5 Typical Resume Writing Mistakes

guest-blogging-1Resume trends and hiring manager’s preferences change quickly these days, so it’s important to keep up with current styles. These are some of the top 5 common resume writing mistakes job seekers make. If you find your resume is following into any of these categories try to change it up!

Resume isn’t reader friendly:

Hiring managers and recruitment agents are going through hundreds of applications for every one position. They don’t have the time or patience to try to decipher a resume that is cluttered, unorganized or difficult to read because of all the different styles and fonts going on. Make sure your resume is reader friendly—meaning it’s structured simply, includes clear headers and not too busy. Believe it or not, a simply typo or grammatical error can get your resume tossed in the trash so look over your resume several times and ask a friend to proofread it for any common mistakes you might have missed.

Not specific to the position you’re applying for:

Nowadays, one size does not fit all when it comes to your resume. Your resume should be modified slightly for each position you apply for, highlighting your most relevant experience related to the position you’re applying to.

Using online resume templates:

If you want a sure way to look like every other job seeker out there, use an online resume template. Online resume templates can be outdated, include complex or difficult to read organizational layout and cause you to lose authenticity.

Doesn’t focus on achievements:

It used to be okay for you to simply list the duties and responsibilities of your previous positions and that was enough to get you an interview. Unfortunately it’s not the case anymore. The competition for jobs is fierce. If you want to stand a chance at getting called in for an interview you need to focus on achievements you accomplished in your previous experience rather than simple responsibilities and activities. In addition, you should include key words from the job description to ensure that the terminology you use matches up with that of employers.

Limiting resume to one page:

I remember when I wrote my first resume, I was told that it should all fit onto one page. Well that trend has changed and it’s now okay to have a resume that’s a few pages long. Don’t go on for too long but it’s better to properly highlight all of your experiences than to condense everything into one page and miss out on including all of your achievements for each relevant position.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

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Category: Guest Blogs Resume Writing Tips from the Pros

10 Great Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

Interview_Secrets_Exposed1 (1)In a job interview, the majority of the questions are directed at you. Interviews can seem very one-sided and intimidating at times. However at the end of each interview, most employers will leave some time to ask you if you have any questions for them. Some candidates get taken aback by this question or are too nervous to think of any questions to ask. Employers say most candidates don’t take advantage of the opportunity to ask them questions enough, leaving them to assume that maybe the candidate is not serious about the position or thinking seriously if the job is the right fit for them.

Be prepared with some questions about the position you’re applying for before you go in for an interview. If your questions are answered during the interview, try to at least ask some follow-up questions to the information they provided. Asking questions is a great way to show the research you’ve done on the company—new projects, partnerships or campaigns they’ve launched, and express your seriousness about the position. Through intelligent, inquisitive questions you can end the interview with a bang and leave the interviewers with a positive impression of you even if the entire interview wasn’t perfect.

Remember that the more detailed questions you can ask specifically about the company, the better. Just be sure to phrase them in a professional way, keep it positive and don’t bring up any controversial topics. Check out some of the best questions to ask in an interview below. You can tailor them to the position/ company you’re interviewing for.

1) If hired, how could I best help the company meet its goals?

2) What do you like most about working here and what would you say is the most important aspect of your company culture? What is your ideal communication style with your staff?

3) If I were to start tomorrow what should the top priorities be on my to-do list?

4) What are your expectations for this position and how can someone surpass your expectations?

5) What are the top skill and qualities you feel the right candidate needs to excel in this position?

6) What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?

7) What does a typical day or work week look like for the person in this position? Could you tell me any examples of projects I would be working on if I were to get the position?

8) Does the company offer any continued education or professional training opportunities?

9) Is there anything that stands out to you that makes you think I might Not be the right fit for this position?

10) What are the next steps in the selection process? When do you expect to make a decision?

© RedStarResume Publications –

The Brand new Ebook from RedStarResume “Interview Secrets Exposed” is an insider’s guide on everything you need to know in order to nail your job interview.


Category: BookStore Interviewing Job Search Tips from the Pros

How to staff your start up!

startupPart-Time, Contractor, Temp, Casual, Full-Time or outsource EVERYTHING??

It’s a question every entrepreneur asks him or herself when considering how to achieve their new-business goals.The natural cost-efficient method many new business owners opt for is to try to go it alone during the start-up phase. But it’s important to know when it’s time to hire, and what your hiring options can include.

Getting help so you can focus on the core business strategy is an important step in owning a new business. Whether this is from day one or later down the track, when you have determined it’s time to get help, it’s worthwhile taking careful considerations to your options and their immediate and longer term implications:

Independent Contractors/Outsourcing

A very useful initial approach would be to hiring independent contractors or outsource instead of hiring employees. Using independent contractors allows you to easily staff up or down as needed, depending on your business short term objectives.
The Pro’s;
typically less expensive than hiring employees
flexibility to engage on a project or per-hour basis
avoid ancillary costs and taxes associated with part time/full time staff
immediate access to specialist experts in their fields

The Con’s:
less control over the output of an independent contractor or outsourced provider
you could potentially be leaving your intellectual property or key business strategies in the hands of an outsider

Part-Time (casual or temp) Employees
When looking at your budget and possibly being unsure around the time required for each activity, part-time employees can provide an excellent option where flexibility will be key.

The Pro’s:
part-timers can adapt to your pace of development
you can have full control over their activities whilst in your work place
generally part-time staff are less expensive than full time or independent contractors
you can quickly adjust their hours if needed
they can develop with your business and there is always the potential to increase hours or even become full time employees
part–time staff are hired specifically for their existing skills and should hit the ground running
as they are part of your business they can form relationships with customers and suppliers

The Con’s;
part-time staff may leave your business without much notice
you must ensure that you are complying with local and federal employment obligations as they relate to part time staff
part-time employees incur taxation costs
by their nature part-time staff enjoy the flexibility this type of arrangement offers them. You will have to be prepared for potential changes to their schedules

Full-Time Employees

There is no question that hiring full-time employees has advantages however finding the correct employee to take a punt on your idea, no matter how great can be difficult, especially if your ideal catch is already working in another employer.

The Pro’s:
building a full-time and dedicated team of employees can help your business form a sense of community and work to your goals
full-timers are likely (not always) to be more reliable, punctual and loyal than independent contractors or part-timers
they can buy into your strategy and really care about your longer-term business goals

The Con’s
salaried full-time employees cost more
to attract high-quality workers, you’ll possibly have to offer incentives
full-time employees are looking for career/professional development which may not be compatible with your stage of evolution
incumbent in hiring any full-time employees are your legal responsibilities as an employer, such as compliance with relevant employment laws and employee rights relating to termination, employee safety, benefits, discrimination, harassment, and more

Don Robertson is the MD of

Category: Guest Blogs

The Elevator Speech Marketing Tool

guest-blogging-1When you’re on the search for a new job, it’s important to pull out all the stops. The competition for jobs is fierce; in order to stand out amongst the crowd you have to market yourself in the best way possible. For some of us, that doesn’t come as easily as others but creating an “Elevator Speech” concisely stating who you are and your most valuable assets can get you on the right track.

For those of you who haven’t heard of an Elevator Speech, it’s a speech designed to sell an organization or individual’s brand to someone in the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator with a stranger from the top of the building to the bottom floor. It should be engaging, persuasive and brief so that you could theoretically tell it to anyone you meet for career networking, job fairs, during job interviews if asked to talk about yourself, or in everyday situations where you might meet someone and describe what you do in your professional life.

An Elevator Speech should be:

Brief: This is something short and to the point that you can easily remember. The short version need only be 15 to 30 seconds but you can also create a longer, more in-depth version between 1-2 minutes long.

Persuasive and enthusiastic: If you’re not excited about your “product”, which in this case is yourself, then why should anyone else be? Present yourself confidently and build up the accomplishments you’ve made.


Your name:

Your recent position or career field:

State your current position or professional title so people can understand what line of work you’re in. If you’re a student or recent grad it’s okay to use that as your position.

A few of your top skills and recent accomplishments:

This is where you really sell yourself. What makes you unique? What makes you an invaluable asset to any company or organization? Talk about what you see as your key skills in the workplace and some successful accomplishments you’ve achieved. You could include a promotion, recognition you received, a new program you implemented, sales goals you reached, and so on. It’s important to be honest about your accomplishments but don’t downplay your work either. Activities we take for granted in a job can usually be seen as valuable experience and achievements.

What you’re looking for:

If you are in the market for a new job or career change, think about how to mention what field or job positions you’re looking for and how you are hoping to apply your previous experiences and skills (your transferable skills) in a new job or industry.

Create a sample Elevator Speech and test it out on friends and family to get some feedback. Make sure your speech really is a self-promotion and convinces individuals and employers of your invaluable competences.

© RedStarResume Publications

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writing service? Contact the team at RedStarResume!

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Category: Guest Blogs Job Search Tips from the Pros

Evil Resume Templates

templates-icon11-500x288I hate resume templates … and here’s why!

Do a simple search in Google for “Resume Templates” and you will soon find that there are literally thousands of templates that you can copy and use. There are even many companies that sell these exact resume templates online.  As a resume writing specialist, and someone who has worked alongside multinational companies in relation to hiring and candidate selection, I can tell you that not only can I spot a resume template from a mile away, but more importantly it is the first impression I make about the job candidate based on their template.

In the current competitive job environment I can tell you that it takes a lot more than using a generic resume template found on Google. If you have found and downloaded the template imagine, how many people before you have used the exact same one?  Anyone who tells you that a “one size fits all” resume will work for you is wrong and is doing you a massive disfavour.

How should I approach my resume writing?

As a job seeker, you need to promote the skills and achievements that make you unique. As each job seeker is different, there is no formula to follow that will be the same for every person. For example, an entry level candidate or recent graduate will structure their resume completely differently to a senior professional or executive. A graduate with limited work experience needs to highlight their education, university associations, memberships and internships. This type of information needs to appear on page 1 of the resume to capture the reader’s attention as soon as they open your resume.  Although you may have worked in retail or hospitality throughout your degree this information while important, is secondary to your educational information.

An executive resume is completely the opposite. Your education is not as important as your work experience. Executive resume writing is highlighting not just your tangible skills but must include your non tangible skills, such as being a good leader and mentor. As past behaviour is the best indicator of how you will perform in the future, the front page of an executive resume needs to emphasise key achievements. When a hiring manager opens up an executive resume you want them to think “look at all the great accomplishments this person has achieved.”

Final thought:

Most people don’t realise that before a hiring manager has opened your resume it has already passed the first stage of the selection process by passing the “Recruiting Software” test.  Due to the volume of resumes hiring managers and recruiters can receive; many organisations now use recruiting software to help eliminate and select first round candidates. The problem with software programs is that they often don’t read fancy resume templates. Graphics, tables, boxes, fancy font and colours can actually end up looking like one big mess to a computer program.

My advice is simple. Stay clear of resume templates. Most templates have been around for years and years and have been seen hundreds of times by hiring managers. If you want to stand out from the pack, you need to be unique and this all starts with your resume.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Do you need help writing a resume?

Stand Out From The Crowd With Professional Resumes and Cover letters from RedStarResume

Specializing in over 35 Industries! – Turn your resume into an achievement based marketing documents in just 48-72 hours

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Category: Resume Writing Tips from the Pros

Career Content Writing

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Category: Guest Blogs Tips from the Pros

Advantages and Disadvantages of Temporary Employment

tempSo you have left your job without a new job to go to. You haven’t done this before, your funds are starting to get rather low and you need a short term job right this very minute.

Or you are bored of working in the same environment day in and day out and are looking for some variety?

Or you have a wildly exciting overseas trip planned in 8 months, have left your current role and know you can not commit to a permanent position at this moment.

Or unfortunately you have just been made redundant (or even worse fired…) and you would like to bounce straight into another role.
All of the above (and many more) are reasons for why people seek temporary (more commonly known as ‘temp’) employment.
Right, you say – I can understand that, but what exactly is temp work?

Temporary employment refers to an employment situation whereby the employee is expected to leave within a certain period of time. Temporary workers may be employed directly by an employer or by private agencies. Agencies will recruit, select and sometimes even train temporary workers and hire them out to employers. It is the perfect vehicle for a person to put on different hats, work in a broad range of different business and possibly even add new skills and experiences. Temporary workers are generally paid an hourly rate, are eligible for superannuation however as whole are not entitled to paid holiday leave or sick leave.

Temp work can be very fast paced and dynamic, with job opportunities coming and going literally every day. If you are as flexible as you can possibly be, you should have no trouble finding a temporary position to begin work in.


1. An income – this is pretty straightforward. It is much better tobe getting paid than not getting paid!

2. Ability to learn new skills – exposure to new software is a big one here with the multitude of databases, CRM’s etc out there. Temping allows you to add another notch in your tool belt of skills on your resume.

3. Meet new people – you never know who might sit next too, meet in the kitchen or even at the water cooler (do those things still exist?!)

4. Potentially lead to full time employment – if you are ultimately seeking a full time role in an industry, company or position similar to the one you are temping in you never know where it may take you. There are many benefits to being in a company, being present and visible and showcasing your skills and abilities to be possibly hired into a full-time position.


1. You might end up doing work you really do not enjoy – this can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation. It is important to try to remember to remain positive and upbeat and even ask your supervisor or manager if there is any additional (read : more interesting work available!)

2. The Job will come to an end – and with that comes and end to income. If you are requiring temporary work after your assignment is scheduled to end it is best to start looking about two weeks before it is due to conclude.

3. Finding it hard to find temporary works that closely match your skills and abilities – if you happen to be an experienced Executive Assistant you may find yourself needing to take a Receptionist position if there is nothing else available.
Temp work does not appeal to everyone, however if you love variety and get bored of sitting at the same desk every day then it could be an option for you!

For the very best temporary, part time, contract and casual roles visit JobFlex Online

Category: Career Management Guest Blogs Job Search Tips from the Pros

5 Tips for a Safe Online Job Search

guest-blogging-1Think your safe job-searching online? Think again.

Guest article by Teena Rose — a highly endorsed resume writer and career coach with Resume to Referral. Mrs. Rose writes professional, fresh, and attention-grabbing resumes, social media profiles, and bios for national and international executives.

Conducting a job search using the Internet has definitely transformed how jobseekers contact hiring companies. The availability of copying and pasting a text version resume into a form at a company’s website [or uploading a Word file] has laid the foundation for an easier and more convenient job-search process. No longer does a jobseeker need to spend hours with the traditional method of printing and mailing his resume to countless recipients.

With the Internet’s convenience, a breeding ground for scam artists continues to grow each year as well.

Identity thefts increased overwhelming between 2008 and 2010, effecting 3.5% of the adult American population by some studies. Many of these cases are the result of phishing — so not surprisingly, the employment industry is under attack as well. The FTC has reported that more 10% of total fraud involves employment fraud.

Phishing is an attempt to extract personal information through what appears to be authentic emails. If you are job searching, an email from a seemingly interested recruiter, for example, may not raise a red flag with you. You may think that the contact person and company listed are legitimate. Yet, looks can be deceiving. Knowing what to look for and how to spot fraud (or potential for abuse) can be the best deterrent to ensuring you have a safe experience, while conducting your job search.

Be leery of submission invitations.
Scammers and spammers follow much the same patterns. Mass emails are sent to an enormous list of recipients. Not everyone on the “hit list” is searching for a new job; however, only a small number of people need to be convinced or tricked into believing the email is authentic in order for the scam to be deemed successful. Receiving an email from a recruiter who states, “We saw your resume on the Internet, and we find your skill set to be perfect for one of our clients. Please complete our online application through the below link.”

Should this happen to you, ponder these questions:

Did you send your resume to this recruiter? 

If not, how did the company learn about you [legitimate emails should tell you]? Just mentioning “saw your resume on the Internet” is vague.

Upon further examination, do the company and the company rep appear reputable? 

Visit the company’s website (caution: type the web address into your browser, avoid clicking the link in the email). If you’re still unable to determine the validity of the request, call the company. Verify everything; sender’s name, email address, and so on. Still avoid clicking the link in the email … it’s just a good habit to start! Always proceed with suspicion when you receive any cold-contact email from someone.

Avoid responding to requests for personal information, such as a social security or credit card number.
Let’s say you receive an email from what appears to be a well-known job bank. The email states that your account needs your contact and payment information to be updated in order for service renewal. You click on the link and you’re taken to a page that looks, feels, and “smells” right. You then proceed by submitting the requested information. The link appeared safe, but you were taken to a site designed to defraud you.

When purchasing from resume, using a paid resume submission service, or any other service for that matter, ensure the private information you provide is encrypted upon hitting submit.
Encryption, in short, ensures the private information you submit online is kept safe. When at your browser, you can recognize an encrypted form when the root URL starts with “https:” instead of “http:” or you see the padlock present in the bottom right corner of your screen. Purchasing from companies having added security measures in place can ensure your private information avoids the hands of ill-willed people. Learn more about encryption by reading Jeff Tyson’s article titled, “How Encryption Works,” at

Read and understand the privacy policy of sites you patron.
The Better Business Bureau possesses a strict policy for members who do business online. A privacy statement for example must be displayed on member’s website, no exceptions. High business practices are a necessity for maintaining the trust of online buyers; and the BBB understands the critical importance of trust among consumers. A privacy statement outlines what type of customer information is collected and how it’s used. Information transferred or sold could be basic, like name and email address, or far more in-depth like name, address, social security number, and phone number. No matter how basic or detailed the information, the company must have the logistics spelled out in their privacy policy, so you can make the decision whether to patron the site in the first place.

Tell — because so few others do!
Reports show a staggering 80% of online fraud goes unreported. If the proper authorities aren’t aware of the magnitude of fraud that actually exists on the Internet, then getting the much-needed funds to battle the problem will take more time. The Internet Fraud Complaint Center ( has an online complaint feature for individuals to report phishing attacks. The IFCC report process requires basic information, including information on the perpetrator and type of fraud.

For phishing schemes, forward the fraudulent email to the legitimate company in addition to filing a formal complaint with IFCC. Phishing is smearing the good names of countless companies, and notifying the company about the scam can also help the fight. Bringing affected companies on board early will provide a multi-prong approach to this epidemic.

The lesson jobseekers should learn is to avoid giving your information out freely. Whether you’re at the end of a phishing attack or the job application requires more information than you’re willing to provide, proceed with caution.  Much like you’ll analyze job opportunities; intensely examine each person who receives your personal information. With safe online practices, you’ll get the best return from your job-search efforts — instead of spending hours filing a police report and calling credit bureaus and credit card companies.

Category: Guest Blogs Job Search Tips from the Pros

Finding A Specialist Job Recruitment Agent

Job_300x299An Executive Recruiter can be relied on to find you a job via tried and trusted methods that will benefit your career. Respected headhunters or job recruiters will be hired directly by specific firms to fill their vacancies. This can be invaluable in helping you to land your dream job. If your dream job is to work for a particular firm, the first step is to find out who does their recruiting or staffing solutions. If you don’t have a desire to be employed with a particular firm then you can start by finding a reputable recruiting firm. Ensure that the firm you use has a solid reputation for recruiting within your type of industry.

When you begin your job search and start looking for that dream job that meets both your financial and job satisfaction requirements, it’s important to work with a recruiter that you trust. Choosing a recruiter who is knowledgeable about the types of positions you require and the types of jobs that are available is crucial. Finding a recruiter who you can develop a relationship with will further be beneficial to you throughout your entire career. My most important tip is finding a recruiter with an excellent understanding of your particular job market. Recruiters who have personal arrangements and contacts with certain companies will also be an advantage.

No matter if you’re looking for a job with a multinational corporation or a part-time position with a small family owned business, many companies will use a job recruiter who has proven to be trusted when it comes to finding quality staff to fill positions. This is beneficial to experienced and qualified professionals who are seeking jobs, as it means that your recruiter understands the market and understands what both parties are looking for. This is the ideal situation for both the job seeker and employers.

Can I trust my Recruiter?

Recruiters don’t get paid until they find you a job. (The employer pays the recruiter not the job seeker!) As such, it is in everyone’s best interest that you are honest and upfront with your recruiter. Remember that they are on your side and working for you. If your specialist recruiter is properly informed of your skills, workplace experience and career goals, then they are in a position to recommend you for jobs that match your preferences.

Don’t forget that your recruiter will also be familiar with the interview techniques and help with resume writing as well as other requirements that a particular company is looking for in the perfect job candidate.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Stand Out From The Crowd With A Brand New Professional Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile From RedStarResume:

Specializing In Over 35 Industries! – Turn your resume into an achievement based marketing documents in just 48-72 hours

Find A Recruiter: Speak to the experts at RedStarResume and find out how we can put you in touch with a specialist Recruitment Agent


Category: Career Management Job Search Networking Tips from the Pros

Career Tips for College Students


Top 4 Career Tips for College Students:

If you do only 4 things for your career while in college, listen to these words of advice. These are easy, simple things you can do in college that can help you make an easier transition from student to job seeker when the time comes.

Get to know one professor well:

You can gain a great deal of real world advice from your professors. Many colleges and universities encourage professors to make time to meet with students outside of class, take advantage. Professors can lead you to resources and opportunities in the field, not to mention they sometimes take on research assistants over the summer or during the school term. It’s also helpful if a professor knows you well to provide recommendations and references in the future.

Find an internship:

Internships are a great way to boost your resume while you’re still in college. Internships also provide a great opportunity for you to determine the type of companies and positions you want to work for in the future. For many students, internships can provide some of the only directly related work experience to a field of interest and give you an edge once you graduate and apply for jobs.

Take on at least one campus activity:

Find a club, professional association or volunteer opportunity on campus or nearby that you can consistently be involved in during your time in college. Many colleges host events at the beginning of the school year to provide information on clubs and activities for students to get involved in on campus. Find something that interests you or relates to your field of study and get involved. You could join the Marketing Club or Debate Team on campus, help build houses on the weekends or tutor students at a local elementary school or community organization. Getting involved in an activity can help you gain experience while you’re still in school and demonstrate commitment and reliability to something outside of your regular courses.

Visit your career services office:

Besides providing numerous resources to assist you with career development, internships and job searching, the career services office can help you explore your interests and your options post-graduation. College is a great place to explore different interests and be exposed to new ideas, subjects and activities. The career services office is a great place to help you explore fields of study as well as possible career areas that are right for you. At the very least, visit your career services office and see what they offer.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Do you need help writing a resume?

Stand Out From The Crowd With Professional Resumes and Cover letters from RedStarResume

Specializing in over 35 Industries! – Turn your resume into an achievement based marketing documents in just 48-72 hours

Check Out Our Brand New Student & Graduate EBook

The Ultimate Student & Graduate Job Handbook – “Everything You Need To Transition From College Graduate To Job Seeker”


Category: Career Management Students & Grads Tips from the Pros

Find A Job In Australia

Are you currently seeking a job in Australia?

Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and boasts a fantastic Skilled Migration Program:

Are you a highly skilled migrant or an international student looking to find employment opportunities in Australia? Or perhaps you’re an Australian job seeker trying to find a new job?

No matter who you are, if you require a job in Australia this EBook is for you!


 The Ultimate Australian Job Search Handbook will give you all the tips that you require to find job success in Australia.

Every job market from around the world is unique, and the Australian job market is no different. In order to find a job in Australia you need to properly prepare yourself for the entire job process. This includes preparing an “Aussie” resume (that targets Australian hiring managers and recruitment agents), establishing your job searching strategies and acing the job interview. This EBook will also help you with every stage of the job interview process including preparing for common interview questions, how to answer those tough interview questions, preparing for phone interviews and even how to dress on the day of your big interview in order to create that first impression.

The purchase of the EBook is your first step to finding your dream job in Australia.

 What you will find in this EBook:

Australian Resume Writing

The Australian Job Market

Job Search Tactics

Preparing To Find a Job In Australia

Types of Interview Questions

Job Interviewing Tips & Secrets

How To Answer Tough Job Interview Questions


Creating A LinkedIn Profile

Australian Recruitment Agents

Category: BookStore Tips from the Pros

What Skills Did I Learn In College

guest-blogging-1Graduation loomed in the distance. While I was excited to put my studies behind and finally enter the real world, a kind of dread came over me when I looked at my classmates and realized the strong technical experience the engineers and IT students had. As a liberal arts major, most of my classes were based on reading, researching, analyzing and writing papers. What real skills did I have to convince employers to hire me? How would I portray these skills in my professional resume or cover letter?

As graduation gets closer, a lot of students (especially the liberal arts majors out there) start to feel intimidated and wonder what relevant skills they’ve actually gained from college. You may not realize it, but you’ve learned more skills through your college years than you realize. It’s important to recognize the skills you’ve developed through your college education and be able to communicate it to potential employers.

Let’s think about just some of the skills you’ve probably gained as a student that employers look for in job candidates. Think about the activities done for courses and translate them into skills you’ve acquired. Remember, these are skills on top of the technical skills and other knowledge you’ve gained through your studies. I’m sure you can think of numerous other examples:

Critical Thinking:

Critical thinking involves analyzing information, seeing the big picture and comprehending information. Students use critical thinking skills in many ways during their college years including humanities courses where you’re asked to analyze information or take a particular viewpoint on a topic or piece of work. You also use critical thinking skills in labs and other hands-on courses where you need to analyze the results of your findings.


Effective communication skills mean you can write and speak clearly, communicating ideas and information. As a student, you’ve definitely used communication skills reading, speaking up in class lectures and writing papers and reports. Being an effective communicator is one of the essential skills employers seek in job candidates.

Presentation1888Team Player:

Most jobs require at least some collaboration with fellow employees, clients or stakeholders. It’s important to be able to work well with others to achieve a common goal. As a college student, you’ve likely worked with your fellow students on class projects, research assignments, labs, or in extracurricular clubs and sports teams.

Time management and Coordination:

As a student, you’ve likely juggled a lot of different classes and activities all at once during your college career. Maybe you even did it with a full or part-time job. If you’ve made it to graduation, you’ve definitely learned this skill—time management. Employers look for employees who can handle several tasks at once, are able to prioritize their time and get everything done on time.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!


Category: Students & Grads Tips from the Pros

Student And Graduate Resume Writing

6 Things to Include on your Resume as a Current Student or Recent Gradratuate


One of the first steps in making the transition from student to job seeker is to create a professional resume. At first glance it may seem like you don’t have much to put on your resume as a student or recent grad, however if you assess your past experiences you’ll realize you have more relevant experience to highlight on your resume than you think. Employers look to your past performance to predict your success in the future. As a student or recent graduate, jobs aren’t the only way you can demonstrate your prior success. Remember that resume writing is all about highlighting your achievements. Don’t forget to include examples and evidence to further promote your value added skills to hiring managers.

Relevant Coursework:

As a student or recent graduate, employers realize that so far most of your life has been spent in the classroom, learning and studying. It’s beneficial to highlight coursework that is related to the field you’re applying for. This can show employers that you’ve learned relevant material from your studies and that you have thorough knowledge that can be an asset to their company.


Of course you’ll want to include any and all student internships you’ve had in the past. It’s always better if you’ve participated in an internship related to the jobs you’re applying for; however having any type of internship can show a level of maturity and responsibility. It also shows that you’ve been exposed to a real working environment and are better prepared to enter the workforce.

Part-time/ Summer Jobs:

Don’t belittle your part-time or seasonal work experience. A job in retail or summer camp may not seem relevant to the field you’re going into, however you learn a great deal of foundational skills by having a part-time job that prepares you for having a full-time position. Employers like to see that you’re mature enough to hold a job and learn some basic skills and work ethic.

Volunteer Work:

Volunteering can also provide valuable skills and promote leadership and cooperation. It’s good to include any volunteering you’ve been part of in the past, as it can also demonstrate maturity, responsibility, team work and cooperation.

Extra-curricular Activities:

Feel free to list relevant extra-curricular activities on your resume. Anything you do on your free time that shows commitment, leadership, team work, etc. You can demonstrate skills you’ve acquired through your extra-curricular activities. For example if you’ve played on a sports team while in school, this can show you’re a team player and able to successfully handle multiple tasks.

Memberships/ Affiliations:

Including relevant memberships and affiliations can help demonstrate your commitment to a particular field of study, issue, or show your success in a certain area if membership is merit-based.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!


Category: Resume Writing Students & Grads Tips from the Pros

Making Your Internship Count

Interns-WantedInternships can be the gateway to finding your true calling or landing that dream job. But unfortunately internships can also feel like a useless waste of time if you don’t establish goals ahead of time and be proactive in getting the most out of your internship. Sometimes you have to push to get the type of exposure and experience you want out of your internship.

Set out clear goals you want to accomplish during your internship:

Some internships provide actual job descriptions with a list of duties and responsibilities for the intern; however many internships aren’t that structured and you’ll end up getting more out of your internship if you set clear goals you want to accomplish throughout your time. Make personal goals for yourself such as gaining exposure to certain aspects of the company or department, deciding which area you’d like to specialize in, learning research skills, building relationships with staff, attending meetings, etc. Try to set out goals before you start the internship and go back and evaluate them a few weeks after you start to make sure you stay on track to accomplish them. Make sure to keep track of the projects you’ve worked on and skills developed to translate them into accomplishments on your resume.

Keep an open mind:

Internships are about broadening your horizons and gaining exposure to a particular career. An internship may help you solidify your career goals, or help you to realize a job isn’t for you. Be sure to keep an open mind during your internship to learn new things and discover the aspects of the job you like and dislike. You may learn that the dream job you’ve always wanted looks a lot different in reality, or learn about a job title in the field you didn’t realize existed before.

Meet with your designated supervisor:

It’s important to set up a time to meet regularly with your supervisor. You don’t want to take up too much of their time, as they’re probably busy people, however you want to be able to share things you’re working on, give progress reports and be able to ask any questions you have or clarification you need. Your supervisor can be a good resource for you in the future if you build a good relationship with them during your time.

Perfect the small tasks:

It’s true that sometimes intern tasks can seem like dummy work. If you’re going to advance to assisting with bigger projects during your time though, you need to perfect these little tasks first to prove your reliability and competence. Once you demonstrate success doing small things efficiently, you can open up the possibility for handling larger projects.

Network and build relationships:

Internships are often a student’s first opportunity to network with professionals in their career field. Take your internships seriously and try to meet employees, ask questions and build relationships. Aside from making your internship more enjoyable, the relationships you build during your internship can be helpful career resources in the future.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!


Category: Career Management Students & Grads Tips from the Pros Workplace

Researching Information About Careers And Industries

It’s a little overwhelming trying to choose a career if you don’t know a whole lot about the career itself or the job market in the field. It’s important to do some research in different careers so you can properly plan your course of action to break into it. The more information and sources you read about a specific career, the more you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the right career path to follow. Following are some helpful tips for where to look to find useful information about a career or industry.

Government Websites:

Most governments provide an Occupational Outlook Handbook or website providing labor statistics, expected job growth, working conditions, average salary information and required training and educational levels for certain career fields. These types of sites can be very helpful in providing current information on specific career fields and give an overview of the industry in your area. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has such a handbook to start with.

Job Websites:

Search for job websites, especially those that are specific to the industry and look at the types of job titles advertised that are related to the career. Look at the duties and responsibilities, experience and requirements requested and types of companies hiring. This can give you some insight into the types of job postings available in the industry and you’ll gain a better understanding of the type of experience employers are looking for.

Professional associations and networks:

Look at professional associations and networks related to the industry and see what they say about careers in the field. Many of them will provide information about the industry as well as emerging trends, related news articles and latest developments in the field. It’s helpful to get information like this to stay updated on important issues and topics going on in the industry.

Search the web for careers in the field:

For some careers there are entire websites dedicated to information about careers in the field, while others might bring up career development sites and industry specific articles. You can find an abundance of basic to comprehensive information resources this way.

Search college or university websites.

Many colleges list information on departmental web pages as well as on career service links about careers related to majors and specific studies that can help show which majors lead to certain types of careers. Many colleges/ universities will provide information and links to resources to help students learn about careers and opportunities post-graduation.

© RedStarResume Publications

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional writer who can show you how to write a good resume? Contact the team at RedStarResume!


Category: Career Management Job Search Tips from the Pros

Decision Time For College Graduates

CAREERSenior year rolls around quickly. Before you know it, it’s time to decide what the next step is after college. There’s no right or wrong option here, I had some friends go straight into grad school programs or medical school, others participate in national service programs, and others immediately enter the workforce. While I knew I wanted to pursue graduate school in the future, I knew senior year that I didn’t want to go straight into it. Think about these 4 main options and decide which is right for you.

Enter the workforce:

This is the most obvious option—you’ve gone to college in order to better your career prospects and the time has come to finally get that well-deserved job. You may want to start a career in your industry or gain a few years of work experience to get a better feel for which graduate program you’d like to pursue. If a job is what you seek after graduation, start preparing your job searching activities early during your senior year. Start networking, create your professional resume, prepare for job/career fairs and begin searching for positions several months before graduation.

Pursue post-graduate education:

If the career you desire requires additional degrees or certifications after college, you may consider applying for post-graduate education. Going straight into a program upon graduation can be a good option for students who are sure about their career goals and want to finish all required schooling quickly to be ready for a career. Of course you should consider your financial situation and determine if you have the study skills and motivation to pursue further education right away.

Full-time fellowship or internship programs:

Some companies and organizations offer full-time internship programs for recent graduates. Being an intern can be a way to gain valuable experience and skills in the workforce and can also be a chance to get into a company that you want to work for in the future. Many of the programs will provide a stipend for living expenses but may pay less than a standard job does.

Gap year or full-time service programs. Some students choose to take a few months to travel after graduation, teach English abroad or participate in national or private service programs working in community services while receiving housing and a stipend for living expenses. There are lots of different kinds of programs, some are affiliated with the U.S. government and students can receive educational award money that can be used towards student loans or further education.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Need the help of a professional writer with expert resume writing skills? Click Here to contact the team at RedStarResume!

Category: Students & Grads Tips from the Pros

Landing a High-Paying Job in Tough Times

lens20530696_1359353361-As the Australian job market is softening, finding a well paid job is becoming a more challenging task than before. National Australia Bank’s quarterly business survey, released in February 2013, shows a clear majority of firms cut their payrolls in the December 2012 quarter and intend cutting further in the March 2013 quarter. Landing high-paying jobs in the current business environment requires not only education and talent, but also a lot of work invested by job seekers. Here are four solid tips to help you land a well paid job.

Keep a close eye on company websites

Go direct. A comprehensive research of sources-of-hire from SilkRoad concluded in 2012 that company career sites were the number one online recruitment source for interviews and hires in the US. This research results showed that the number of interviews and hires from job applications made on employer websites exceeded any other online source – including individual Job Boards and vertical job search sites. In Australia, Snipey lists more than 20,000 jobs directly from employer websites – many are not advertised on commercial Job Boards, which charge advertising fees. Applying for direct jobs can save your potential employer significant recruitment costs and may put you in a better position to negotiate an increased salary package.

Develop your soft skills

Great managers usually have outstanding soft skills. So get used to the idea that achieving a well paid leadership position requires more than just being technically good at your job. Soft skills revolve around personal relationships, character, and attitude. If you are finding that some of these soft skills do not come naturally to you, you must learn how to improve them so they’ll become a natural reflex for you in dealing with people every day. Some of the basics are: make eye contact, monitor your body language, practice speaking and develop your writing skills. Remember that soft skills are something you’ll need to cultivate on an on-going basis if you want to land a high-paying job.

Keep your technical skills updated

Knowledge professions (e.g. IT, Engineering, Marketing and Finance) require you to keep learning. Professional development is a key whether you are employed or not. If you are employed try to expand your skill set through new and diversified assignments. Look for new opportunities within your organisation that will leverage and expand your skill set. Try to seek broad tasks of increased responsibilities to establish a more diversified professional experience. Whether you are employed or not aim to participate in courses that enhance or update your professional development, especially in the case of IT jobs , Accounting jobs and Marketing jobs , which often require frequent update in knowledge base.

Be a strategic networker

Well-paid jobs are often filled through personal networking, sometimes before there is an official opening for a job. Being an effective networker often involves being influential, relevant, honest, consistent and thankful. There are important avenues to demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as a leader in your industry. For example, you can volunteer for industry trade associations, speak at conferences and publish a blog to establish your leadership position. Try to go for specific networking groups – online and offline – and remember to be patient. Being a ‘job hopper’ may be regarded as a red flag for some employers and recruiters.

By Chris Jones, Snipey Job Search

Category: Career Management Job Search Tips from the Pros

Why Student Internships Are So Important

Career-sign-boxInternships can be extremely valuable in gaining experience and getting your foot in the door in a particular industry or company. Whether you engage in an internship while still in school or directly after graduating, internships can help kick-start your career!

Why are internships so important? You might ask.

It’s hard to get the experience you need to make yourself marketable for full-time positions while you’re still in school and haven’t had the opportunity to work in the field. While many internships don’t pay (although you can find some that do), the experience you’ll gain is usually worth it in the long-run. I’ve had several friends who landed important internships during the summer while in school and were able to secure a job with the same company immediately after graduation. For some companies and fields, internships are crucial and companies may take on significant numbers of interns to evaluate their performance and decided whether or not they will hire on candidates once they graduate.

Companies typically prefer to hire internally, and this often includes volunteers and interns. It’s much easier to consider someone for an open position who has already demonstrated their work quality and knows the organization’s structure and culture. Interning with a company or organization you’re interested in working for can help you to get your foot in the door and dramatically increase your opportunities for future positions with them.

Even if you don’t land a position at the company you intern with, your internship can still provide the exposure to the industry that employers like to see when hiring on candidates. It helps employers to train new hires if an employee has at least had some exposure to the types of activities, terms and work that is done in the field. Internships can serve as the stepping stone into full-time positions.

While interning can help you get experience to land a job, it can also help you to determine whether you actually WANT to work in the field. Interning at a company can give you insight to see if you actually like the type of work they do and decide whether you can see yourself pursuing a career in the industry. When you see the daily tasks and responsibilities employees have, it can help to clarify the types of positions that interest you, as well as to see what size of company best suites you. These can all be valuable things to learn before you apply for full-time positions so that you have some idea of what you’re getting into.

Bottom line: find an internship! It will look great on your resume and open doors for you.

© RedStarResume Publications –

Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

Do you have a career related question or require resume writing services? You can contact Amanda directly via the RedStarResume website!


Category: Students & Grads Tips from the Pros

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