5:00 PM, 19 Feb 2020

Once you've found a position that you're interested in, the next step is to prepare your application. To start the process you should carry out some research to familiarise yourself with the company to which you are applying. After this, you can start the application process.

Do your research

It's important to understand a company's purpose and values before starting your application as you have to be sure that they are a company for whom you would like to work for. You can start by searching online for their internet presences. Although bigger companies are likely to have a website, smaller companies may only have social media pages on applications such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Information about a company can be found on the 'about us' pages on their website. It can also be useful to read their other pages, such as 'mission and values'. Additionally, it can be helpful to discuss the company with friends and relatives to see if they know anything about them. You may also wish to read Facebook reviews and comments about the company.

The 'ABN Lookup' tool from the Australian Business Register (ABR) is a very helpful tool to use since it will show you whether a company is legally registered.

Applying for a job 

Before making an application, you must make sure that you have read and understood the application instructions and the job description. You should write your job application to suit the position for which you are applying.

Many people ignore the criteria and specified requirements, or fail to include all of the requested information outlined in the job advert. This is a big, yet frequent, mistake made by job applicants. The chances of you getting an interview are slim to none if you cannot fulfill the basic application criteria.

Highlighting key points or writing a checklist are both ways of making sure that you have addressed all the necessary points. Be aware of the job requirements. Perhaps you need to write a cover letter, have a driving licence or possess a particular skill required to carry out the job. It is important to know this information.

Get in touch with the company using the contact details stated in the job advert if you are unclear about something during the application process. They will be able to clarify anything that you may be unsure of.

The interview stage

Being fully prepared for the interview is crucial, and there are different things you can do before you go to make sure you are ready.

Getting to the interview:

• Make sure you arrive on time and plan your journey with plenty of time to spare in case of contingencies
• Do a pre-run of the journey in advance so you know how long it will take. Think about whether you will drive or take public transport. If you will drive, make sure there is somewhere to park. If you take public transport, make sure you know the way to the interview location from the drop-off point and how long the walk will take.
• Be there at least 10 minutes before the scheduled interview time. This will give you time to relax and focus.  
• Be sure to let the company know if you will be late.

What to take

• Anything relevant to the application and job position should be taken along to the interview. It is recommended that you take a portfolio with documents such as your cover letter, resume (two copies is even better), certificates and any relevant licences that you have.

What to wear

•  First impressions are important, so dress suitably for the job position. Stick with clothing that is plain and boring.
•  Make sure you look clean and tidy, iron your clothes and wear shoes that are cleaned and free of scuffs. There's no need to splash out on new clothes. Trousers, skirts and long-sleeve shirts are more than suitable. 
• Personal hygiene makes a huge difference, so make an effort to smell nice. Apply deodorant and make sure that your hair is clean and brushed. Try not to wear too much make-up or perfume.  

A quick guide for the interview

The following tips can help you in the interview:

1. Make a list of any questions that you want to ask at the interview so that you do not forget to mention them 
2. Wear suitable interview clothing
3. Arrive at the interview location at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time
4. Keep your mobile phone switched off
5. Speak clearly and confidently
6. Listen carefully and pay attention. This shows the employer your level of interest.
7. Make sure questions are specific
8. Always thank the interviewer for their time and leave on a positive note