Resume and cover letter tips

A resume and cover letter is your chance to show case your experience and talents to our Hiring Managers, so we recommend that you take some time to get these right.

Resume Tips +

  • Keep your resume concise but informative, include relevant information to the role you are applying for
  • Ensure that all the important information is immediately visible at a quick glance
  • Use a common font (like Arial) and don’t use bright colours -remember a resume is a professional document introducing you to prospective employers
  • Use clear section headers (like Contact Details, Education, Skills, Employment History etc)
  • Check that your contact details are all correct
  • Always start with your most recent job, and work in reverse chronological order
  • Dates in your employment history should always include the month and year of start and finish
  • Make sure there are no typographical, spelling or grammatical errors

Cover Letter Tips +

  • Your cover letter should be formatted as a business style letter
  • Use the same styles and fonts as your resume to keep your application uniform
  • Start by stating the position you are applying for and why you are suited to the role
  • The job ad will tell you what the employer is looking for, by addressing these points you will target your cover letter to the job
  • Tailor an individual cover letter to each job, as they will have individual requirements
  • Again make sure there are no tyographical, spelling or grammatical errors

Interview Tips +

A successful interview is the result of thorough preparation and research. Preparation breeds confidence – it will help you present yourself in the right way and communicate clearly with your prospective employer.

Before the Interview

  • Make sure you confirm your interview details
  • Do some research
  • Study the job specification
  • Re-read the job application
  • Prepare a list of questions you may want to ask the interviewer

The Interview

  • Be on time. It is ok to arrive 10 minutes early to your interview but don’t be too early and, above all don’t be late.
  • If you are attending a telephone or Skype interview, ensure you choose a quiet place that is free from interruptions
  • Dress in appropriate conservative, casual clothing
  • Switch off your mobile phone

Answering Questions during the Interview

  • To project confidence, control your tone of voice, speed of delivery and volume.
  • Use examples when necessary to stress a point, expand on an idea or support a statement.
  • Ask for clarification of questions you do not understand.
  • If asked about job-related knowledge or experience you don’t have, do not panic. It is okay not to know everything
  • Be truthful, as most information you provide can be, and often is, verified. Do not try to hide gaps in your work history, instead explain them.
  • Don’t talk down your current employer. Don’t tell tales or make damaging remarks about your present or previous colleagues. Emphasize that you have positive reasons for leaving that job.

Asking Questions

  • Asking questions allows for a better understanding of what the role requires and your suitability for the role.
  • Asking questions about the role and the company also demonstrates enthusiasm and motivation.

Skype & Telephone Interview Tips +

At BSL we understand that it is not always easy getting to an interview, especially if you are interstate or overseas. This is why we offer a number of interviewing options to suit our candidate’s needs. Most interviews are conducted in Melbourne CBD, however we offer the option for candidates to be interviewed on site, over the phone or by Skype. Skype is a convenient interviewing method for both candidates and our Hiring Managers. It is easy to set up and we will call you!

What you need for interviewing on Skype
The latest version of Skype offers the clearest, crispest, sharpest quality video calling, and High Definition capability. So here is what you will need:

  • The latest version of Skype for Windows which can be downloaded for free from www.skype.com
  • A dual core processor, and a fast internet connection of 512 kbit/s or more

Suggestions for interviewing on Skype
Like any interview, it is best to be prepared. Below are some helpful tips that will help you with setting up your interview, maximise your experience and secure your dream job.

Before the interview

  • Ensure that you have the latest version of Skype
  • Test your connection and ensure the program is working correctly. If you can, do some test calls with other people so you are familiar with using the program
  • Test your camera and microphone on the day of your interview as there are no unexpected technical issues
  • Be on time. Connect early and be ready and waiting for your recruiter or hiring manager
  • Present yourself as you would in a normal interview, it’s a video call after all.

The location

  • Set yourself up in a quiet area where you will be free from interruptions
  • Remember that your interviewer can see you, so they will also see what is around you
  • Ensure your background is clear and if possible ensure that there is a blank wall behind you
  • Think about the lighting in your location. Ensure that it is bright enough.
  • Let everyone know that you are conducting and interview. This way you are less likely to be interrupted or distracted by surrounding noises

Getting ready for your moment on camera

  • Think about the colour you are wearing. Some colours can be too bright, like red and pinks – whereas many shades of blue look great on camera
  • Patterns are not ideal either. Think about block colours as they are easy on the eyes and won’t distract the interviewer
  • Ensure your hair is neat and tidy. With the High-Definition technology your will be able to see every detail, so grooming is imperative

During your interview

  • Body language is really important when conducting an interview and being on camera is no different. Smile…a warm friendly expression is the key
  • Make eye contact with your interviewer so they know you are engaged in what they are saying
  • Talk at a normal level, like you would if you were in the same room
  • Most importantly, relax and be honest!