Are you sabotaging your job applications?

Clients come to their consult with me armed with certificates, cards, licences and copies of old resumes. Some are on the ball and all documents are current. Others are disorganised, expired material mixed in with current so they take some sorting out. Also, various certificates and cards can be missing altogether! Confusion reigns. Anxiety can arise when I suggest destroying old documents and cards. I can understand that, for some they represent a part of their working life and memories. What concerns me is the risk. How often is expired material submitted by mistake, consequently sabotaging a job application?So what to do? Here are my thoughts …

  • Gather up every document old and new, sit yourself down at a table and sort them into separate piles, one pile for current and one for expired. Make sure you include all your cards.
  • Check all possible places where you may have put anything relevant, e.g., your wallet or the dashboard of your ute (yes people do file them there)!
  • Check all dates thoroughly.
  • If you can’t bring yourself to destroy the old copies, file them in a plastic pocket, place in a Manilla folder and file them far, far away from your current documents and cards.
  • Scan the current documents and cards (back and front for cards) and save them into a computer file which includes your name in the file name.

You are now ready to make job applications confident that all documentation surrounding qualifications, tickets and licences are current.

What are you doing to improve yourself?


If you were asked this common question at interview, ‘what have you done to improve yourself in the last twelve months’, would you be able to give a winning answer?   If you are not value adding to your qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience, you run the risk of getting left behind, especially in a competitive market.

Using your own initiative, have you undertaken additional training or upgraded qualifications recently?  Do you put your hand up for training when it is offered through your employer?  Time and personal budgets can be tight, so don’t underestimate the free options of volunteering or seeking out a mentor as commitments that may be well received at interview.

Where is your ‘stuff’?

What if your dream job was advertised today?  Where would you find all the ‘stuff’ you need to prepare an application, the ‘stuff’ that would tell your working life story?   Is it on the dashboard of your ute, in a drawer somewhere, maybe a box under the bed, or scattered across all these places?  Many of us give little attention to those important documents that map our working life.

Avoid the panic that comes with not being prepared and set up a dedicated file in your personal filing cabinet to house all relevant documents.   There are lots of goodies which are helpful in preparing job applications, e.g.:

  • Training certificates (if your employer holds them, ask for them back or at least copies)
  • Yearly training print-outs from your employer
  • Scanned copies of tickets and licences
  • Position descriptions
  • Copies of performance development reviews, a great source of information about how you are perceived as an employee (they may be known by some other name in your organisation)
  • Presentations you may have delivered
  • Articles you may have written
  • Awards or recognition received
  • The list goes on …..

What have you got squirreled away in forgotten hidey holes that may be useful?

Are your licences and training current?

kuwait-80674_640As part of your job application process, it is very important, that before you finalise your resume you carry out an audit of your licences and training.
If you have worked for large companies in the past or currently work for a contractor working for one of the larger companies, you may have participated in organisational specific training.  Much of that training carries an expiry date. Many of you will also hold a WorkSafe licence in various classes related to performing high risk work. If you hold one of these licences, you need to remember they are usually only valid for five years from date of issue and have an expiry date detailed on the card. There is a requirement to renew the licence if you are to continue performing high risk work.
I know many of you think that your licences and training are up to date, but quite often that is found not to be so. When did you last check through your cards? Has WorkSafe sent you a renewal notice which you have not received because you didn’t let them know you have moved?  Have you lost any of your cards? Is your First Aid training up to date? Have you done a CPR renewal? Is your organisational specific training still current or has it expired?
When it comes to developing your resume and making job applications, it is absolutely vital that the details surrounding your licences and training are true, correct and up to date, so get those cards out and start checking!