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An interesting new direction/specialty for HR practitioners – the employee development and social media specialist, creating HR programs that drive employee engagement and development using Web 2.0 tools.

Not-so-traditional Resume

This popular slideshare presentation (80,000 views in 9 months) shows how one individual used a common social media tool to get his resume out and to find work – beats the cold call letter.

Really Ugly Resumes 

When you are engaging someone to assist you with the writing of selection criteria, you need to decide if you require a basic or more expert level of support.

The basic level of support includes providing information to a writer, who will then take this information and ensure it is well presented, and in the appropriate format.

If you need more expert assistance, including understanding recruitment processes and selection criteria, you may need to engage the services of a ‘job coach/writer’ with recruitment and human resource experience.  A good job coach will brainstorm with you to find your most complex and relevant examples for the advertised role.

For example, when addressing the criteria/capability ‘personal drive and integrity’, I will ask my clients questions like:

  • When have you enthusiastically attended or organised training in relation to Values, Code of Conduct, Ethics, Respectful (harassment-free and non-discriminatory) Workplaces, Fraud or Conflict of Interest?
  • When have you taken on roles to show your commitment to quality workplaces (e.g. harassment contact officer)?
  • Can you think of a time when you have identified something that needed to be improved in your team, then went and did something about it?
  • Tell me about some times when you have been given a difficult job (lack of staff, tight deadlines, technology problems…..), but stuck at it and achieved a good result?

If the vacancy is a team leadership role, I will be looking for higher-level examples, through questions such as:

  • What have you done to ensure everyone in your team has had the appropriate corporate training? Have you ever introduced a ‘Values’ training session to show your Agency’s commitment to these Values?
  • What do you do in your team meetings to show that you are committed to non-discriminatory workplaces?
  • Have you identified, investigated or worked with corporate service teams to resolve harassment of fraud or code of conduct matters?
  • When have you been selected to undertake a challenging project?

For senior leadership roles, examples that are more significant will be sought through discussing:

  • What have you done to ensure your division/Department has shown leadership in engaging and retaining employees?
  • Where have you identified something that would enhance a new policy initiative and worked across divisions or with other government departments to make this happen?
  • What have you done to build a culture that reinforces appropriate risk-taking, initiative and personal resilience?

Following this brainstorming, it is important to select examples that are most relevant to the advertised role, and to present these concisely within the word limit.

For more tips on addressing selection criteria – please subscribe to this blog (top left corner).

For expert assistance with writing your claims against selection criteria, you can contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com

PLEASE NOTE – I AM UNABLE TO TAKE ON ANY NEW CLIENTS AT PRESENT. CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER PROVIDERS WHO MAY BE ABLE TO ASSIST YOU.

If you do a Google search you will find many resume and selection criteria writers – all offering different services. The fees differ significantly, and vary according to what services are included (eg amount of personal consultation, number of drafts provided, level of specialisation of the job, turnaround time;  and whether resume, cover letters, selection criteria and interview coaching are purchased at the same time).

You will find providers who advertise that they will provide a resume for $110.  You should ask if the resume writer will help you with the content of your resume – or whether they just reformat your old resume.  At the higher end, prices are advertised at $349 for Early Career, $549 for Mid Career and $749 for Executive resumes.

With selection criteria, it depends on the number of criteria and length of writing required (i.e is one page per criterion required? or two pages only to cover 5 criteria?).  You should anticipate paying somewhere between $150 – $300 per page.  With very specific technical or executive roles, which require a much greater time commitment and expertise of the writer, a quote of up to $2000 is possible.

You will need to provide information to the job coach or writer. Some providers send you a set of questions based on the job and criteria. Others will interview you. Some prepare a first draft and ask you to fill in specific details.

Most providers will ask for payment before the service commences. Unfortunately – the few clients who dont pay, even when happy with the service – drive providers to establish this rule of business.

Would you invest $200 to $2000 to win that dream job? For many the answer is a clear YES.

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Do you need someone who understands the Integrated Leadership System (Australian Government)  or Capability Leadership Framework (Queensland Government)?

Contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com   or 0403766812

Send me your draft resume, and details of any job/s that you are interested in.  Tell me if you need to work on your application (covering letter, resume or selection criteria) or if you need interview practice. I can provide a no obligation free quote.

My specialty is coaching people for job interviews. I enjoy assisting people to win jobs – and would love to hear from you.        Cheryl

 

For further tips on addressing selection criteria – please subscribe to this blog (top left corner).

Marie has great skills – but she just cannot get an interview.

A recruitment consultant told her that her resume and cover letter were poorly written (for Marie, English was a second language), and that she had not highlighted her achievements in these documents.

Marie saw a job advertised with Employer X, which was a good match for her skills. She decided to invest in the services of a Resume Writer. The Resume Writer talked to her about her work experiences and identified achievements that Marie had not thought to include. In no time – the Resume Writer produced a very professional resume and cover letter, that Marie was proud to submit to Employer X.

Employer X read Marie’s resume and was impressed by her experience and skills. They flagged Marie as a candidate worthy of progressing to the interview stage of the selection process. Before finalising the list of candidates to be interviewed, Employer X decided to check the web presence of the preferred candidates.

Marie’s name was ‘Googled’.

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Marie was the treasurer of a charity group TICK

Marie was registered with Facebook TICK

Marie’s Facebook Privacy settings prevented public viewing of her profile TICK

Marie had a Linkedin profile TICK

Marie’s Linkedin profile looked like her old resume (typos and poor English expression) BOO……

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Marie did not get an interview.

It is a good idea to make sure your online presence is consistent with your job application. Talk to your Resume Writer or Job Coach if you need help with your on-line profiles.

j0179967Statement of Claims against the Selection Criteria

In today’s competitive job market, aspiring employees must have well-tailored, well-written job applications.

While many public sector Agencies in Australia are reducing the amount of writing required for job applications – most still require candidates to do some analysis of their skills/capabilities/experience and to write about these according to prescribed selection criteria (i.e. to write a ‘statement of claims’ against the selection criteria). Thus, writing a public sector job application can feel like doing an assignment. Unlike school or University assignments where students must sign that the work is their own, employers rarely require any such acknowledgement with job applications.  This opens the door for people with expert knowledge of government selections to become professional job application writers.

Job applicants can spend many hours attending training and reading about how to address selection criteria, and then edit and re-edit to get the content and layout just right. For most candidates, this means well over 10 hours per application.  Alternatively, they may consider it a good investment to hire a professional to write their application.

The Job Application Process – More than Just a Resume

One of my clients recently paid about $300 for a ‘resume writer’ (found through an internet search) to prepare her statement of claims for a government position.  She told me that she got an interview through this application, but froze during the interview.  She felt she did not understand the selection criteria and what the selection committee expected.  I had a look at the papers (resume and selection criteria statement) that had been written for her.  The writer had done an excellent job in capturing my client’s experience and making an argument as to why she was a very suitable candidate for the role. My client will be able to cut and paste from this document and use this for future applications.  With a better understanding of what selection panels look for with common selection criteria and some interview coaching, I am sure she will soon secure a job. 

Another client came to me for job interview coaching. She was particularly stressed because she had been advised that a written test would be conducted just prior to the interview. I had a look at her application.  She had excellent qualifications and experience, and her resume and statement of claims were well-written.   Based on this, with a few tips on how to manage written job tests, she should have had no trouble with a written test.  She admitted that she had received considerable assistance with her written application, and that she did not really have the level of writing skills required for the role. 

The message from these two stories – the written application is only one part of the selection process.  No amount of professional assistance with writing claims against selection criteria will help if a candidate is not able to complete other job assessment tasks at the required level.

Resume Writer Fees

If a candidate decides to hire a professional to prepare their application, they can expect to pay over $300. I did a search today to find current fees in Australia. Usually the client can choose different packages to suit their needs.  For example, one company says that they will prepare ‘ready to lodge applications from just $285 (incl. selection criteria, cover letter & resume tidy)’.  Another consultant lists the costs for an experienced job seeker (ie with over 2 years work experience) as follows:

‘Professional Resume via Phone/Email: $295
Professional Resume with Face-to-Face Consultation: $395
Customised Cover Letter: $95
Selection Criteria Responses: $70 per criteria’

A third provider lists their charges as, ‘Selection criteria response: typically from $250. New résumés from about $150’.

Most writers will ask many questions so they can understand the client’s skills and experience. They won’t make up things (hopefully), but should use their expertise to match what a candidate has to offer to the advertised role. 

Is it Fair/Ethical to Use a Resume Writer to Prepare a Ready to Lodge Job Application?

In the ideal world, all candidates would have equality of opportunity to present their claims. The reality is that candidates have different levels of familiarity and knowledge of the selection criteria process. Candidates also have different access to expertise to assist them to prepare applications, and different levels of comfort about ‘blowing-their-own-trumpet’.

It could be argued that professional job application writers level the playing field for those external (non-public sector) applicants who have had no prior experience with analysing selection criteria.

Where employers use open selection processes that favour candidates who know how to address selection criteria, the professional job application writer will thrive.

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Are you struggling to write the application? Need some ideas on how to address selection criteria? Do you feel you let yourself down at job interviews?

Do you want coaching from an experienced human resource professional? Do you need someone who understands the Intergrated Leadership System (Australian Government)  or Capability Leadership Framework (Queensland Government)?

Contact me at brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com   or 0403766812

Send me your draft resume, and details of any job/s that you are interested in.  Tell me if you need to work on your application (covering letter, resume or selection criteria) or if you need interview practice. I can provide a no obligation free quote.

My specialty is coaching people for job interviews. I enjoy assisting people to win jobs – and would love to hear from you.  

 Cheryl

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Employers- Please contact me about doing job application training for groups at your workplace. ph 0403766812 or brisbanejobcoach@gmail.com

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