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an idiot's guide to

applying for a job



While the kind of work you do will inevitably change after you graduate, it's never too soon to learn the fundamentals of applying for jobs. Getting good at applying for jobs and interviewing can make a huge difference to your employment prospects.


This step by step guide will help you gets started, but we encourage you to read widely because there is MOUNTAINS of information on the internet to help you sharpen your job-gettin' skills. 

1. Get your resume ready

You already know you need a resume, but here is something you probably don't know: you need more than one. It's not just your cover letter you need to alter every time you apply for a new job. When you submit a resume with your job application, it's important to be sure that your resume is a match for the job you are applying for. Keep the same format, but make sure to alter your CV to reflect what the employer is looking for. Do they want a team worker? Emphasise your experience in working with others. Someone who has cash handling skills? Focus on that, plus highlight your killer maths scores. This process can be time consuming to start with, but once you have whipped up a few versions of your CV you always have them to go back to.

Here's information on resume writing, plus resume examples and templates to get you started. 

2. Write a cover letter

A cover letter may be required as part of the job application process. If it's optional, still include it.  It looks professional, and people really notice the extra care  you've taken, and it's great way to pitch your case for an interview.


Here's how to write a cover letter and what to include in your cover letter, plus cover letter examples and templates.

3. Interview process

If you are selected for an interview, you'll be invited to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager on the phone or in-person. The company may conduct several interviews prior to offering the leading candidate the job. This can be an nerve wrecking process, so do your research and come prepared. Remember that interviewing can take many years to master, so try to appreciate every opportunity to interview as a valuable practice, irrespective of whether you get the job or not.  


Here's how the interview process works at most companies.

4. Remember your rights


When you are young and working in a part time or casual job, it is easy to forget that you have most of the same rights at work as a seasoned CEO. It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with these early on to make sure you are not taken advantage of.


Here is a good summary. 

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