How I Updated My Resume And Got Job Offers After 8 Years Out Of The Corporate Workforce

I’m a big believer in practising what I preach. I’m also very keen on testing, re-testing and testing my resume again.

I don’t think it would be fair of a resume writer to sit behind a desk all day telling job seekers how to write a resume, what to include, what not to include, how to position yourself for a new job, how to change careers, or how to write a resume to re-enter the paid workforce after a career break, if I hadn’t tried and tested any of things I recommend myself.

So, once a year, sometimes twice, I update my resume, tweak my LinkedIn profile, and check that everything is current, just in case I’m asked to send a copy of my own resume for some contracting work. Once a year, I also set up some job alerts on Seek (Australia’s leading online job board), and wait for jobs that sound interesting to me to land in my inbox.

When they do, I get busy yet again with my resume, tailoring it to suit the jobs on offer that I’m pretty confident I could do, and have experience in, or transferable experience and skills, and I send off some job applications.

I get out the guidelines we give our resume clients and work through the steps so I can see things exactly how they do, at the same time updating and amending our top tips for getting a resume that will get job interviews. I also run my own resume through an applicant tracking system so I can test and score my resume against a job advertisement, so I know I have the best chance of getting invited to job interviews.

It’s a brilliant exercise in my mind. Firstly, it puts me right into the very same position my clients are in when searching for a job. Getting back into the head space of my job seeker / career-changer / re-entering the workforce clients keeps my feet on the ground, my advice current and relevant, and constantly reminds me just how hard it is to get noticed in an incredibly crowded job market where employers and recruiters seem to have the pick of the bunch.

It also makes me really anxious – because all of a sudden, I’m riding the job-seeker roller coaster that every single one of my resume clients does when we first connect.

I always learn a few new tricks from the exercise too, that I happily pass on to my clients, so they can learn from my experience.

The response has been amazing, not necessarily in a good way.

As of today, I’ve applied for 8 advertised jobs, all of which I am qualified (or overqualified) for, and have direct experience in. While the sample size isn’t yet significant, it is enough for me at this point to draw some conclusions about the current status of my resume, how my resume is being responded to in the current job market, and the process I’m following in my hypothetical 2017 job search.

For 4 of those jobs, (no longer advertised following 28 days on Seek), I’ve not even had the courtesy of an email of acknowledgement confirming receipt of my application.

I was absolutely convinced that I would get a call back from the very first job that I applied for (just like my clients!) I ticked every single box. I had the qualifications. I had the experience. I even had an extra qualification and medical experience that I was convinced would blow them away when they realised how much value I presented as a candidate. My resume was a 99% match when I ran it through the ATS. I did my research on the company. I found out who to address my letter to, read up on the decision maker, and researched some of the new work they were doing so I could include relevant examples of my experience doing something similar, and how it could help them move this new work to the next level. I actually went to sleep that night feeling a little smug because I was so absolutely sure that they would be on the phone the minute they read my resume and cover letter. Only thing is, that didn’t happen. In fact, nothing happened. No acknowledgement. No rejection. Nothing.

Not only do I find this insulting (as many of my clients do), but it astounds me that these organisations don’t realise the reputational damage they’re doing to themselves. Seek couldn’t make it any easier for recruiters to do this, given that it has a built-in feature that enables recruiters to send a generic email of acknowledgement. Many jobs also list the contact details, including direct email address and telephone number of advertisers, so when that happens, I also apply through Seek, and also send a copy direct.

Many of my clients have told me they quietly make note of those ‘non-responders’, determined to shun them in future as possible employers and product or service providers,  just as they have to them as job candidates.

Personally, I take it as a sign that if this is how an organisation treats a potential employee, the way they treat their paid workforce isn’t going to be any better, so I’m better off right from the start because they’ve already shown their true colours.

Just last week, I spent 6 hours carefully tweaking my resume and a cover letter to suit the job on offer.

You heard right! 6 hours … 6 hours carefully tweaking my resume and a cover letter to suit the job on offer.

I swapped out any irrelevant experience. I re-ordered my skill sets so the ones they were most interested in for the role were top of the list. I added a little over the most relevant key words so they would jump off the page for a skim-reader.

I detailed very specific examples (using the Challenge | Action | Result processalongside each response to the essential and desirable selection criteria.  I included weighty facts and figures to substantiate my claims. I included a recent testimonial to add social proof, and even when to the trouble of creating a micro-website to showcase some experience I had in past marketing career, because the advertisement had asked for examples.

The early bird gets the worm. 

For another advertised position, I received an email response from a recruitment agent advising the role had been filled. It had been advertised for 18 hours by the time I submitted my application.

All credit to the recruitment agent however, because we did enter into a number of email exchanges in follow up, during which it was divulged that they were inundated with applications for the role (30 applications within the first 30 minutes) and as a result, they immediately started screening resumes (using applicant tracking software).

They then telephone interviewed 3 candidates within 4 hours and they even did a face-to-face interview with one candidate later that very same afternoon, and that candidatewho immediately received (and accepted) an offer.

So by the time I had tailored my application the night before pressing ‘apply here’, and emailed it off the next morning, one very happy job seeker was handing in their resignation letter from their previous employer and looking forward to their role starting 2 weeks later. One hour wasted the night before, and my application never stood a chance. The same could be said for the no doubt numerous other applications they received, as the job remained advertised on Seek for another 5 days. As they say, the early bird …

All in a week’s work. 

For another role, I applied for the job at 9:00 am on the Monday. Got the job offer at 3:00 pm on the Friday of that week. For this particular role, ego suitably bruised having had no acknowledgement or responses to my previous 4 applications, I now had no expectations whatsoever when I pressed ‘send’. But then I received an email response and invitation to interview less than 5 minutes after I had submitted my application. 4 days later I was interviewed. 15 minutes into the interview, I received a job offer. Quite possibly the quickest recruitment process I have ever participated in.

My takeaway? The process can be really quick if you’re the perfect job candidate.

It’s OK to ask what the salary range is.

One job for which I was really suited and was made an offer for, came down to salary. Rookie mistake on my part because I always advise clients that they should ensure that no matter how amazing the job will is, that the salary must meet their expectations.

Don’t assume that because you are a perfect match for the role, that you will get an interview.

Back to my 6 hours tailoring my resume and creating a micro-site to showcase my collateral … well, I did get a response. 4 days after submitting my application, and again, while the job advertisement was still active.

While I was ‘grateful’ to at least get the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ email, the thing is, they never bothered looking at 2 pages of the 3-page micro-site (how I know this is for me to explain another time). The email highlighted the high quality and calibre of the candidates, and necessary academic qualifications, the absence of which they used to justify my rejection. But I did have the qualification, along with another qualification that I know only 40 others have in tandem with the very specific academic credentials they requested of the applicants. I can only assume that was an oversight that I received that particular rejection email, or that they didn’t actually read what was on my resume and cover letter and micro-site, where I clearly detailed responses to the very specific selection criteria.

Should I have followed up to point this out? Perhaps. Would it have made a difference? I’ll never know, but it has highlighted yet another obstacle job seekers endure every day, and I can certainly empathise with the predicament.


  • Whenever recruiter contact details are listed on an advertisement, make contact with them (ideally by phone). It could save you hours if the role has already been filled, or the screening and shortlisting process has begun.
  • Just because a position is advertised on Seek, doesn’t mean there is still a position to fill. Recruiters may leave roles advertised that have actually been filled on Seek.
  • If a role does not list a salary*, it is OK to ask what the range is, if you get invited to interview. What waste your time (and the interviewers) if the role was to present a significant downturn in salary for you, that you weren’t prepared to accept, no matter how great everything else with the job sounds? We’re all working to pay our bills and finance our lifestyles, right?

Is your Accent Holding You Back From Getting A Job?

Are you a non-native English speaker? Do you want to speak clearly & confidently in English? Feel like your accent lets you down in job interviews?

CV Saviour has teamed up with Speak More Clearly ,so that in just 15 minutes a day, you can learn correct Australian English pronunciation and ace your job interviews with the confidence that you can be understood clearly.

Improve your Aussie accent with Speak More Clearly’s accent reduction training course.

Speak More Clearly has already helped over 40,000 people from all over the world speak English confidently and change their lives! Created by Esther Bruhl, a world-leading Speech
Therapist, with over 30 years’ experience.

Speak More Clearly can help you: 

 Sound like a native Australian speaker
✔ Understand Aussie’s better and be understood the first time you say something
✔ Improve your job prospects & feel confident in job interviews
✔ Communicate clearly & make a great first impression
✔ No more fear or embarrassment in English

When you download the Ultimate Australian Accent Training Program and begin practising you’ll be able to:

✔ Speak English with an Australian accent
✔ Speak with correct Australian pronunciation
✔ Communicate clearly with your co-workers and get ahead at work.
✔ No more fear of speaking on the phone
✔ Be understood the first time you speak
✔ Change, reduce or neutralise your accent and be clearly understood.
✔ Understand other Australian speakers when they talk
✔ Speak with confidence and don’t pause or freeze when speaking English.

When you follow Speak More Clearly’s easy, step-by-step exercises, your accent will change and you’ll sound like a native Australian speaker – with just 15 minutes of practise a day!

Click here to learn more about our Australian Accent Course & make your dream job possible!


Does Name Discrimination Exist For Job Seekers? Read More Here.

Interview Questions Revealed: The One Interview Question Australia’s Top Execs Always Ask

40 Australian executives share the one interview question that they always ask

CV Saviour came across this article about interview questions, and it sheds some light on the reasons why recruiters ask tough interview questions in the first place. The usual suspects are here … ‘What are you passionate about? What do you know about our organisation? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?’  There are a few in here that are likely to throw the most practised job seeker, like ‘Tell me what you did in the last 48 hours?’, the terrifying ‘In 60 seconds, explain a complicated topic to someone who knows nothing about it’and ‘What did you eat for breakfast.’ 

What’s really interesting is the motivation behind the question.

Tough interview questions really aren’t so tough once you know why they’re being asked.

General Questions: Simple fact-finding interview questions such as “How many years have you worked in management?” are easy to answer. The best way to prepare for general questions is to study your own CV. Be very confident about dates, time frames, skill sets and job descriptions you have specified in your CV. Your interview answers should accurately reflect your CV details with no embarrassing discrepancies.

Behavioural Questions: Recruiters design behavioural interviews to illuminate specific personality traits. Examples of such traits include teamwork, leadership, analytical thinking and time management. The basic premise of behavioural interviews is that past performance is an accurate predictor of a person’s future performance in a similar environment. Interviewers will either ask direct questions or request you recount past experiences.

 In the interview, always be completely honest (don’t exaggerate) when recounting past achievements. Expect your initial response to be explored in detail with further questions. Word your response carefully, being sure to state how your experiences demonstrate desired behaviours.

Situational Questions: When asking situational questions, recruiters listen for demonstrated coping and problem solving skills. They want to know how quickly you can bring a positive outcome to common (often stressful) work situations. Situational questions focus on your response to a hypothetical situation. You will be asked questions like “How would you handle XYZ situation?” Explain how you would respond to the hypothetical situation based on your past experiences. Give examples of how you have successfully handled similar situations in the past. Your response to situational questions gives interviewers a good indication of your level of experience and readiness for the new position.

Open-Ended Questions: The majority of questions in any job interview will be open-ended. These questions have no straight yes or no answer. By posing open-ended questions such as “What skills make you right for this job?” or “Why would you like to work for XYZ Company?”, the interviewer is seeking a detailed answer. 
Take the opportunity to align your response to a known job requirement, or desirable character trait. Focus your discussion on how and why you meet the job requirements.

The Ultimate Answer: The best job interview answers align previous work experience to current job requirements. No matter how the question is phrased, always try to mention a relevant past experience or achievement. Illustrate how you can apply your knowledge and learned skills to your new job position.

The ‘STAR’ acronym helps with forming a good answer to a tough interview question:

S – Situation: describe a situation you experienced at work

T – Task or Problem: identify the problem you faced

A – Action: explain the action you took to rectify the problem
 R – Result: detail the result of your action and how the situation changed.

R – Result: detail the result of your action and how the situation changed.Never give an answer unless you fully understand the question.

Never give an answer unless you fully understand the question. It’s always acceptable to ask the interviewer to rephrase or repeat a question. Remember, each organisation adopts different interview practices. One organisation may conduct only behavioural interviews, whilst another organisation will focus solely on situational questions. Prepare for all question types by rehearsing five or six work ‘stories’ using the STAR technique. You’ll then be well equipped to adapt your stories to suit a variety of common job interview questions.
 Remember, not all positions you are applying for will be right for you.

The purpose of the interview is to help you (as well as the company) sort out if the “fit” is right.

Read on for more …

Interviewing potential job candidates can be a tedious process, but one you want to get right.

So, what if you could determine whether they will be the right fit for the role, and the company, simply by asking them one question.

Business Insider asked 40 Australian executives to share the one interview question that they always ask job candidates.

The next time you have to interview someone for an opening within your company, hopefully one of these interview questions will help you on your quest to find the perfect employee.

Gary Elphick, founder and CEO of Disrupt asks: ‘If I call up your current employer right now what three things are they going to say about you?’

I like this questions because there is so much to it, those that know me know I’m quite likely to actually pick up the phone and find out there and then, that element on enabling social proof means they are honest with their answer. Having to think about their current employer and their point of view also helps them consider themselves and the role in a more rounded manner

I care more for the truth, I can handle flaws and imperfections (we all have them), but I need to know what they are.

Working in a complex business such as ours means you need to be able to empathise with artists, local manufacturers and various third parties along the way, the only way to see their point of view to understand yourself well enough.

That, and ‘who’s the better Surfer – John John or Slater?’ This one normally catches the engineers of guard!

Justin Dry, co-founder of Vinomofo asks: ‘Tell me about one of your passions outside of work and why you love it?’

I want to see their eyes light up and hear the excitement in their voice. We want passionate people at Vinomofo and this is a good indication.

It also changes the feeling in the room. A nervous interview becomes a connected human experience. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to the rest of the process, it becomes more real.

Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO of Local Measure asks: ‘What do you know about Local Measure?’

I like to see research and understanding of our space, and some questions about our clients, strengths or weaknesses. In the response I’m looking for a genuine spark of interest and passion in the company. Someone who is a good fit for the company and culture will always answer this question well.

Beau Bertoli, joint CEO of Prospa asks: ‘What are your individual values and what culture do you want to be a part of?’

I want to see if the applicant’s values and cultural aspirations match our company. This isn’t about ‘sameness’; it’s about cultural fit. I hope to hear someone with a clear set of values and who can succinctly describe the environment they want to work in.

Ben Handler, CEO and co-founder of Cohen Handler asks: ‘Are you the smartest person you know?’

We pose this question to all our potential employees as it gives us a good sense of whether they’re the right fit for the company. There is no right or wrong answer, but if they respond with a ‘no’, it’s a sign that they are not confident with their own skills.

If they say ‘no’ and follow up with someone they believe is smarter than them, we tend to reach out to that person. Not only is this question helpful in determining the fit of a potential employee, it can also be a good recruitment technique.

Andrew Lin, CEO of CliniCloud asks: ‘Why work for us?’

I’m interested in why, because I want to hear that the candidate’s motivations align with our company vision. We want to change the world by making healthcare more accessible and only want to hire people who want to change the world with us. This is not just another job where you get paid well to do interesting things, this is a job where you actually can make a difference on a global scale.

Dave Fastuca, CDO and co-founder of Locomote asks: ‘What do your best day and worst day look like?’

It gives me an insight into what they consider good and bad and how they respond to challenge.

It’s easy to paint the perfect picture of work, but the truth is we all experience highs and lows. For me, a candidate that stands out from the rest is one who has a positive attitude and trusts in his or her capabilities on hard days. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. I just look for a sincere response that highlights what they consider a challenge and how they deal with it.

James Wakefield, co-CEO of InStitchu asks: ‘If you were the CEO of InStitchu, suggest one sales & marketing campaign you would implement in the next 6 weeks and why you think it would be effective?’

This question forces the potential employee to think on their feet and come up with an impressive answer on the fly. Their response gives us a clear indication of how well they understand our business model and gives them an opportunity to really make an impression on Robin and I. I’m impressed if they can come up with either : an impressive sales and marketing idea that we had never even considered or a sales and marketing idea that we may have considered internally but not yet implemented.

Matt Bullock, founder and CEO of eWAY asks: ‘How do you respond to change?’

In an entrepreneurial company like eWAY, employees must be able to move at lightning pace. We need employees who can pivot and change direction fast so we can take advantage of opportunities. We have a fun culture at eWAY where every employee values success, so the ideal candidate for us is one that shoots for big team goals.

Marcus Crow, co–founder of 10,000 Hours asks: ‘What do you love to do?’

The reason we ask this is to search for their passion. It doesn’t matter what that passion is: dress-making, bonsai, motorsport, baking. What matters is a capacity to be absorbed, fascinated and dedicated to a pursuit. We are looking to hire people with that level of zeal to join our firm.

Jo Burston, founder and CEO of Rare Birds asks: ‘Tell me what you did during the last 48 hours?’

This is always the first question that I ask because it allows me to very quickly learn the candidate’s behavioural aptitude and assess their ability to meet the brief of the role we are filling.

The question also allows candidates to demonstrate communication skills, time management, passions outside of work, and how they like to work (morning or evening person), along with sociability, humour and most importantly, their ability to share insights with a level of transparency.

It’s a wonderful way to understand the person outside of their key workplace skills and competencies and gives me a holistic picture.

Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice and Retail Zoo asks: ‘Can you give me an example of a time that a disaster happened and what you did about it?’

I am looking for someone that is calm under pressure, not a drama queen/king, is not a victim and is a problem solver.

Ryan Bonnici, director of Marketing, APAC at HubSpot asks: ‘Tell me, who is *insert interviewee name*?’

I love opening up the interview with this question since it’s incredibly open ended. What I’m looking for in their response is:

Do they ask for clarification?

Do they jump in and start talking, or do they ask for clarification? Neither is right or wrong, each tells me more about how they would be to work with. If they ask for clarification, they might be more naturally suited to a role that is more analytical, favouring precision over speed (e.g. Marketing Analyst). If they confidently jump straight in – and are not fazed by the ambiguity of the question – they might be more naturally suited to a role that requires interpersonal skills.

What is the focus of their content?

Do they talk predominantly about who they are at work, outside of work, or both? What I look for in their response is symmetry between their interests and attitude both in and out of the workplace, to gain an insight to their personality. While there isn’t a textbook response to this, I think candidates whose responses highlight elements of work and life tend to work well with my team. It’s important to me that my team knows the organisation cares about their interests both in and outside the workplace and respects their work/life balance. Furthermore, references to life outside of workplace is indicative that candidates understand the requirements to connect socially with team members, contributing to a strong workplace culture.

How do they close off their answer?

Does the candidate wrap the question up confidently, or ask whether they answered the question appropriately? This response provides a greater insight to the candidate and their requirements for feedback. I personally seek ongoing feedback from my team, and challenge my team to do the same. A candidate whose response invited me to share information about myself or discuss whether we have mutual interests –anything at all – shows to me that they’re open to two-way dialogue around these things.

David Raitt, commercial director of Criteo ANZ asks: ‘Please can you describe eCommerce as if you were talking to someone your grandparents age?’

I hope to hear candidates shine a light on what is a highly complex environment – delivering a distilled response that connects with the audience through anecdotes and examples. The ability to make complex challenges accessible to a wider audience are really important skills for Criteo – something that helps us inspire C level execs to act and drive change.

Mitchell Taylor, co-founder of Koala Mattress asks: ‘What did you eat for breakfast this morning?’

Sure, bananas don’t have much to do with business but you can discover a lot about a person from their answer to this question: their level of personal organisation, how much care they display for their wellbeing, and even how well-prepared they are for the interview in terms of how they deal with unexpected questions. At Koala, we are building the best team possible so, a successful interviewee would have allocated time to have a healthy breakfast. This shows me that they’re organised, care for their own well-being and committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Alec Lynch, CEO of DesignCrowd asks: ‘What would your previous employer list as your strengths and weaknesses?’

This question tends to get interesting answers and an honest self-assessment from candidates of their own strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, the strengths you hear fit what you’re looking for, the weaknesses you discover aren’t deal breakers and there are no red flags or issues hiding in the closet.

David Hickey, ANZ area director for Meltwater asks: ‘Can you give me an example of a setback you have faced that shows you have stamina?’

Typically, I am hiring for business development and account management roles. While there are certainly easier jobs out there, I like candidates that have been challenged and have faced hurdles. Even if they didn’t overcome them, I want to hear that they have at least persevered. Of course, there is no perfect answer to this question, but seeing how candidates qualify challenge, how they qualify stamina and how honest they are gives me great insight into their character.

Fred Schebesta, co-founder and director of asks: ‘What position in our company do you want to be in this time next year?’

I ask this for a few reasons. Firstly, it gauges their understanding of the current business by way of projection, which is a key reading to have on candidates. Secondly, I find the one year period an interesting time – not long enough that massive career progress is made, but enough time to identify the next breakthrough point and begin aligning yourself. This give me an indicator of how forward-pushing they will be in their role. Of course, depending upon the role, this answer will be different but ultimately drive looks the same from candidate to candidate. So, what position in our company do you want to be in this time next year?

Robert Kawalsky, CEO of Zeetings asks: ‘What’s an example of a recent problem you’ve identified inside or outside of the workplace, and what did you do next?’

I try look for people that are passionate about solving problems. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, it can be professional or personal, or something completely out of left field. The important thing is to understand if they are the type of person who simply accepts things as they are or do they have the curiosity (and chutzpah!) to question the status quo, right a wrong, or even just make some seemingly arbitrary process a little bit better.

Lana Hopkins, founder and CEO of Mon Purse asks: ‘You are faced with a serious challenge and need to make a decision here and now – you can’t reach your immediate manager what do you do? Walk me through a recent example.’

Why: I want to see how people think on their feet.

Answer I hope to hear: Proactive problem solving.

Heidi Armstrong, head of consumer advocacy at Liberty asks: ‘What is one thing about yourself that we don’t already know and that we are unlikely to learn about you from the interview process? Possibly something only your friends might know about you?’

The idea – it tells us something more about them personally. Can often illicit unusual insights into people… what people are prepared to share says a lot, not just about their personal lives, but about the way they work.

Lachlan McKnight, CEO of LegalVision asks: ‘In 60 seconds, explain a complicated topic to someone who knows nothing about it.’

The subject matter isn’t important – I want to see how people think on their feet and communicate. I’ve had responses about International Law, startups and the structure of a novel. Traditionally, law is characterised by incomprehensible jargon that alienates many clients. We are committed to democratising legal services through our free documents and articles and we need to be able to communicate with a broad church of people. We don’t want our employees using latin maxims or overcomplicating concepts when speaking with clients.

Drew Bilbe, co-founder of Nexba asks: ‘What is your passion?’

I ask this question because I believe building a culture of employees who truly love and are passionate about their work begins during the hiring process. Whether it’s running the whole company or just selling the product – passion always produces the highest-quality results. Discovering what people are passionate is also a great way of determining where they will best fit within your company and be the most valuable. Different ways of identifying passionate candidates includes paying attention to hobbies and interests, professional-growth goals, test their mettle, gauge what thrills them, and more.

We want potential employees to be truthful in their response because we need to know that we are bringing passionate people into the business that are going to put in 100% and love representing our brand. People have a different tone in their voice when they’re talking about something they have a passion for, so it can be easy gauge their level of passion.

Eric Schwantler, managing director of Dekko Secure asks: ‘Why should we hire you?’

It may seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised at how many applicants have not had a hard think about what really sets them apart. I want to know the ways in which they have demonstrated their unique skills and experiences in the real world in order to understand how that could benefit the company.

I want to know what ideas they had, or how they executed on a project that led to a tangible (and positive) business result.

Ned Moorfield, CEO of GoCatch asks: ‘Have you used our service (GoCatch) before and how much do you know about it and our competitors?’

If people haven’t bothered to use our product before the interview, it is obviously a massive red flag. Anyone with their ear close to the ground knows about the big battles happening in the transportation booking and ride-sharing space so if they are knowledgeable about us and our competitors, it tells me they’re passionate about startups and are engaged with what we’re looking to achieve.

Klaus Bartosch, CEO of 1stAvailable asks: ‘What are you passionate about – both professionally and privately?’

I find it reveals useful insights into what drives someone. Building a company of people that have passion both personally and professionally makes for a very exciting and positive team dynamic, especially when innovation is such an important part of your business as it is with, which is seeking to enhance everyone’s experience accessing healthcare services — often complex and mysterious, albeit important to ensure that each and every person in the team has a voice, is heard and their contributions valued.

Deliveroo country manager, Levi Aron ask: ‘Why Deliveroo?’ 

Most candidates spend countless hours on their resume, their personal pitch, what they should and shouldn’t wear to an interview, how early they should show up etc. Some venture down the path as to why they would be a great Operations Manager, or perfect Business Development Managers etc. However, if they struggle to answer this very basic, but open ended, question – I pretty much end the interview there. What I am looking for is for them to demonstrate a deep understanding as to ‘why’ which can only be a passionate response backed up by their skill set, not the other way around. I can teach skills to almost anyone over a very short period of time, passion takes much longer than that – if at all.

Kate Morris, founder and CEO of Adore Beauty asks: ‘If you were at Hogwarts, what house would you be in and why?’

We ask it for two reasons. One is to try and understand the potential for cultural fit (trust me, you don’t want a workplace full of only Gryffindors). The other is that usually the candidate is not expecting the question, so their answer is not rehearsed and often provides insight that we might not get from the ‘usual’ interview questions.

John Winning, CEO of Winning Group asks: ‘How have you helped out colleagues in the past?’, or if they are in a customer service role ‘How have you resolved a customer issue?’

What I hope to hear in their responses is how they went above and beyond for their colleague or customer and resolved a situation. Teamwork, honesty and effort is everything.

Dean Ramler, co-founder of Milan Direct asks: ‘What makes you want to work at Milan Direct?’ and ‘What are the main types of furniture that we sell?’

We ask this as the very first question to see how much the candidate has researched our company and shown a genuine interest in the role. We simply won’t hire anyone who hasn’t researched our company, so this is a good way to keep those interviews short.

Martin Hosking, CEO and co-founder of Redbubble asks: ‘What questions do you have about Redbubble?’

A good candidate will have almost an endless series of questions. Often by the time I am interviewing them, candidates will have met with quite a few people. But they should have specific questions that only I, as CEO and cofounder, can answer. The level of insight and understanding they have will come through in the questions they ask. It is not a sign of good manners, or eagerness, in my mind to have no questions, But rather the reverse. It suggests the candidate has not really researched the opportunity and not really serious about it, or is cavalier about their own career. None of these are good things. I want candidates who are deeply inquisitive about Redbubble, and assume they do not know very much but are passionate to learn. Come with a folder of engaging questions if you are serious!

Nick Molnar, co-founder and CEO of Afterpay asks: ‘What excites you?

It’s a very open ended question which is what makes it so interesting. You learn a lot about people through the answers they provide. Do they talk about something personal or professional? Are they engaged by intellectual or physical challenges? Are they passionate about many things, one thing, or nothing? Usually you get a strong sense of cultural fit from the answer to this question and you learn something interesting about the person you’re meeting.

Christian Mischler, founder and CMO of HotelQuickly asks: ‘What would be your motivations for joining HotelQuickly?

I press really hard on this one and try to truly understand what the candidate is expecting, what drives him or her, and how aligned the motivations are with the company. I expect honest insights and hope to get unexpected answers that positively surprise me of the quality of the candidate.

Trudy McDonald, managing director of TalentCode asks: ‘Where do you see yourself three years from now?’

The candidate’s response provides a good insight into job fit which is one of the biggest predictors of job performance and retention.

I have had candidates tell me that they see themselves in another profession which then leads to the obvious question – what is the real motivation behind applying for this job? Others will discuss how they see themselves learning and progressing into more senior roles – this is a good indicator of personal drive and a desire to learn which provides some good clues around how to motivate and manage the person once hired. Others will share that they see themselves doing the same role. This type of response suggests that the candidate is likely to be stable however may not have a strong desire to learn which can be a challenge in some environments. There are no right or wrong answer to this question as it is all about the fit between the individual, the culture of the business and the role.

Ian Neal, NSW Chair of The Executive Connection asks 15 questions in 15 minutes, this includes: ‘What is the purpose of an organisation?’ and ‘What makes you happy?’

Getting the right people into the organisation is a critical success factor and one that is fraught. Most hiring methods have at best a 20 per cent success rate.

The ‘15 questions in 15 minutes’ technique offers rapid fire questions designed to find out how the interviewee perceives the world, what they believe and how they behave.

Simon Raik-Allen, CTO of MYOB asks: ‘What are your pet projects? What are your proudest pieces of work outside of the job?’

This really demonstrates to me what a potential candidate is passionate about and whether the position I am hiring for is really within their interests or just considered a day job. I always look for candidates whose passions and personal goals align with the position description. At the end of the day, if you are spending so many hours doing a job, you have to have a thirst for it.

Tania Austin, CEO of Decjuba asks: ‘What is one amazing thing you will do to create a difference, in your department at Decjuba?’

I love this one as its short and sharp and demonstrates the candidates ability to think on their feet.

Thinking on your feet, being nimble, fast and flexible is part of the Decjuba culture and I always find that this question exposes what drives the candidate. In the instance that we hire the candidate we then hold them accountable for making that difference and find with every team member being able to drive their own outcomes that they feel empowered which leading to amazing outcomes for the Decjuba brand.

Richard Appleby, managing partner of Conari Interim Solutions asks: ‘Tell me a time when you had a strategy or proposal/project rejected by your superior. Describe the situation, what were the circumstances of the rejection and what did you do about it?’

I ask this question because I am generally dealing with senior people who will have significant responsibilities around capital, resources and staff for the jobs they are applying for. As such they will need to be putting up strategies and proposals to their boss quite frequently. No one gets everything right the first time so I am asking this question to draw out their attributes around handling rejection, their strategic and lateral thinking, their influencing skills, their competitiveness and their resilience.

Jack Delosa, founder of The Entourage asks: ‘Why is our company’s vision important to you?’

You need the individual you’re interviewing to drop the mask so you can tap into the essence of who they are at their core. Having an authentic conversation around vision lets you see what really drives them to perform. Technical skill is still incredibly important, however the differentiator in creating a world class culture is finding people who are united by a greater purpose.

Rebekah Campbell, co-founder of Hey You, asks: ‘If you were an animal, what would you be and why?’

I always ask this as it gives the interviewee an opportunity to think creatively about their personal traits. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer, but I find it’s a good way to see how a candidate can interpret their strengths or weaknesses, without me having to ask them what their strengths and weaknesses are.

This article was written by Sarah Kimmorley and sourced from Business Insider.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For The Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Looking to boost your LinkedIn presence with the perfect LinkedIn profile?

As it turns out, maximising your visibility, building your networks and securing that dream job all boils down to a few simple tweaks, according to Business Insider.

From how to frame your LinkedIn profile photo, what buzzwords to avoid, and the ideal number of LinkedIn connections to have through to how you can get more recommendations, here is the ultimate cheat sheet you need to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

Click here to see the full infographic.


How To Explain Job Hopping On Your Resume

Job Hopping. How To Explain Job Hopping On Your Resume.

They’ve barely been born, yet one in four Millennials say they’ll leave their current job within a year. Does this mean they are job hopping? And if so, how do you explain job hopping on your resume?

An article in Business Insider today revealed that Deloitte had reached out to nearly 7,700 young professionals in 29 countries for its fifth annual Global Millennials survey and thinks it has nailed down a key reason for why they job-hop, and one strategy for how employers can hold onto them longer. So if that many are thinking of leaving their jobs, are they job hopping?

What is Job Hopping?

Job hopping is typically understood to mean when you move from one company to the next every one to two years, have done it multiple times, and the reason for each move is due to something other than a layoff or company closing.

Back to Deloitte’s research.

Two-thirds of millennials plan to leave their current organisation by 2020. A quarter see themselves elsewhere within the next year.

While you could argue that young workers have always been inclined to job hop (and millennials are less inclined to do so), their reasons for restlessness may have changed.

Young workers’ latest gripe? Insufficient opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

That’s according to the fifth annual Global Millennials survey, cited on Bloomberg, for which Deloitte reached out to nearly 7,700 working college-educated professionals in 29 countries.

As many as 63% of respondents said their leadership skills are not being fully developed.

And it seems to be a key reason behind their willingness to leave: While 71% of those likely to leave in the next two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed, that number drops to 54% among those who are planning to stay beyond 2020.

As Punit Renjen, chief executive officer of Deloitte Global, told Bloomberg, young workers’ pursuit of leadership skills even at the expense of switching jobs is a new phenomenon.

Perhaps it has something to do with the recent trend of flattening organisations, which was highlighted recently in The Washington Post. In an effort to cut costs, organisations have removed levels of bureaucracy, which means there’s not much of a corporate ladder to climb anymore.

“The biggest driver of disengagement is people feeling like they’re stuck in a job, and there’s nothing for them there,” one expert told The Post. “It’s easier to quit your company and find a new job than find a new job within your own company.”

Restoring some semblance of a corporate ladder may require a good deal of structural reorganization. In the meantime, managers can take small steps to help their employees develop into leadership positions.

The Wall Street Journal recommends creating mentoring programs in which workers are paired with more senior employees at their company. You can also rotate your employees through different jobs, so they gain new knowledge and expertise.

As for individual employees, US News & World Report suggests being proactive instead of waiting for a leadership position to open up.

If you work for a large company, you can speak to someone in human resources and ask what you should be learning to reach the next level. You can also volunteer to take charge of a particular project, so that management recognises your capabilities.

So how to explain job-hopping on your resume?

Firstly, it’s not all bad news. Job hopping is replacing the concept of climbing the corporate ladder, and with an increase in workers doing shorter contract work by choice, things aren’t all that bad as far as options for explaining (or illustrating) your job-hopping on your resume.

A typical approach taken by CV Saviour is to remove career chronology from the first couple of pages of a resume, and rather focus this space on specific projects, or highlight career successes and achievements without detailing them under a specific job. The career chronology can then be moved to the final page of the resume, with detail of job title, tenure, reporting lines and a company and role overview.

There is no need to explain WHY you left a job on your resume these days (leave that for the interview, and only if you are asked).

The Secret To Job Interview Success

The Secret To Job Interview Success Starts Long Before You Get Invited To Interview

Job interviews are no walk in the park.

“They can be extremely stressful, time-consuming to prepare for, and are full of opportunities to put your foot in your mouth,” says Ryan Robinson, an entrepreneur and content marketer who teaches people how to launch meaningful self-employed careers.

“And then afterwards, there’s always the uncertainty of when you’ll hear back and if you actually got the job.”

But it’s a process we must all go through several, if not dozens of times throughout our lives, in the relentless pursuit of finding meaningful work, he says. “Then, when you do find that dream job, it’s important to be so prepared for the interview, that there’s no doubt about you being the best fit for the position.”

But getting the job interview in the first place is nothing short of an epic journey, as many of our clients will confirm. With employers often making the shortlist based on due diligence performed they even shortlist applicants, there is a considerable number of factors to consider before you even apply for a job,m from cleaning up your social media profiles, to researching your own digital footprint to see what employers might find when they google you. And what is commonly known as resume spamming (sending the same resume to every job you wish to apply for) has got to be the worst tactic used by job seekers, and one that rarely, if ever, presents any results.

And yes – this is a shameless plug, but lucky for CV Saviour clients, we’ve identified 16 target areas for every resume that need to be updated or amended for every job application, and as a result of following out guidelines, clients experience significantly increased success rates in getting to interview. In fact, we’re so confident about our method, we guarantee it.

In the meantime though, if you’re lucky enough to land the interview, this infographic (also with 16 tips) is your step-by-step to nailing it.

Here’s exactly what you need to do to land your dream job.

From brushing up on your people skills, to nailing your first impression with confident body language, the 16 interview tips featured on the following infographic — created by Robinson and Rachel Frankel, a designer at CreativeLive — click here for more.


This article by Jacquelyn Smith first appeared in Business Insider.