Searching for Vacancies
Before applying for positions, it's important that you take the time to understand what the advertisement is telling you about the position itself, and the selection criteria in order to determine if the role is suitable for you.
Most job advertisements include the following:
- Information about the team/business unit/reporting line;
- Information about the key responsibilities of the role;
- The key selection criteria, both essential and desirable.
The Selection Criteria
Throughout an advertisement, there will be information about what experiences, skills and qualifications the ideal candidate will have. It's important to remember that even if you don't tick all of these 'boxes' you should generally meet at least 75% of the criteria before you consider applying.
Essential criteria include:
- Anything that says 'minimum' usually means exactly that
- Qualifications that are driven by the law - e.g. Drivers Licence
You can use this information to:
- Tailor your resume to make sure the essential criteria are clear and the first of your bullet points
- Write your cover letter
Writing Your Resume and Cover Letter
First impressions count - The purpose of a resume is to 'win' an interview.
The resume is a brochure on YOU - your experience, your skills, your key achievements, what you have to offer.
A few key tips are:
- Keep your resume neat, well spaced and uncluttered
- Keep the format simple and easy to read
- Stick to black and white - bright pink or green font colours just aren't professional
- Spell check - several times! Then, ask someone else to read it
- Use bullet points
- Be specific, concise and honest
- Include only the years you worked in your positions - Do include months as well as years
- Leave large gaps unexplained e.g. If you back-packed through Europe or cared for a sick relative, explain it
- Include irrelevant personal information like your marital status, names and ages of your children, religion etc - your resume is about what you've achieved professionally, not personally
- Send your resume out with spelling or grammatical errors
- Use jargon, abbreviations or expressions specific to the organisation you work for
Importance of covering letters
Cover letters allow you to demonstrate that you meet or exceed the requirements listed in the advertisement, and explain why you are interested in the position.
For most positions, it is important to write a cover letter, even if the advertisement doesn't ask for one. Cover letters are particularly important for roles where written communication skills are a requirement.
Cover Letter Do's
- Stick to the facts
- Avoid negatives e.g. reasons for leaving previous/current roles
- Make sure your letter is easy on the eye - avoid bunched up text in long sentences/paragraphs.
- Be specific - write a specific cover letter for every application
- Personalise the cover letter - i.e. address it to the person who advertised the role if that information is available.
- Proof read - and have someone else do it too!
Cover Letter Don'ts
- Go into salary information
- Use one generic cover letter
- Use clichés - every candidate will say they have "excellent communication skills", "the ability to think outside the box" etc
- Cut and paste from your resume
Applying for Positions
This may be the first contact you will have with the managers who are selecting for the position, so it is essential that your application create a good first impression. Many advertisements attract a large number of responses, so a good application will help you to stand out from the others.
Your application may be the only opportunity you have to make your claim for the position, so you should ensure that you clearly demonstrate your interest in the position, address the advertised selection criteria and succinctly demonstrate that you satisfy the selection criteria.
Your application should include a resume tailored for each position as well as a cover letter. You may also need to answer some specific questions during the online application process.
In preparing all parts of your application, keep the following points in mind:
- Pay attention to detail, especially spelling and layout;
- Make sure your comments are related to the selection criteria;
- Be precise about relevant experience;
- Don't give too much unnecessary detail;
- Write a covering letter (not more than 1 page) demonstrating your interest in the position and briefly stating how you meet the selection criteria;
- Always attach a tailored and specific version of your resume;
- All applications must be submitted through our on-line recruitment system;
- Always keep a copy of your application.
What is an Assessment Centre?
Depending on what job you are applying for, you may be required to attend an Assessment Centre as part of the recruitment process. At an Assessment Centre, you will be assessed with other candidates in a group environment. This can be up to a half day of activities designed to reflect some of the day-to-day skills you will need in the role.
Attending the Assessment Centre will be Qantas assessors who will evaluate your performance based on competencies required for the role e.g. Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Motivation etc.
What to expect in an Assessment Centre?
- Information Session - An overview of the role and Qantas
- Group Activity - You will be split into groups (4-6) and will be required to complete a task or solve a problem within a specified timeframe. Tasks may vary in complexity and you will be rated on your individual performance in a group environment
- Interview - At the end of the Assessment Centre, you will undergo a face-to-face interview by one of the assessors
What are some of the qualities the Assessors will be looking out for?
Some of the key qualities the assessors will be evaluating you on in a group activity will be;
|Interpersonal Sensitivity|| |
|Team Work|| |
|Customer Service|| |
|Personal Presentation|| |
Preparing for an Interview
You have been asked to attend an interview....... Well done!
Interview preparation is very important: if you have prepared yourself well, you will show your interviewers that you have thought about the job and are genuinely interested in it.
Some tips on preparing for interviews are:
1. How to prepare for an interview
- Review the advertisement - highlight the key selection criteria and prepare possible responses.
- Print a copy of your resume and cover letter to take with you
- Research the company by reading their website and any other publications available.
- You may be asked questions around your employment history, reasons for leaving positions and motivation as well as possible strengths and development areas.
- Be prepared to answer some of the competency based questions using specific, real examples from your previous work history.
- Prepare some questions to ask about the role, the team and/or the company.
2. How to promote yourself successfully
- Be on time
- Be well presented
- Be prepared
- Be honest
- Shake hands with your interviewers firmly, and maintain eye contact where appropriate.
3. Interview Do's and Don'ts
- Answer the questions asked of you succinctly and honestly - avoid rambling
- Don't criticise or be negative towards your former employer or manager
- Don't swear or use jargon
Behavioural Interview and the STAR Technique
In your interview we ask about your past experience, not only in relation to this role, but also any relevant work or life experiences you have had.
Qantas prefers to conduct what is called a Behavioural Interview, where you will be asked to tell us about a situation you have been in where you have displayed a certain competency e.g. Teamwork
For example this is how we will ask a behavioural based question:
- Tell us about a time you helped a team member?
- What was it that they needed help with?
- What did you do to help them?
- How did it all work out?
To answer a question like this in a behavioural interview you would respond in the STAR format
S = Situation - briefly describe the situation
T = Task - comment on the task that you were required to carry out
A = Action - briefly describe the action you took highlighting the competency you are trying to demonstrate
R = Result - Describe the outcome / result of your action
Remember, the interview is also an opportunity for you to find out more about us and to make sure the role and Qantas is right for you
If you are successful:
- Phone or meet with the relevant manager to clarify any outstanding issues about the work and job to be done.
- Before accepting an offer of employment, ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of employment and have had an opportunity to fully review any documentation (such as a Letter Of Appointment).
If you are unsuccessful:
- Don't be discouraged - keep trying.
- Don't take it personally.
- It doesn't necessarily mean you couldn't do the job. Another applicant may simply have met the selection criteria more closely.
- Seek feedback from the interview panel, both on your presentation at the interview and your suitability for the job.
- Try and get more interview practice to improve your performance.
- Remain positive.