How to get job-ready
Explore best-practice resume writing tips, interview techniques, how to organise reference checks, and managing your personal brand before changing careers.
Your cover letter and resume (or CV) are your first opportunity to make a good impression with recruiters and employers.
Even if your work experience is limited, a poorly presented or badly written resume could make it more difficult to progress your application or get an interview.
The Australian Government's Workforce Australia website has resources to help you get job-ready, including:
- information on how to write a resume and cover letter, as well as suggested examples
- tips on getting your job application right.
Learn more about writing a resume and cover letter at Workforce Australia.
Job interviews can be stressful. Practising your interview technique beforehand can:
- help reduce any nerves or anxiety
- boost your confidence of performing as well as you can
- highlight gaps in your knowledge so you can be as fully prepared as possible.
Another important pre-interview task is to research the company you're looking to join.
If you do this, you'll have information to relate specific to the company and the role, which can show a future employer you have initiative and enthusiasm.
It could improve your chances of succeeding or at least advancing to the next stage of the recruitment process.
As for the interview, there are common questions that are often asked. Prepare your answers in advance and practise out loud how you’d respond.
Learn more about preparing and practising for a job interview at Workforce Australia.
Many businesses want to know if an applicant's core values match their own when assessing job applications.
To help them do this, they often explore the social media profiles of applicants to get a broader idea of the personality and interests of the person applying.
While you might think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok or Instagram can be safe, personal spaces to keep up to date with friends, avoid posting anything that you would not want recruiters or future employers to see.
To learn more about managing your personal brand, check out these articles:
- 10 things to think about in managing your personal brand from Smart Company
- The art of self-marketing at seek.com.au.
One of the more popular platforms for job information, vacancies and communicating your personal brand is LinkedIn.
Even if you have little professional experience, creating and maintaining a LinkedIn profile can let you:
- show employers what benefits and personal traits you can offer
- connect with like-minded people
- find out about companies you may be interested in working for
- join professional groups to be more aware of industry news and employment trends.
Depending on the role, you may be required to provide work or personal referees. This could be a past manager, boss, co-worker or even a friend (as a character reference).
You generally require 2 references. Contact them in advance to see if they will act as a referee.
Once they’ve agreed to participate, explain the role and discuss how they can endorse those skills and attributes that relate most to the job by focusing on your achievements.
These referees are then contacted by your employer or recruiter and asked to validate or comment on:
- what you may have shared in your interview or included in your written application
- your skills and experiences that relate to the job
- how any personal attributes may add value to the organisation.
Other pre employment checks
In addition to referee checks, you may be required to undergo other assessments depending on the role and who you deal with, including a:
- working with children check
- national police check, which cannot be conducted without your consent
- security clearance or general background check.