Connecting Gold Coast students and graduates to opportunities

Job Applications

When it comes to applying for an advertised position it is important to place yourself in the shoes of the employer and tailor your application to the skills and requirements of the role. This involves reading the job advertisement and making note of the key skills and requirements and asking yourself, how can I demonstrate that I can meet these requirements?

A tailored resume is:

  • written for a specific job
  • reflects the needs of the employer
  • clearly demonstrates why you are right for the job.

You do this by:

  • scanning the ad for keywords
  • asking a friend or contact who knows the industry for advice
  • reading up on the employer

Application Documents – Resume and Cover Letters

A resume generally consists of one to two pages in length and there are many templates available online. Some employers require a design-heavy resume with graphic elements, while for others a simple, single-page Word document will suffice. Choose a theme or format for your resume that suits the industry you are wanting to work in and make sure you PDF the documents before applying.

You can arrange your resume under the following headings.

Your Name and Contact Details

  • Include your home address, contact phone number, email address and LinkedIn URL.
  • Your name should stand out and this section should be at the top of the first page.


  • A summary is not essential, but it is useful if you have limited experience and can convey enthusiasm and motivation. Briefly summarise any work you have done, your personal strengths/attributes and state how these relate to the role you are applying for.


  • List your most recent education qualifications first and only include your qualifications, registrations, or licenses that:
    • Relate to the job, like training or qualifications that show you can do this job.
    • Show your general literacy and numeracy skills by providing information on your highest level of education, eg. Degree, Diploma, School Certificate or current year level at school, RTO, university.
    • Professional development such as short training courses, workshops, licences, forms of accreditation, and other training can be included but is usually a separate heading.

Work History/Experience

  • If possible, list your most relevant work experience on the first page.
  • If you have relevant experience, you may want to highlight this with functional headings (e.g. childcare experience).
  • Under each heading, order roles in date order from what you did most recently.
  • Include your job title for each position, the name of the employing organisation and the city and/or country where you worked.
  • Under each current and/or previous position should be a list of bullet points that clearly articulate the duties and responsibilities of the position (use present tense for current role and past tense for previous roles).
  • These bullet points need to highlight the key skills and achievements you demonstrated in the role starting with an action verb.

Employment Skills/Job Requirements

  • Include skills that are relevant to the job, highlight your previous experience doing a similar role that shows you have the skills and personal traits the employer is looking for. Where possible provide examples to demonstrate these skills in action. This could be of benefit to the business, for example, your relevant IT skills in social media etc.
  • Job requirements could include things such as Driver’s License, Blue Card, First Aid Certificate.

Interests or Extra-curricular

  • Including a section on interests can be useful if it is relevant and active. Only include those interests which are relevant to the job you are applying for or those which demonstrate your proactive or positive traits.


  • Include the names and contact details for two referees can help support your application.
  • Always ask your referee’s permission before including their details in your resume.
  • You can also write ‘References available on request’.

Cover Letters

A cover letter demonstrates to the employer why you are suitable for the role — it shows that you can and will do the job, and why you will be a good fit for the team. It is their chance to get to know you before scheduling an interview.

Your cover letter should be adapted for every application to highlight your strengths and experience relevant to the role.

Cover letter layout

Start with your name and contact details, current date, and employer contact details.

Introduction paragraph:

  • State the position you are applying for and where you located the vacancy.
  • Explain why you are interested in applying for the position by demonstrating how the opportunity aligns with your current goal.

New paragraph:

  • Articulate why you are the best person for the position by addressing the requirements listed in the position description.
  • These may include your qualifications, experience, employability skills and personal attributes that effectively demonstrate your suitability for the role.
  • State why you are interested in the organisation and how your values align with their culture and what they are offering.

Final paragraph:

  • Mention the relevant supporting documentation you have attached such as your resume, references, academic records, portfolio of work.
  • Restate your interest in the opportunity and that you would welcome the opportunity of an interview and thank them for their consideration of your application.

Finish with ‘Yours sincerely’, your signature and your full name printed.

Tips for an Effective Job Application

  • Your resume and cover letter are dynamic documents and should be updated as you gain new skills, experience, and education.
  • Tailor your application to the specific job.
  • Make sure it looks professional.
  • Write to the job requirements.
  • There must not be any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.
  • Either proofread it yourself or ask a trusted individual to proofread your application documents before applying.

Useful links

Gold Coast Student Hub for job seeking support:


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