Tips for resumes, cover letters, selection criteria and job interviews

Applying for a position with a great cover letter and tailored resume can boost your chances of landing an advertised role. Being prepared for a job interview can also help you engage with an employer and give you an edge over other candidates. Before you apply for a role, check out our examples of resumes and cover letters, as well as our tips for addressing selection criteria and interview preparation. We also have some great resources to help you practice your interview skills and try free psychometric testing used by employers.

Crafting a winning resume

Every resume needs to include some basic information: your skills, education, and employment history. You have just a few seconds to capture an employer’s attention, so your resume should be easy to scan. Choose a resume style best suited to the role you’re applying for and the experience you have in that industry.

Your resume should be clear and logical and grouped under headings relevant to the job you’re applying for. Also, be consistent with your fonts, formatting, tone and bullet points, and keep your resume to an appropriate length.

Resume resources

Preparing a professional resume

A booklet to help you prepare your resume. This may also be helpful for seeking part-time and casual work.

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Resume worksheet

Outlines the key features of an effective resume and provides examples.

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Resume overview

A breakdown with explanations of a resume's key features.

Download

Identifying transferable skills

A worksheet to help you analyse the skills you've developed through your studies, work and other activities.

Download

Self-assessment

This PDF will show you how to present other skills and qualities graduate employers are seeking.

Download

Create and customise

Tips for designing and writing an effective resume, how to tailor it for the role you're applying for and hints on how to get your resume noticed.

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Promotional language

Handy hints on words you can use in your resume.

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Resume checklist

Make sure your resume covers all these areas.

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Resume review

Submit your resume online for review and we'll aim to provide feedback within two working days

COVER LETTERS

A strong cover letter is your chance to express interest in the position you’re applying for, so be sure to do that in the opening paragraph. Also outline the reason the job appeals to you, as well as a standout attribute that sets you apart from other applicants.

Your cover letter should include a summary of your qualifications and relevant experience, as well as a snapshot of your principal attributes as an employee. Hiring managers want to know if you’d fit into their workplace, so it’s a good idea to tell them why you chose to apply for a role that particular company.

Remember: employers are looking for enthusiasm and a good work ethic, no matter what the position is.

Provide evidence

Use examples to back up your statements wherever possible and quantify with data to increase impact. For example, including your GPA to highlight your excellent work ethic or sales figures to show your contribution to a business.

If you can quickly explain what you’ve achieved and how you’ve achieved it, this is the place to do so.

Also, never apologise for shortcomings, simply highlight the positives.

Letter-writing tips and examples

Check out our tips for writing a covering letter.

We also have an example of a letter responding to an advertised position and another for reaching out to a potential employer.

Writing a covering letter

Download our guide

Discover how to produce a cutting-edge job application

SELECTION CRITERIA

When addressing selection criteria, use each point provided as a heading. These are the attributes an employer requires of the successful candidate, so address the criteria clearly and as articulately as you can.

The most effective and widely used approach to addressing selection criteria is the STAR approach. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Describe the situation or problem, highlight the task you had to accomplish, explain the actions you took to achieve the task and most importantly, show the result. What specifically did you achieve and what did you learn?

For more guidance on addressing selection criteria, download our resources below.

Make an appointment

Our career consultants can hep with job applications and interview preparation

JOB INTERVIEWS

The most important thing to do before a job interview is find out all about the employer and the industry. Things to look for include:

  • the skills, experiences and attitude the company values (a company’s website is a good place to start)
  • any key employers of the company and what they have to say about the industry they’re in (LinkedIn is great platform for this)
  • the products and services the company is known for
  • the culture and values of the company (see if they've been in the news lately).

Also, ask yourself which aspects of the company closely align with your own skills and values? Be prepared to share these with the interviewer when asked 'Why did you apply for this position?'

Interview questions

During an interview, it's common to be asked behavioural-based interview questions that give you the opportunity to provide examples of previous achievements. A good indicator of future success is how you’ve handled situations in the past, and what you’ve learnt from those experiences. Think about anecdotes that show off your skills and abilities using the STAR technique mentioned above. These examples show that you can identify and articulate problems to be solved, develop a plan for solving them, and achieve results.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself. An interview is also your chance to scope out a workplace and check that it’s a good fit for you. Evaluate what you really want in a company, and the types of things you’re looking for in a workplace. Keep something in reserve though...you probably don’t want to ask about salary in the first interview.

Remember, using positive language in an interview can also leave a favourable impression on the interviewer. Employers want to select a candidate with a positive attitude, good sense of self-awareness and ability to contribute to the culture of their workplace

Prepare to make a good impression

Get a friend to run through some sample interview questions and give you feedback. Make sure you have a few scenarios up your sleeve to use as examples of your achievements in the interview.

The interview will often relate to the selection criteria, so make sure you can provide further information about the points made in your responses.

Download our guide to types of interview questions and strategies for answering them, as well as some sample questions.

Types of interview questions

Sample interview questions

Job interview skills booklet

VIRTUAL INTERVIEW TRAINING

Griffith has a licence with virtual interview training website Big Interview, which you can use to learn and practice your interview skills online. Simply register with your Griffith email account.

Terms and conditions

Big Interview is external to the Griffith website and may be subject to different privacy obligations. Personal information may be transferred, used and stored in other countries that may not have privacy laws as comprehensive as Queensland's or Australia's. At their discretion, Big Interview can increase or decrease the storage limit of any user. User information could be terminated if not used within 12 months, or lost upon licence expiry 30 June 2018. However, Griffith is negotiating with Big Interview to extend the current licence.

Big Interview

Psychometric testing

Psychometric testing consists of a combination of personality profiling and aptitude testing. Graduate recruiters use psychometric testing prior to interviews to eliminate unsuitable candidates. Students are encouraged to sit free online practice psychometric tests via a variety of sites. Below are just two examples:

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