Should I attach a cover letter with my resume? By Matthew Coppola


Most job applications these days request for a cover letter as part of your application. It is almost now the appropriate thing to do when applying. The resume outlines the candidate’s skills and experience; then the cover letter takes the next step further to be tailored and directed towards a particular position. It’s a way for the candidate to approach the employer and explain why they want the job and what they can bring specifically to that role.

However, in saying that, some recruiters and a few employers may feel that a cover letter involves too much reading and because they are too busy and have too many applications to read through, so they scan through the resume and look for keywords.

Now that may be true. But without surveying hundreds if not thousands of employers and recruiters, at this stage, it is only a generalisation.

A cover letter nicely complements the resume because the resume may not be tailored for a particular company and what they specifically require from a candidate. Every company and organisation is going to be different.  Their needs and requirements although similar for a role will still vary.

So given this, a cover letter is still suggested to be attached as part of an application.

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Are you interested in having your resume and cover letter professionally revamped and written? 

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with giving your best foot forward to an employer. Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au

Whether you require a professional CV writing service in Sydney or a great resume writing service in Melbourne, Client Centric can help.

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What is the best minimum size font for a Resume/CV? By Matthew Coppola


Generally speaking, the minimum size font (as a rule of thumb) would be best set around 9. Size 8 and below font can become more difficult to read and thereby grab the attention of the reader.

Are you interested in having your resume professionally revamped and written? 

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with giving your best foot forward to an employer. Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au

What kind of information can I include in my resume? By Matthew Coppola


An important point to remember when writing any type of document is that the writer considers the needs and desires of the reader.

We can ask such questions as why is this document being read, what is its purpose and what does the reader hope to get out of the document?

The same is true with your resume!

First and foremost to include are the main details such as name, address (Can be optional), contact number and email address. If the employer is interested in meeting you for an interview, how can they get in contact with you?

Other important information to include is employment history such as company name, position title, dates start to finish and role responsibilities. Achievements are also good to include as well.

Some jobs these days require that the successful candidate have completed a tertiary or vocational qualification. Preferably related to the job and industry. So, it makes sense to include this type of information by including course name, year completed and the training institution.

Other information you may wish to include are details of any memberships, awards or volunteering experience.

For professional references, some people choose to put “available upon request” while others will list their referees including name, job title, company and phone/email address.

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with give your best foot forward to an employer.

Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au

Sydney CV writing services and resume writing assistance: https://www.clientcentric.com.au/sydney-resume-writing-services

For Melbourne resume writing please visit: https://www.clientcentric.com.au/melbourne-resume-writing-service

How can I condense my resume? By Matthew Coppola


You may be looking at your resume thinking that is far too long, messy and unstructured. Your resume may be 7 or 9 pages long, but you really want to keep all the information in because you feel that you have a lot to offer and that a prospective employer needs to know this. So, faced with such a dilemma, what options do you really have?

Generally speaking, it’s good for a resume/CV to be around 4 – 6 pages long, depending on your profession or trade. More technical resumes require extra information to be included in that would otherwise not be needed for non-technical resumes.

One option available to you is to read through all your responsibilities and experience, then try to shorten the sentences by either removing unnecessary information or re-writing a long sentence into a short one with the same meaning.

An example of this would be:

  • LONG – Managing all administrative personnel (including part-time/full-time staff members) by overseeing their work, providing direction and training. 
  • SHORT – Managing administrative staff by providing direction, supervision, and training. 

With the sentence above, I have omitted information such as the nature of all the staff member’s employment – full time and part time.

Also, the words staff members and personnel were used – so I took out both and replaced them with the one word – staff.

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with give your best foot forward to an employer. Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au

How important is it to have my CV professionally written? By Matthew Coppola


Your resume/CV helps an employer make a well-informed decision on their whether to hire you or not. It is usually accompanied by a cover letter that takes the next step further to being more personalised and tailored for the role, by addressing the requirements as stipulated in the job advertisement or position description.

Your CV is what helps to ‘get your foot in the door’ so to speak. The employer or hiring agent may spend less than 3 minutes going through your CV. So first appearances are everything and you want to make sure that it grabs their attention and is informative and relevant enough to their hiring needs to encourage them to pick up the phone and invite you in for an interview. That is why it is good to have your CV professionally written to help make sure that your CV promotes your skills and experience and helps to sell you to the employer.

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with give your best foot forward to an employer. Further information can be found at: http://www.clientcentric.com.au/sydney-resume-writing-services

 Please feel free to visit their website: www.clientcentric.com.au.

 

Why should you research the employer before being interviewed?


Matthew Coppola is an Australian Careers Advisor, Employment Specialist and Resume Writing Expert. If you are interested in having him as a speaker or utilising any of his services, please contact him by clicking here.

Going for an interview is like going out on a date with someone.  Now both are similar for many reasons, but generally speaking, if you went out on a date with someone and it wasn’t a blind date, you would be more prepared and confident if you knew a bit about the person with whom you were about have dinner or a drink with.

That kind of research might entail conversations with friends among other things. What if your friends told you that she was no good, she would hurt you and she is untrustworthy. And this is from multiple sources including  Facebook page where you see her photos and posts with are in line with the reputation your friends gave her.

Armed with this information and research, how do you now feel about this date? Well not only would you be uncertain about her but you would be more prepared with what kind of questions you want to ask her and you would not let her pretty looks cloud any of your judgement! So research is key to being prepared and confident!

Same with having an interview with an employer.

It’s always best to find out everything you can about the companies you want to work for including: their product lines, competitors, prices, growth prospects, organisational structure, employment policies, key staff and overseas trends and developments which may affect local operations.

You can find this information in places like:

  • annual reports;
  • customer newsletters;
  • trade magazines;
  • product brochures and catalogues;
  • sales representatives.

The best way to approach this is speaking in person to someone who works there or knows someone who does. This is where your personal contact list will be important and this can be found through online sources like LinkedIn, a professional networking website where you can connect and message professionals in your industry.

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Author: Matthew Coppola

Matthew Coppola – Employment Advisor

BComm(Econs), GradCert (CE&D)

Matthew Coppola has more than 6 years’ experience in the recruitment, staffing and training industries with a focus on employment services, specifically Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Services.  He has experience in business development, marketing, sales and training.

Common Interview Questions – A Brief Overview


Matthew Coppola is an Australian Careers Advisor, Employment Specialist and Resume Writing Expert. If you are interested in having him as a speaker or utilising any of his services, please contact him by clicking here.

Common Interviewing Questions

1 – Tell me about yourself.
This seems to be an innocent enough question. But be aware that Interviewers often ask this as an invitation for you to share your life story or personal information. Interviewers often want to know personal details like your age and marital status. So this question often elicits background information such as when you graduated high school or college, your marital status, number of children, etc. When you hear the tell-me-about-yourself question, think of how you can answer with details about your prior work experience, abilities and professional accomplishments that will fit this job.

2 – What else should I know about you?
If the “tell-me-about-yourself” question doesn’t prompt you to reveal personal statements, later in the interview (when you have been lulled into complacency), the interviewer often asks this question. Reiterate why you are the best fit for the job. No personal info is required. It’s up to you what private details you reveal.

3 – Why should we hire you?
Talk about a job where you used skills you believe will be necessary in this job. Point out how your skills or experience meet the needs of the organization.

You can say, “Because I am the best candidate for the job,” as long as you add the reasons that make you the best candidate. Be confident and enthusiastic and emphasize several reasons why you should be hired. “I’ve got extensive experience in (whatever) with the specific skills you are looking for. I’m a fast learner who has learned to adapt quickly to change …” Give examples to back up your statements that demonstrate your unique qualifications.

4 – What are your weaknesses?
One/ of the secrets to answering this question is being honest about a weakness, but at the same time, demonstrating how you have turned it into a strength. For example, if you had a problem organizing your work in the past, demonstrate the steps you took to more effectively keep yourself on track. This will show that you have the ability to recognize aspects of yourself that need improvement, and the initiative to improve.

Do not say, “I don’t have any weaknesses,” or “I am a bit of a perfectionist.” Those answers will turn off interviewers. They know the first is probably untrue and the second is impossible. Being a little bit of a perfectionist is like being a little bit of a liar. Better to use a weakness that is really something you are trying to learn like a foreign language or a new software program. Make sure that any weakness you talk about is not a key element of the position.

5 – What is your greatest strength?
This is your opportunity to highlight your best skills. Focus on your top three or four. Examples would be: “my leadership skills, problem-solving ability, team-building skills, interpersonal skills, ability to work under pressure, professional expertise, ability to resolve conflict” and so on. Be prepared to offer examples for each skill you mention.

9 – Where do you see yourself five years from now?
If you say, “In your job,” you have shot yourself in the foot. Interviewers ask this question because they want to hire people who are focused on specific professional goals. Vague works best. “In five years I expect to have more responsibility and new, exciting challenges.”

Do not indicate that you hope to start your own business, change careers, or go back to school. Such responses indicate a lack of long-term interest in the organization. Keep in mind that throughout the interview, the interviewer is trying to discover if you are a good fit and can make a positive contribution in the job.

10 – Why do you want to work here?
“Because you have a job,” won’t win any points for you. Instead, use this question to talk about what you know about the company, and how your background and experience relate to issues they may have. This shows the interviewer that you have done your homework and at the same time, gives you another opportunity to show how your qualifications and experience match the job. “What I can bring to this job is six years experience and knowledge of the industry, plus my ability to build and sustain patient relationships …”

11 – Why did you leave your last job?
If you lost your last job because of downsizing, restructuring, the company closing, etc., say: “I didn’t leave my last job. My job left me.”

If you left on your own accord, do not say anything negative about your former company, boss, or co-workers. You might say: “There were many aspects of my job that were rewarding but I believe this new position will give me the opportunity to contribute even more.”

12 – What did you dislike most about your last job?
If you loved your last job, say: “What I dislike most is that it ended.” If you didn’t love your last job, do not say anything negative. Instead, use a variation of the statement: “There were many aspects of my job that were rewarding.”

13 – What is a weakness you still have?
A negative question again. Repeat a “weakness” you may have used earlier that indicates how you are working to learn something new.

18 – What salary are you looking for?
Negotiating salary can be a minefield if you aren’t prepared. This strategy is an excerpt: “Do not disclose your salary history or the salary you are seeking. Instead, ask: ‘What is the range for this position?’ You focus continuously on asking for the range, not the salary. When you disclose, you lose the power of negotiation.”

Behavioral Interviewing Questions

Behavioral interviewing focuses on the candidate’s actions and behaviors and therefore minimizes the personal impressions that can affect hiring choices. This style of interviewing is based on the premise that the best, most effective way to predict your future behavior is to determine your past behavior.

These questions ask about what you have done in previous jobs, not what you would do. You will know it is a behavioral question when the past tense is used. “What did you do … Tell me about how you handled … Describe a time when …”

19 – Describe a problem situation and how you solved it.
If you had responsibility in your previous jobs, you can describe a work situation where you were responsible for turning it around. If you do not have professional experience, describe something like prioritizing your schedule and making to-do lists to give you enough time to study. Regardless of the issue involved, you demonstrate that you can think critically and develop a solution.

20 – Describe how you handled a stressful situation in the past.
Give an example of how you used your problem-solving or decision-making skills to reduce stress. An example might be that you learned the value of a time-out for both yourself and your staff. Or if it’s true, how you actually seem to work better under pressure and deadlines.

21 – Tell me what has been your greatest work-related accomplishment?
Choose an example that was important to you and also helped your company. Give specific details about what you did, how you did it, and what the results were. Talk about an accomplishment that relates to the position you are seeking. Interviewers like to hear about accomplishments that reduced expenses, raised revenue, solved problems or enhanced a company’s reputation.

22 – How did you keep current and informed about your job/industry?
The interviewer is concerned that once you get the job will you continue to learn and grow? You could say, “I stay on top of what is happening in my industry by reading newspapers, magazines and journals. I am a member of several professional organizations and continually network with colleagues at the meetings. Whenever possible I take classes and attend seminars that offer new information or technology.”