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This is an exciting time for graduates – Grad Connection continues to do a great job identifying in one place most of the opportunities available throughout Australia. Today there are 97 companies such as Commonwealth Bank, John Holland, GE, BHP Billiton, Department of Finance, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Defence……..- – all with applications open. Through this site you can ask questions relating to Graduate Jobs and the employers that offer these positions, at the Graduate Jobs Forums. Either a member of GradConnection, another student or even an employer may be able to help you out with answers.

Most of the Career Fairs are over for this year – check out the Graduate Opportunities Career Fair Dates for what remains for the year.

Good Luck with your application

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From my experience, these two words mean the same thing in most Australian jobs.

Wikipedia has a good summary account of the role of the résumé which includes:

A résumé (pronounced /ˈrɛzjʊmeɪ/ rez-ew-may or /rɛzjʊˈmeɪ/; French: [ʁezyme]; sometimes spelled resume) is a document used by individuals to present their background and skillsets. Résumés can be used
for a variety of reasons but most often to secure new employment.[1] A typical résumé contains a summary of relevant job experience and education. The résumé is usually one of the first items, along with a cover letter and sometimes job application packet, that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview, when seeking employment. The résumé is comparable to a curriculum vitae (CV) in many countries, although in English Canada and the United States résumé is substantially shorter than CV.

To decide how long your résumé should be, make sure you follow any instructions given. It is becoming more common in government job vacancies for the size of the application to have a word or page limit.  For example the DEEDI ‘Guide for Applicants – Making a difference’, the following guidance is given:

You are required as part of your application to provide the selection panel with a resume. Your resume is to provide the selection panel with a summary of your education, work history, and any other training and
skills you have gained through school, study, work experience and hobbies. Your resume should include where you have worked to date, jobs held during your period of employment and major duties performed. Your resume may also contain the details of two referees who can provide an objective assessment of your work performance. Your resume may be considered as a part of an application or may be considered on its own, so it may be vital to include as much information as possible to allow the panel to assess your suitability for the role. A resume should generally be no more than four pages.

 

 If no limit is given – ask the contact officer or recruitment area what is expected. Generally, if your résumé exceeds four pages, it is too long.

 

It is unlikely that taking on this voluntary role will by itself create a pathway to career advancement. However, there are elements of this role that you can use to substantiate claims against many selection criteria in a job application. For example:

  • Undertaking this voluntary role has demonstrated your drive and commitment to support the values and code of conduct of the organisation
  • Being selected for this role supports that the organisation has confidence in your well-developed communication and interpersonal skills, and capacity to act with integrity
  • Attending training (and annual refresher training), and providing advice to employees,   has increased your understanding of human resource policies and procedures (including privacy and right to information)

As well as job coaching services, I also provide training for Harassment Contact Officers. For more information on this, please visit my web site here.

Many government selection panels will give you 15 – 20 minutes to peruse the questions and think of answers before you meet the interview panel.  Good preparation to anticipate questions (especially examples of achievements to demonstrate your capabilities) will assist to maximise this time. Remember that you can take notes with you into this perusal time.

This is a sample sheet that I give to my clients to help them to prepare for interview.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION – The Lists of Five

 

TOPICAL ISSUES/CONCERNS RELATED TO THE ROLE

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

SHAPES STRATEGIC THINKING  (What are the five key messages  that I must get across in relation to this capability?)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

EXAMPLE:  (What is the most relevant example I have to demonstrate this capability –  which shows that I have addressed these 5 points)

ACHIEVES RESULTS

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

EXAMPLE:

PRODUCTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

EXAMPLE:

 

PERSONAL DRIVE AND INTEGRITY

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

EXAMPLE:

 

COMMUNICATES WITH INFLUENCE

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

EXAMPLE:

 

5 REASONS WHY I AM A GREAT FIT FOR THE ROLE

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Good Luck preparing for your next interview.

 

 

Leadership Capability Frameworks are used by organisations to identify the types of capabilities and behaviours expected of their leaders.  Reviewing a framework should give you ideas about achievements to list in your résumé, and appropriate ‘leadership’ words to use.  If the particular organisation where you are applying for a job does not have a framework , there are many frameworks that you can use to prompt your thinking. For example:

1 . Health

NHS Leadership Qualities Framework

2. Education

Education Queensland

Victorian Education

3. Public Service

Australian Public Service  

Glasgow City Council

4.  Business

SHL Leadership Model

Health is a large and complex industry sector, with many funding and workforce challenges in the coming decades (increase and aging of the population, chronic disease, increased use of technologies etc). If you are about to apply for a health leadership role you will probably know a lot about these – if not, you might struggle to be competitive.

When considering a leadership role in the public system, it would be wise to show that you are familiar with State Government Strategic Health Plans, and the Business Plans and Priorities of your local district.  Also you should show that you have thought about the impact of the Australian National Health Reform Agreement on the advertised role.

As a busy clinician/technician wanting to move into a health leadership role, you may not have taken the time to find out what leadership frameworks or development opportunities exist in your organisation. Thanks to the intranet and Google, these are now easier to find.

Here are a few:

NHS Leadership Framework

Queensland Health – Healthcare Culture and Leadership Framework 2010

Victoria Health – LINK in Health (Leadership, Innovation, Networks and Knowledge)

Pan-Canadian Health Leadership Capability Framework Project

Good Luck with your Leadership application. The health sector needs great leaders to lead the coordination and cultural changes required for the future.

If you are applying for a leadership role, your language should reflect that you have shown leadership. Your resume and job interview should show that you are a person
who has ‘ succeeded in …..’ ‘initiated ……..’, ‘championed…………….’, ‘worked in partnership…………….’  etc.  Here is a list of verbs to have in your repertoire:

  •   Championed

 

  • Positioned

 

  •   Promoted

 

  • Anticipated

 

  •   Modelled

 

  • Capitalised

 

  •   Led

 

  • Focussed

 

  •   Inspired

 

  • Nurtured

 

  •   Motivated

 

  • Created

 

  •   Translated

 

  • Integrated

 

  •   Challenged

 

  • Oversaw

 

  •   Defined

 

  • Drove

 

  •   Ensured

 

  • Delegated

 

  •   Enabled

 

  • Built

 

  •   Sustained

 

  • Negotiated

 

  •   Resolved

 

  • Identified

 

  •   Represented

 

  • Mentored and Coached

 

  •   Took responsibility

 

  • Committed to action

 

  •   Established

 

  • Galvanised

 

  •   Persisted

 

  • Overcame

 

  •   Consulted and Listened

 

  • Acknowledged

 

  • Reflected

 

  •   Achieved

Any other suggestions?

In yesterday’s Courier Mail’s Careerone (p3) the following  was suggested by Phillip Hesketh as a way to end a job interview:

“When you’re being interviewed just say ‘Before I go, on a scale of one to 10, where one is you wish you hadn’t interviewed me, and 10 is you want to offer me the job, where are we?’  ‘Not where am I, but where are we?’

‘They might say ‘eight’.  “And you say, ‘OK, what do we have to do to get it to a 10’.”

I haven’t yet seen a candidate try this – but I notice that this type of question (e.g. ‘Do you have any reservations about my skills that I could address for you?’)  is being used more often by candidates at the end of job interviews . Trying to clarify any misgivings the interviewer may have is a good idea. However, you may find this question doesn’t work when:

  • it sounds like you read it in a ‘how to attend job interviews book and you thought you’d give it a try
  • it comes across as an overly arrogant sales pitch
  • you have already used up your interview time and this question is just a further indicator to the interviewer of your lack of time management and courtesy
  • the interview is conducted by a rigid ‘merit based’ panel process, where panel members may feel that you have had ample opportunity to present what you have to offer, and that responding to this type of question just allows you an unfair advantage

Job interviewers have differing styles, preferences and biases about how to conduct interviews and what to look for in candidates. Some will see it as bad form if candidates do not ask questions.  Others run very tight processes that dont allow time for candidates to seek out any futher information.  These are my tips:

  • questions are a way to engage in a more personal and real way with an interviewer, and can show that you have researched their Company and thought about how you could fit.
  • check out the interviewer’s body language when they ask ‘Do you have any questions?’ See if they are relaxed and truly looking for you to ask questions – or turning the page, shuffling and looking at their Blackberry/watch.
  • if you ask a question, make sure that it is something that you are genuinely interested in about the job, and shows a high level of research and analysis about the Company.  Maybe:  ‘ I notice your Company/Department has just acquired ……………… In my last assignment in Economics I did a lot of reading about…………………Will there be opportunities in the first year to have a placement in this new area?’
  • definitely do not ask for information about something that is readily available to you by internet research about the Company. Most employers put out a lot of information about their graduate programmes, so it is very lame to ask basic questions like, ‘How many rotations will I have in the first year?’  
  • avoid just saying ‘No’. Maybe the best way to end is to say in your own words:  ‘Thank you, I don’t have any questions but I do want to thank you for the opportunity to attend this interview.  I have attended Career Fairs and spoken to people from your company, followed discussions on your Graduate Facebook page and online chat sessions, and read about the experiences of your previous graduates. I am confident that your Company is where I would like to start a career. If it is all right with you may I quickly summarise what I have to offer?’ Then follow this up with three key attributes that you can bring to the Company (sometimes referred to as your ‘thirty second sell’).

 

Good Luck with your Graduate application and interview.

Graduate Recruitment application season is here again. It is pleasing to see the range of strategies that different employers are using to seek out the best talent, who fit with where their organisation is heading. The trend is certainly towards ensuring candidates have researched the employer’s current roles and future challenges.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has just opened its applications (closing 18 April 2011) for a wide range of graduate opportunities (Human Resources, Law , Marketing and Sales, Architecture and Design, Business and Commerce, Accounting, Information Technology, Government).

The ATO application form requires candidates to answer 15 multiple choice questions. The first 12 questions test ability to research and analyse a variety of documents available on the Tax Office website (e.g. Which of the following are listed in the document Compliance program 2010-11 as initiatives and innovations for Small-to-medium enterprises?). The next three questions are about values and code of conduct (You happen to see a colleague hit a parked car while leaving the work car park……? ).

Australia Post’s application process is also open (closing 4 April 2011) and reminds applicants ‘Your application is your “brand”, so make sure you’ve thoroughly checked it for spelling and grammar.’ The application form asks about a candidate’s leadership experience (sports teams, voluntary organisations, etc) and asks the following five questions (with a limit of 100 words per questions).

  • Australia Post’s retail network is one of the biggest in the country, serving over a million people each day. Customers are the lifeblood of our organisation. Tell us about a time when you have met and exceeded the customer’s expectations through the service you have provided?
  •  In an organisation as large and diverse as Australia Post, one great opportunity is to build relationships across several teams. Tell us a time when you were able to encourage others within your workplace to work collaboratively or to support an idea?
  • As a graduate, we’re not only interested in your scores, but in who you are – what you stand for, where you’re going, what you have done in the world and what you would love to do from here. Tell us your career aspirations and areas of interest?
  • It is an exciting time to be at Australia Post as we are currently moving in a new direction with our ‘Future Ready’ strategy. This transformation strategy means that we will have a greater focus on our customers, will be embracing the digital world and more. What skills and attributes do you have which will allow you to successfully contribute to driving Australia Post into this new era?
  •  Tell us why you have ultimately chosen to apply for the Australia Post Graduate Program?

For more ideas on who is advertising for Graduates in Australia try GradConnection, UniGrad, Career One’s Virtual Career Fair, or check out a Career Fair (schedule – most in mid March to early April 2011) in your state.

 

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

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