Archive for Students

Life After School-Where to Now?

I wish I had a dollar for every time I asked a school leaver what next after school and the reply is “I don’t know….”

school_leaversAfter thirteen years of trying to discover what you are good at and striving for success it’s suddenly game over.

What Now?

Your social group will be going in all directions, you no longer have the daily interaction with your teachers and all of a sudden your life is in your hands.

Whether you have chosen tertiary studies, employment, travel or a gap year, no matter what path taken your expectations will now play a big part in your future success.

Many school leavers have unrealistic expectations of a job or career and often quickly find themselves disillusioned with their choices.

When making important career decisions it is important to look beneath the surface and ensure that you have not only casual contact with a profession or industry.

Here is a list of activities you must engage in to ensure that you go into a new profession with your eyes wide open:

  • Speak with the people currently working in the industry or job
  • Download Career Advice Apps on iPhone or Android to view interviews with professionals working in various roles
  • Find out about levels of administration involved in an occupation- how much paperwork, reporting and compliance is really required?
  • Learn about any undesirable tasks that might be part of a job or profession
  • Spend a considerable time researching the industry and ask questions about a typical day at work and see how the job is performed on a daily,weekly or monthly basis
  • Gather significant information before investing in a university degree program
  • Discover normal salary ranges before you attend interviews – go to sites such as and – be aware of market salary ranges before you are asked the question- “what salary range would you be expecting?”
  • Weigh up the aspects of the job that you do or don’t like- is it in line with your work values?
  • Do your skills match those required or can you learn these skills easily and transfer them to on the job?

The more prepared you are about the realities  of a profession the better you will be prepared for the world of work after school.

For access to a free 10 week Career Advice Program please log onto:

Job Hunting – A Full-Time Job

It has been said that looking for a job is a full time job.

Yes, possibly, however by learning how to use social media and relevant and professional applications you will be well on your being offered a position before too long.

Sourcing Jobs – Don’t ignore the increasing importance of finding jobs on job boards on the Linked In social media groups platform and on business/organisation websites.

If you have found a Job Ad, there may be a contact name of the person responsible for recruiting for the position. Gather the courage and contact that person to have a conversation about the role. Take note of key words used and make notes while you are listening. Then use this language and key words in your application.

Depending on the type of work you have sourced there will be three main documents to prepare:

Resume – a succinct and up to date document detailing your work history in bullet points. Don’t be afraid to mention maternity leave. Be creative here and list all the skills you use as a mother e.g. organisational skills, multi tasking, budgeting, networking, planning, negotiation etc… the list is endless….The best tool to use is a Skills Audit which lists a diverse range of skills that you can tick off and include in your resume.

Ensure dates on your resume link up work backwards from your current role as a mother (Domestic Duties) to previous roles or positions held.

Your Resume should contain information under the following headings:

  • Personal Details
  • Career Objective
  • Personal Attributes
  • Demonstrated Abilities
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Interests
  • Memberships
  • Employment History
  • Referees- available upon request

Application Cover Letter – this your sales document and done well, needs to grab the attention of the recruiting person. Carefully analyse the job ad- rather than repeating the information in your resume address the job requirements and include positions that you have held previously and how they are relevant to the position advertised.

Use formal language and never use jargon or abbreviations.

Don’t forget to ask for the interview at the end of the letter with a statement such as “I look forward to discussing this application with
you personally at a time of your convenience.”

Statement Addressing Key Selection Criteria – Some positions require a response to a Key Selection Criteria.

When you look at the list don’t eliminate yourself from applying because you may not have experience in one or two areas. You may
have skills or experience similar to those required. Follow the layout of the requirements for example, if there are 5 selection criteria 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 etc follow these numbers and respond to each point. Take note of the language used and stay very close to what is required rather than what you would like to say.

Where you have a skill or experience gap mention what your strategy would be to upskill or learn that particular skill or gain knowledge.

Social Media – Social media is increasingly being used as the tool for professional networking and job hunting.

Linked In is an excellent source of network groups willing to share information and some groups have job boards which advertise positions available.

Interviews – if you have done a great job with your application your interview may be a simple meet and greet exercise to see if you what you have said on paper. If you are interviewed by a Human Resources person they always look for how you will “fit into” the team and organisation. A recruiting manager will always want to know about your technical ability and knowledge and how this can benefit the organisation.

Wherever possible take samples of your work such as completed projects, a list of your achievements and other relevant documents into the interview and produce them if you are given the opportunity and think it is appropriate.

Honesty is always the best policy and remember to always relate your experience to what is required!!!