(Organisational and Staff Development Services)
Career Planning and Mobility
Workshop 2: Develop a Winning Job Application
Page 42 of 60
How to use this workbook
The purpose of this workbook is to provide information and resources to assist staff looking to develop the tools to market themselves in preparation for the next career step they choose to make. We will be:
Creating cover letters
Developing Resumes – Generic and Tailored
Addressing selection criteria
Table of Contents
Researching your ‘fit’ to a role 5
Analysis of a ‘best fit’ 5
General Manager – IT position 6
Exercise 1: Your Fit 8
More information needed? 9
Cover letters 10
What should go into a cover letter? 10
What is a cover letter? 10
Tips for writing effective cover letters: 10
Cover Letter: Template 13
Example cover letter paragraphs 14
Your Resume 15
Creating a generic resume 15
Creating a tailored resume 15
Layout and presentation 16
Exercise 2: Start your Resume 16
Selection Criteria 20
Essential Criteria 20
Desirable Criteria 20
S.T.A.R Technique 21
Creating your statement 22
Examples of Specific Selection Criteria 23
Example 1: Written & Oral Communication 23
Example 2: Sound Project Management & Teamwork 24
Example 3: Use and Application of Information Technology 25
Example 4: Customer Service and Presentation 26
Exercise 3: Writing your Response to the Selection Criteria 27
Appendix A: Word power 27
Appendix B: Competency examples with Performance Statements 29
Appendix C: Word List to Help with Selection Criteria 50
Know what you have to offer an employer.
Workbook/Workshop 1 – Know Yourself covers identifying what you have to offer an employer in detail.
The appendices provide Competency examples and performance examples which will help when you are asked to identify and summarize your key competencies for your Resume.
These competencies are sourced:
(Ref: http://hr.wa.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/Strategic HR/Workforce Planning/CompetencyExamples.doc and provide a great list of various competencies and examples of achievements related to these)
Researching your ‘fit’ to a role
There are two things you need to do before you start applying for positions.
Understand exactly what an employer is looking for and whether it will be a good ‘fit’ for you. It is important to:
1. Ensure you only apply for jobs that genuinely appear to be a good fit.
2. Utilise your generic resume to tailor a specific resume for the job.
3. Understand the key competencies and attitudes required
Employers tend to think about your ‘fit’ across four different areas:-
· Knowledge: the experience and qualifications you possess
· Skill: the skills you can demonstrate
· Abilities: your ability to carry out a range of tasks within your skill set and grow in the role
· Attitudes: Your personality and the degree to which you are enthusiastic, flexible and positive in your approach
Analysis of a ‘best fit’
From the advertisement below, we have identified the most important attributes sought after by the employer. We have then transferred these attributes across to the table on the following page. By summarising the requirements, we can then transfer the skill set requirements into our resume, selection criteria and cover letter.
Following on from this example is an opportunity for you to go through an advertisement of your choice and do the same.
General Manager – IT position
General Manager – Technology
Principally the role will focus on developing a strategic IT plan that supports business objectives and future system requirements. There is a need to review and evaluate existing hardware/software and to manage a small support team.
You are a business manager first and foremost who understands the retail industry. You have a thorough understanding of information technology, including current and future directions across the Internet/Intranet and Extranet. You possess strong people management skills and appreciate the importance of getting the best out of staff. You have exceptional presentation skills and can tailor content to suit a broad audience. Excellent written presentation skills are required to communicate organisational needs and persuade senior management to implement system changes. This is an excellent opportunity for a successful individual to join a rapidly developing organisation and to make an impact on its future direction. Please send your resume to …..
From this Job advertisement we are able determine that the company’s best fit for this role would have:
· Knowledge of the retail industry
· Business management
· IT (Internet, Intranet, Extranet)
· Change management techniques
· Leadership – implementing change
· Strategic business planning
· People management- managing a small support team
· Performance management – keeping the team’s performance at an appropriate level
· Presentation skills – oral and written
· Business management – managing a departmental budget
· Influencing others, especially at senior management level
· Innovate and adapt
· Inspire others
· Forward thinking
· Adaptable and innovative
· Open to trying new things
· Positive and enthusiastic
By extracting the key elements of the requirements of the role it now gives us the language to be able to write powerful and targeted applications. In the next section, Cover Letters, we have provided you with an example of a cover letter that addresses the above advertisement’s requirements.
Exercise 1: Your Fit
Worksheet – Job Profile
Find a job advertisement that is of interest to you and complete the exercise below based on the activity above.
Degree of fit
Outline your degree of fit. Would you apply for this role?
More information needed?
Sometimes the advertisement does not provide all the information you require to make a definitive decision. Sometimes you may need to do more research and determine further detail as outlined below.
Research the organisation and the position ‘fit’
· What’s happening in the company and their industry?
· Why is the role important to the organization?
· What other knowledge or training might you need, given the job’s purpose?
· What would a star performer in this role look like?
You can research the organisation by:
· The organisation’s website, LinkedIn profile
· Conducting an Information Interview
· Asking someone you know who works in the organisation
· The media
· Someone already doing the job or something similar elsewhere
· Annual reports/company brochures
· Industry trade magazines or journals e.g. Australia’s Top 500 companies
· Industry trend analysis
· Industry directories
What should go into a cover letter?
The cover letter is a soft sales document sent with your resume and often provides the first opportunity to present yourself to a potential employer to entice them to read further. A cover letter should accompany each application and is a targeted, precise, interesting communication tool that provides an opportunity for you to highlight skills and experience, and express an interest in the position. The aim of a cover letter is to encourage the employer to look closely at the accompanying resume and other paperwork, and to invite you to an interview.
Sometimes employers request that the applicant address the selection criteria within the cover letter. While possible it is more difficult to achieve effectively. Where possible you should address Selection Criteria in a separate statement.
What is a cover letter?
· Introduces you to the employer
· Highlights key information from your resume
· Tells the employer why they should consider employing you
· Tells the employer why you are interested in them
· Invites the employer to read further to find out more
· Convinces the employer that you are worth interviewing
Tips for writing effective cover letters:
· Be no longer than one page
· Aim for 3-4 paragraphs
· Make sure you address any key requirements in the advertisement
· Get feedback from an independent person
· Personalise your letter – this ensures you have a follow up contact
· Be targeted for each application
· Aim at getting attention quickly
· Be error free
· Be courteous
· Have a positive, enthusiastic tone
· Make use of short paragraphs and clear language
· Refer to the organisation and include why you want to work for them
· Tell the employer how you will meet their needs
· Be balanced between self-confidence and modesty
· Be drafted and redraft