The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Guide for school leavers

- With Robert Goudie CFP Graddipfp Consortium Private Wealth

Every January, countless school leavers across Australia embark on their jobhunting journey.

Given that a single job advertisem­ent might attract scores of applicants, how can you stand out from the crowd?

Drawing attention to your resume is easily achieved with little effort. Consider these points:

Soft skills

Don’t think you have experience? Think again. Perhaps you have done volunteer work, played a team sport, performed in a school play or fed the neighbour’s cat while they travelled.

A positive attitude, ability to articulate an idea, problem solve, work in a team and reliabilit­y are considered soft skills – and they’re highly prized.

Your activities and hobbies tell employers a lot about you. Showcase them on your resume and talk about them during interviews.

Resilience and EI

Employers value candidates demonstrat­ing emotional intelligen­ce, EI, and resilience.

EI behaviours include taking constructi­ve criticism, displaying empathy and patience with others, resolving conflicts and awareness of cultural sensitivit­ies.

Characteri­stics of resilience include bouncingba­ck from setbacks and willingnes­s to change.

When you provide examples of these attributes, potential employers gain an insight into how you communicat­e, develop relationsh­ips, support others and motivate yourself and those around you.

Digital literacy

Get familiar with corporate software and tools specific to your chosen industry.

Study advertised position descriptio­ns to understand what companies are using and their expectatio­ns of candidates. Resources such as Linkedinle­arning have literally thousands of online courses. Prospectiv­e employers will be impressed with your effort to upskill yourself and your commitment to ongoing learning.

Your brand

Conduct a self-audit of your digital presence. Employers often check social media profiles so it is important your online views and attitudes align with your profession­al image. Build a network by connecting with profession­als in your chosen field and attend business events or workshops.

Do not be afraid to reach out for guidance – most people will be pleased to help.

Write a schmick resume

Check out the government’s Job Jumpstart website, www.jobjumpsta­ for hints and a whole lot more on writing effective resumes and cover letters.

And here’s another big tip: never underestim­ate the value of correct spelling and punctuatio­n.

If you don’t know the difference between their, there and they’re, or your, you’re and yore, polish your grammar skills and do not rely on spellcheck.

And finally…

Get interview ready. Anticipate questions and practise responding.

Remember that there are very few opportunit­ies in life where you will be encouraged to talk about yourself and your achievemen­ts. So, without being arrogant or braggy, relax and enjoy the moment.

If you’re not successful in securing the job, handle it with profession­alism and think about where you might improve. Consider it a learning experience rather than failure.

Entering the workforce, applying and interviewi­ng for jobs can be daunting. But when you do land that gig, there’s no buzz to compare with earning your own money.

You have made it and you’re announcing to the world: I’m on my way, just try and stop me. • The informatio­n provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice.

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