experience clearly so that the reader can match it to the recruitment criteria. Never rely on just one generic resume, but tailor each application for the position you are hoping to get.
  • Cover letters for resumes should be one page, or two if you have to. They are your opportunity to sell yourself and to explain why you would be good for the role. This is best done by matching your experience and competencies to the criteria. Resumes should be no longer than 4 pages, or you can run to 6 if you have to. Anything longer and you are not presenting your information efficiently and commercially.
  • Resumes must be proof read several times as they should be perfect. If you have worked for an organization, that company’s name must be in full and there must be no spelling or grammatical errors in the document. Many companies will reject any resume with an error in them – believing that a slip in such an important document shows poor attention to detail.
  • Keep the formatting of your resume simple and use an easy to read font for the main text, for example, 12 point Arial or Times New Roman. Use section heading in bold capitals to clearly delineate them.
  • Use only plain white paper. Remember what it will look like once it has been printed
  • Don’t use colour or patterns in your resume. It probably will attract attention but for all the wrong reasons. Companies will consider this a sign of immaturity or commercial naiveté.
  • Put your name on each page, and number each page.
  • Pay attention to submission requirements. Most companies prefer a document created in MSWord and saved as a .doc file. A PDF format could be used, but first check they are accepted first.
  • Increasingly, larger organisations are using electronic means. Resumes are also often distributed internally, so it may be reproduced or emailed. This means that a simple, plain resume layout is preferred. Chances are the company will want an electronic version by email. Really, only send a hard copy in the post if requested and do not staple it together.

What format to choose and structure

There are roughly two formats; one that follows in chronological order and then hybrid models with skills and experience, then experience and skills in each job with this in chronological order. There is debate whether some personal details have any relevance in doing the job and could result in you being discriminated if included. These include; gender, age, marital status, religion or ethnicity. Some suggest including this could make the resume look old fashioned and dated –it is up to you at the end of the day.

Chronological structure

  • Name, address and contact details.
  • Career objective
  • Skills and certificates
  • Education
  • Employment history
  • References
  • Hybrid model
  • Name, address and contact details
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Abilities and Key Achievements
  • Employment history
  • Education
  • References

Reviewing Your Resume – It is important to UPDATE regularly.

  • Once you have completed your draft copy, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is it well laid out and interesting to look at?
  • Is it free of spelling and grammatical errors? Ask someone to proof read it.
  • Is it brief, clear and to the point?
  • Is the reader able to get a picture of the writer’s skills, abilities and experience?
  • Does it include professional and personal referees?
  • Has any relevant information been left out?
  • Is your current address and phone number included?
  • Have you avoided irrelevances – your passport number, ages of your children?

Stand out from the pack

  • The job market is becoming more and more competitive. There are a lot of applications for any one job. This is causing employers to have to look through a lot of applications in a short amount of time.
  • It is important to make your application stand out without making it un-professional (i.e. pink paper and glitter).
  • Get past the first round
  • Before anything else you have to make sure that your application doesn't get put on the 'no' pile straight away by doing the following:
  • Avoid poor spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Ensure you have addressed the application to the correct person
  • Follow all the instructions given in the job advertisement
  • Get the application in before the closing date

Do your research

Research the company, not just the job. If you find out as much as possible about the company you can tailor your application to your own experience. You can also use an example from your research for why you want to work for them. This will make you look more interested and suitable because you have knowledge of the company.

Tailor your resume and cover letter

Change your resume and cover letter for each specific job application you do to ensure the skills and past work experience you talk about is the most relevant for the job. Don't use a generic resume and in the covering letter, always highlight your strongest and most relevant skills for the job you're going for. For example, if you're applying for a job on a building site the manager won't want to hear about your extensive work as a hair dresser. The information needs to be relevant.

Here are some things that catch an employer's attention:

Address each item in the selection criteria with an example of when you have used it in your past and present experience.

Keep it short but be relevant and address everything

Only talk about your relevant past achievements and responsibilities

Some organisations and employer's use software to scan over applications to search for keywords that have been used in the job application.

Avoid gimmicks

Don't stand out for the wrong reasons. coloured and scented paper with groovy fonts do not impress employers! They make you look unprofessional which isn't good when searching for a job.

Get feedback

Even if you are unsuccessful with getting the job, follow up with the employer and ask why your application had been unsuccessful. This feedback can help you better your application for next time.

Who can be my referee?

A referee is someone who can vouch for what you are like as a person and more importantly, what you are like to work with. You want people who are going to say nice things about you to your potential employer.

Include people that you have worked with. An employer won't care about the opinion of a family member or friend unless you work/ed with them.

A referee doesn't necessarily have to be an old boss. It could be someone you worked with at school, a customer you dealt with regularly or a co-worker.

If you are a school-leaver or have just never had a job you can still have referees. Your school teachers or principal can also be referees. Anyone whom you have worked with and is willing to speak highly of you would be a good referee.

How do I get a referee?

To get a referee, all you have to do is ask for their permission. When someone agrees to be your referee, they are giving you permission to pass on their contact details to possible employers. Asking their permission also lets them know that they may be contacted and asked some questions about you.

What do I need to tell them?

Ensure all the contact details you have for them are correct. Also let them know that they may be contacted about you. It could also be beneficial for you to let the referees know some information about the job your applying for so they can narrow down what they tell the employer to things relevant to that industry. The referees should also be made aware of the company name and and the name of the person likely to contact them so they can't be caught off-guard.

It does not impress employers when a referee is surprised by the call. This makes you look like you're not good at communication or organisation.

How many do I need?

A job advertisement will usually state how many referees are required. However, the usual number is two or three. If you have more than three, choose the ones that best match the job requirements and also who the easiest to contact will be.

Written references?

Most employers prefer to talk to a referee over the phone or in person so when you are listing the referee you must ensure they won't be overseas or un-contactable at the time. There are some situations where a written reference can be useful.

A written reference from your referee to future employers and includes:

  • The kind of work you did
  • How well you did it
  • What you were like to work with

Should I include references with my resume when applying for jobs?

Contact details for referees should be included in the resume but they should be on the very last page. Some people prefer to write 'referees upon request' as the last sentence on the resume and wait until the information has been asked for to give the contact details.

What if I get the job?

You should always thank your referees after you know the result of your job application, whether you get the job or not. The referees can provide valuable information about the questions they were asked. This information can tell you why you didn't get the job and how you can better yourself for the next job applications you do.

Life is full of choices and your career is no different. The Workforce Development Centre can help with our trained advisors and the large resources we have at our disposal. We are local, we are free and we can help!

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

  • Apprenticeships/traineeships are a great way to start a career. They combine practical experience at work with structured training. You can contact us at Joblink Midwest for more information.
  • As an apprentice/trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. If you’re interested in traditional technical trades like bricklaying or cabinet making, then it’s likely you would consider an apprenticeship. Traineeships are usually in non-trade areas such as business, hospitality, process manufacturing and health.
  • You spend most of the time in paid employment, learning practical skills on the job and putting them into practice. The rest of the time is spent in structured training at TAFE, another registered training organisation or in the workplace. The training requirements are part of your training plan which is negotiated between your employer, you and your registered training organisation.
  • Apprenticeships/traineeships are competency based. This means you can complete your training earlier if you can show you have reached the skill levels required for your industry.
  • Apprenticeships/traineeships are open to men and women of all ages. Most can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis – and many can be started at school.
  • All kinds of people, including people with disabilities and from differing cultural backgrounds, can find an apprenticeship/traineeship to suit them.
  • Western Australia makes a distinction between apprentices and trainees. However in the Australian Apprenticeships system, all trainees/apprentices are referred to as Australian Apprentices

Why do an apprenticeship/ traineeship?

• You get paid while you learn

• You get nationally recognised qualifications

• You can start your training at school.

When qualified you can look forward to:

• higher pay

• great job prospects

• qualifications and skills for further education and training.

"Apprenticeships and Traineeships are becoming a more popular way for people to get into the workforce. You get paid to work and learn. Here is some basic information for you if you are considering this path."

An apprenticeship or a traineeship is a great way to combine training with practical hands-on experience so you can pursue your career goals.

In this article you will find out how to prepare and apply for an Apprenticeship or Traineeship, whether you are still at school or not. You will be able to watch video case studies and find out what it is really like to be any apprentice or a trainee.

What is an Apprenticeship or Traineeship?

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a training contract between an employer and an employee in which the apprentice or trainee learns the skills needed for a particular occupation or trade.

What kind of jobs can I do?

You can get an Apprenticeship or Traineeship in nearly any trade these days. Here are some samples:

• Jockey

• Plumber

• Florist

• Personal Assistant

• Engineer

• Mechanic

What is the difference between an Apprenticeship and a Traineeship?

Some industries - such as automotive - offer both traineeships and apprenticeships. The main difference between apprentices and trainees is the level of commitment made by the apprentice or trainee and the employer. Here are some examples of the differences between the two:

Under an apprenticeship:

• An employer agrees to employ you for the term of the apprenticeship and to support you in your training for that period of time

• You agree to follow instruction and attend off-the-job and/or workplace-based training

• If your employer sells the business during your apprenticeship, the new employer must continue with the training contract

• Once the probationary period of the training contract has passed, all parties must agree in order for the contract to be cancelled

Under a traineeship:

• An employer agrees to employ you for the term of the traineeship and to support you in your training for that period of time

• You agree to follow instruction and attend structured training

• If the business is sold, the new employer does not have to keep you on as a trainee

• Either the employer or trainee can cancel the contract without mutual agreement

What are the benefits?

An Apprenticeship or Traineeship is a great stepping stone into a career. As an apprentice or trainee you get the following benefits:

• You are paid to work and study

• It provides a pathway for you from school into the workforce

• The certificates you do including Certificate II, III and IV are recognised all over Australia

• TAFE training as well as workbased training is provided

• You have the same rights as employees

• You can get involved in Competitions and awards

How do I get Started?

You may not have thought of yourself as a potential apprentice or trainee, but there are plenty of different pathways into an apprenticeship or traineeship.

There’s no set level of education you have to finish before you can do an apprenticeship or traineeship. Different employers will have different expectations. You can leave school early and start an apprenticeship or traineeship but you can also work towards an apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

I want to stay in School - School Based Apprenticeships

You don’t have to leave school to do an apprenticeship or traineeship. Your school just has to approve your training plan.

If you stay at school and complete a School Based New Apprenticeship (which can be either an apprenticeship or traineeship), you get hands on industry training and experience and a nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. You also get your secondary school certificate in West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).

Under a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, you’ll spend time:

• At school

• With your employer

• Doing training with a registered training organisation

I'm looking for something outside of school

If you've left school or are thinking about leaving, you could do a pre-apprenticeship course. This is training that gives you a head start on your apprenticeship. It's a good way to sample an industry and see if it's what you really want to do.

Pre-apprenticeships are available in lots of trades including the automotive industry, engineering, furnishing and hairdressing. Completing a pre-apprenticeship course is no guarantee that you'll get an apprenticeship and it's not compulsory. But if you do the course and take on an apprenticeship, it could cut down your apprenticeship time by three to 12 months in some industries.

Alternatively, you could start looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship straight away.

Helpful links

Australian Apprenticeship

Speak to a careers officer at Joblink Midwest - serving Geraldton, the Midwest and Gascoyne region of WA .
Please call99641022 for any more information regarding Apprenticeship & Traineeships.