Employer Tips on CVs, Interviews etc

Mouthy horse

There is nothing better than advice from the horse's mouth! Last semester a number of employers came on campus to give tips about how to write CVs and cover letters, prepare for interviews and approach work experience.

CV & Cover Letter Tips

"Your CV and cover letter provide a chance for you to sell yourself – so show us why we should choose you over someone else," declares Eurofins, a food, pharma and environmental laboratory testing business.
“We are impressed if you have everything we asked for and present it in a clear and well written way.”

  • Research the company and industry before applying, then focus on what the company says it is looking for (Eurofins)
  • Tailor your CV and cover letter specifically for the job you’re applying for (MyHR)
  • Express your personality in your CV and cover letter (ANZ)
  • Highlight skills that are relevant to the role (ANZ)
  • Showcase projects you’ve worked on in your own time outside your study to show you can put theory into practice and learn as you go (KiwiRail and Teknique)
  • Get on LinkedIn and set up a professional profile (MyHR)
  • Use spell check! (MyHR)
  • Put all work history on your CV – any job you’ve held will show good skills and the ability to commit to an employer. McDonalds and Countdown work history is pertinent because it shows you've held down a job and learned team and communication skills! (MyHR & Eurofins)

Interview/Networking Tips

Whether networking or undertaking an interview you need to be yourself, advises Disney Cruise Line. No matter what sector, you'll be successful if you  -

  • Demonstrate you take on leadership duties (ANZ)
  • Show you have agile learning ability (ANZ)
  • Claim and talk about your achievements – don’t be afraid of doing this (ANZ)
  • Show enthusiasm (Tangible Media)
  • Be positive and have lots of energy (Disney Cruise Line)
  • Prove you’re willing to go above and beyond and open to trying things (Tangible Media)
  • Have self-awareness: who are you and what is your unique selling point? (PwC)
  • Be ready to talk about projects you’ve worked on in your own time outside your study to show you can put theory into practice and learn as you go (KiwiRail and Teknique)
  • Know something about us before the interview, what we do, our values and philosophy (Disney Cruise Line)

Work experience/Internships

"You never know when an internship or work experience will become something more, so treat them like an ongoing job interview," advises media company Tangible Media.

  • Show up on time. It is a very bad look to keep people waiting to get started on the day's work (Tangible Media)
  • Demonstrate you’re willing to go above and beyond and are open to trying things (Tangible Media)
  • Dive right in! Be curious, confident, willing to keep learning. Try, if you fail, try again! (MYOB)
  • Be as collaborative as possible by “taking your ego out of the equation” because it is the sharing of ideas that makes things happen (Teknique)
  • Show initiative by researching, asking questions, learning (Teknique)
  • Fail fast and fail well. Investors expect you to fail and to learn from it (Teknique/ MYOB)
  • Temporary jobs can be a great insight into the business world and many temp roles inadvertently lead onto a fulfilling career path (MyHR)
  • Concentrate on nurturing the natural ‘gifts’ that you have rather than trying to master skills that you don’t have. Use these natural gifts and skills to be an authentic leader (PwC)
  • Studying and doing part-time work or internships demonstrates you can balance demands and have a good attitude (Langham Hotel)

Compiled by Emma Spires, Kylie Robinson, Shaun Pulman and Angela McCarthy of the Employability and Careers team