Following Up, Without Getting a Restraining Order

Interview CoachingThe most generic piece of advice given to jobseekers is “follow up!”

“Follow up on your application!”

“Follow up on your interview!”

“Follow up on the selection process!”

It is advice that has been repeated and handed down so often, that people now almost see it as a must – without realizing that following up can absolutely go too far.

We need to remember that hiring managers are people too. People with jobs and important tasks to handle throughout their day. They aren’t just sitting around waiting to field your follow up calls, and they do have better things to do than respond to e-mails from applicants. So while following up can be a great way to reiterate your interest, it can also go too far.

Think about your job search in terms of dating – remembering that you wouldn’t want to obsessively call or e-mail someone you’ve just met. And then, tread carefully when it comes to the follow up.


Making a Call

Placing a single phone call to inquire about a job opening or to check that your application was received is acceptable, particularly if you keep that call short, pleasant and to the point. But calling more than twice absolutely places you into stalker territory, and convinces hiring managers that you are either too desperate or too high maintenance. Sometimes, job searches are just a waiting game. So trust that they have your information, and then give them time to call you if they are interested.


Sending an E-Mail

There are times when sending an e-mail can absolutely be a valuable professional courtesy to extend. Thanking a hiring manager for the opportunity to interview for a position, for instance, usually goes a long way to express your interest in the job. But remember to keep it at that. You may want to improve upon your answer to an interview question, or follow up on something that you discussed during that interview, but always aim to keep it as short and to the point as possible. And then, don’t e-mail again. No matter how much you want to check in to see if a decision has been made or to ask if they have set up a timeline for second interviews yet. This is another area where being too eager can very easily come off as desperate. And just like in dating, desperate is the last thing you want to be perceived as being when searching for a job.


Dropping By

Don’t do it. Under no circumstances should you ever just pop by the office and ask to see the hiring manager. You may be convinced that this is the best possible way to show how much you truly want this job, but the real message you are sending is that you don’t value the hiring manager’s time; that you assume they are just sitting around waiting for you to show up. They aren’t. In fact, they are incredibly busy, with schedules that include interviews with applicants who have waited until they were called and meetings were arranged before showing up. There is a perceived arrogance in applicants who just drop by, and it can be a surefire way to have your name removed from the list of possible hires. So instead, exercise a little patience and be willing to wait to meet with the hiring manager until you are called to do so. If that call never comes, it wasn’t meant to be. But showing up and putting your face in front of theirs unannounced never would have changed that outcome. And it could absolutely be detrimental if they were otherwise considering you.


Tips for Addressing Selection Criteria

selection criteria writingWhen it comes to applying for executive roles, Government roles or other positions with specific selection criteria, many candidates find themselves in the dark. In fact, selection criteria writing is an art form in itself.

Without clear focus and appropriate answers to each criterion, you could see a rejection in your inbox within a week.


Here are three of our best tips for writing selection criteria:

1. Read the Criteria. Then read them again.

Read carefully through each selection criteria point – and then read them again. This will help you thoroughly understand what each point is asking you. If the criteria still seem vague, try and put yourself in the employer’s shoes and contemplate what it is they want to learn about you with each question or statement. For example, the request, “demonstrate a time when you’ve had to deal with a difficult client or customer” might just seem like it’s asking you how well you cope with difficult people. But what the employer may really want to see is an example of how well you communicate, how you work under pressure and how effective you are at problem solving.

2. Provide Evidence

No selection criteria statement is going to succeed without solid evidence to support your claims. For each point, come up with at least two examples, where you have effectively demonstrated the criteria.

If you’re unsure how to proceed, use the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result in each explanation. That is, explain the situation and task required, the action you took, and the result achieved. Apply this approach to each selection criteria – it will help you to effectively produce a strong case, with supporting examples.

3. Use Powerful & Professional Language

At no time should your selection criteria writing be vague or unclear. Ensure that your document uses professional, business-style language. Utilise powerful words such as ‘achieved,’ ‘accomplished,’ ‘succeeded’ and ‘developed,’ when talking about yourself and your responsibilities and outcomes.

Also, consider using bullet points with short sentences to list concise examples so that your writing is clear and to the point.

Still unsure of how to go about writing selection criteria?

The team at Resumes Australia are selection criteria writing specialists. We focus on delivering documents that leverage the right examples to demonstrate key competencies, clearly showing your future employer that you meet the key selection criteria and that you have the skills and capability to do the job required.

kylie hammond

Selection Criteria Writing – Insider Tips

selection criteria writingIt’s amazing how much useful information you can pick up from seemingly idle conversation. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the best way of ‘getting inside someone’s head’ is to actually listen to the things they say.

Example no.1: A close acquaintance who is the CEO for a high profile national insurer confided that, in their experience, a surprising number of job applicants supplied very little detail in their responses to selection criteria.

They said I would be amazed how many people considered it enough, for example, to state that their teamwork skills were ‘excellent’.

Clearly a prospective employer wants more than just a statement; they want supporting evidence. So, instead of “my teamwork skills are excellent”, why not try something along the following lines:

“My highly developed teamwork skills came to the fore recently when I took it upon myself to make sure the company I worked for was compliant with the latest changes to the HR legislation concerning Health and Safety issues.

Even though I work in the HR section, the job was really one for our section manager. I could see, however, that they were already over-stretched with a policy development project, so I told them I’d take care of it. The effect this had on our professional relationship, and on HR team morale generally, was extraordinary.

In terms of selection criteria writing, this is a very good response, and gives the applicant a powerful advantage over competitors for the position.

Example no.2:  Another friend, who has a senior recruitment role in a NSW Government department, joked that if they could refer people to take advantage of my selection criteria writing services, I’d be booked up for the next ten years. “Honestly” they confided, “every single senior project officer position we advertise asks applicants to demonstrate well-developed written communication skills. But over 90% of the applications we receive haven’t even been checked for spelling and grammar mistakes. Can you believe that?”

What I get from this is that standards are still important to some. When it comes to measuring the professionalism of candidates, the so-called ‘forgotten’ language skills are actually very much still on the agenda.

So, apart from the particular insider tips mentioned, my general advice concerning selection criteria writing is to listen well. By paying attention to the conversations of those in high places, you can quickly learn what is expected. This can often be the difference between gaining an interview and not.

In any case, why take the risk? My success in assisting talented executives at all levels to get where they want to go is proven. It’s certainly worth the investment.


kylie hammond

Toughest Job Interview Companies

toughest job interviewsSome companies are notoriously tough when it comes to the interview process, and candidates can go through countless grueling interviews which include complex brain teasers, technical questions, and detailed case study analysis., a US based work-culture website, has recently conducted a study to rank these toughest interview companies, and not surprisingly many of these business giants operate here in Australia. Read more of this post

Resume Writing for Selection Criteria Writing

selection criteria writingSo, you’ve just found a dream job and the advertisement states “click here to download the selection criteria”. Most Australian Government (State, Federal or Local), and other organisations choose Selection Criteria recruitment method.

This style of recruitment is designed to find the right person for the job and ensures an equitable process based on merit (so everyone is on a level playing field!). You will need to respond to Selection Criteria statements and will be short-listed based on your ability to convince the Selection Team that you have the personal qualities, skills, abilities, knowledge and qualifications (if any) required to perform the job.

Read more of this post

Give Your Resume a Boost with Power Words and Phrases

I have found over years, that for some candidates, it can be a huge struggle to write a professional resume. Reading between the lines, I know that the candidate has the capability and expertise to do the job. Choosing the right words to capture skills and accomplishments using power words and phrases in a positive way will give your professional CV strength.

Power words (or action verbs) can be a good way to improve your resume and a make stronger statement. By using an “active voice” and incorporating power words into your professional CV, you can convey that you have strong resume writing skills and also boost the strength of your communication.

Using power words will certainly help your resume to get noticed… just remember to be industry-specific, and be strategic when placing words into your resume. Try not to over-do it and always be relevant to your job role and industry. Finding the right power words can take a bit of practice. If you are struggling to find the right word, then try looking for a Synonym using the “Thesaurus” facility in your word processing application.

Here’s a sample of power words, and how they relate to the subject matter:

Achievements & Results Power Words:

Turned around
Delivered (on time and within budget)

Leadership & Team Building Power Words


Examples of phrases to describe qualitative accomplishments:

Increased revenue by 250%
Exceeded KPI Goals by 23% Decreased costs by $750,000
Team ranked consistently ranked #1 over 3 year period
Exceeded quotas by 45% ($3M)
Need help with your resume? Contact us for a confidential assessment. We can provide resume writing packages for any situation .


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