Recently an innovative graduate, Simone Trentino (from Italy) reached out to offer some advice about job applications for any students or graduates who are interested. Simone and I worked together in his capacity as an International Student Ambassador for our city. I really appreciated Simone’s offer, and his job applications advice for you is so good, I have posted it below. Simone decided to rebuild his resume based upon the requirements of the market he was living in; he modified his approach to the employers he was targeting and he started using online platforms such as LinkedIn to find the type of employer he wanted to work for. Simone has completed 5 Internships and within 4 months of graduating he secured a full time job.
Simone’s advice about job applications
My name is Simone Trentino, I am 27 years old and I come from Italy.
I graduated in Rome in 2012 with a Bachelor of Political Science with International Address and after having completed my first and only internship with the National Institute for Foreign Commerce in Italy I decided to move to Brisbane, Australia in 2013 to continue my studies by undertaking a Master of Business / Marketing Advanced at the University of Queensland.
After completing the first semester, I decided to start job hunting in order to put in practice what I was learning at University. The variety and practicality of the education I was receiving, made myself closer to the idea and the desire to get a job as soon as I could.
Therefore, after discovering the main platforms where job opportunities were advertised (Seek.com.au, Gumtree.com.au, Spotjob and similar) the next step was to send as many applications as I could around, in order to increase my chances to get a place where to work. At the end of the first three weeks, I had already contacted 50 different companies, of any size and location.
The following months after receiving no response at all from the majority of the companies I was contacting, alongside few negative responses received by email, I decided to go back to the basics in order to analyse the main reason of my failures.
After having read various articles around the web and especially from LinkedIn, I came up with few pivotal features that I needed to improve:
- The first step that I managed to undertake to re-shape my strategy when applying for jobs, was related to understanding my resume related issues. Having had no knowledge at all of the Australian employee’s market I was going for the “one size fit all’ strategy, by sending all the time the exact same resume to all the potential companies I wanted to work for. Perhaps I realized that my CV format was completely wrong. In fact I found out that in Australia the CV format was really different from the European one. Definitely more focused on key points in terms of work related achievements rather than the quantity of experiences and the name of the employee in the European one.
- The second step was to reconsider the skills I had on my resume: most of them were related to work experiences that I managed to gain in Italy, a different country with different values and working habits as well as processes. I realized that I had only few transferable skills that I could use to craft my new resume to be more attractive.
- The third step was related to review the companies I was targeting: having realised I had such small experience on the field, I shifted my target towards only family or young small ones.
Having said that, the research on the weaknesses of my resume put me through a process of self-awareness of my real chances to get a job, which at the time were almost close to zero. In order to get the experience I needed, I decided to come up with a specific strategy, based on four points:
- Apply only for internships in order to build up the skill set I was lacking
- Re-build from scratch my resume by matching step by step the Australian Standards
- Get myself involved in activities in and off campus related to the field of Business and Marketing, the area where I was undertaking my Master at University.
- Creating an online resume through Linkedin and starting making contacts via my digital life too. Especially by reading and exploring different profiles on LinkedIn, I managed to come up with a list of skills and experiences that I needed in order to boost my resume. Moreover, I had the chance to be always updated on the latest industry news thanks to what the experts in my sector were sharing on this specific platform.
After three months, I managed to get my first Internship and since then it has been an escalation in my working career: at the end of the two years study I completed five internships and, at four months since my graduation, I got a full time job.
Well done Simone! I look forward to following your career. You have worked hard to develop your own personal plan when applying for jobs, and now you can chart your own career path.
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