Welcome to the work force and daily work life. Remember easy student life well as it’s all about to end …unless of course you stay and do a Masters or a PhD. Soon you will no longer be able to call yourself a poor student.

Gone will be the days of wild, hedonistic, drunken parties, (until the weekends) Getting up early at the crack of noon. Gone will be a campus full of over-sexed, under-paid, over-worked Uni mates that willingly encourage lots of everything to excess – except being under-paid.

Leaving University or Unitec and moving into the work force is often a huge step in people’s lives. On one hand you have the concept of ‘A real job’ and finally a decent income to think about spending, and on the other hand, student loans, the tax man, and an expensive lover / car / Xbox to spend money on each weekend, plus you have a government asking you to start thinking ‘superannuation’.


A great way to learn about career options is to have the assistance of a professional in your area of expertise contact you. Start a professional relationship with a Recruitment Consultant, because like your Uni contacts, one day you will either need staff, or a new employment opportunity and it’s never too early to start networking for outstanding opportunities – or to start thinking about your retirement and how cruisey you want to make it!

Welcome to the work force and daily work life.

We hope our words of wisdom learnt from experience can assist you with your decisions.

So you now want some ‘real life’ experience with a job, but first you need a CV to send off to get that job right?

Common Mistakes

Common mistakes a huge percentage of students make with their CV’s include:

  • Using pretty paper, borders, photo’s
  • Superfluous ‘front page’ with just your name and contact details
  • Content full of ‘fluff’ and little substance
  • No academic transcript
  • Sending written references

Elaborate borders and pretty paper (when sending a hard copy) screams loudly that most likely this CV will be filled with ‘fluff’ Don’t include your photo in your CV except maybe if you’re God’s gift and applying to be a fashion model. Think quality not quantity.

Emailed CV’s to Recruiters or companies often need to be re-formatted to their way, and stored. Huge CV’s full of fluff tend to bore recruiters after the first three hundred received so make sure yours stands out for all the right reasons!

Common Mistakes

A one page, A4 size table detailing subjects taken and results achieved will give the reader an idea of elective subjects you chose, results, and your main interests. Most serious employers needing to employ an ‘Engineering’ student for a role as an ‘Engineer’ will want to see your academic transcript – so include it in your original CV – poor results or not! (It’s much better being fully prepared and accountable for your results, than only half prepared – and a First Class Honours is not what most employers always want anyway!)

Don’t include written references – all written references are generally ‘good’ anyway.

Your CV Should Include

  • A one or two paragraph personal profile on yourself – be enthusiastic
  • All work experience including role, responsibilities and what you most learned or gained from the experience
  • Hobbies & Interests
  • Club’s and associations you belong to
  • No spelling or grammar mistakes – have another pair of eyes look over it also

Employers will be using your CV as a gauge to hint at how well you will fit into their team environment, how well you can learn and adapt, and how creative you are likely to be, as well as to hint at your personality, and what you enjoy in life. They will be looking for similarities with the existing team. They hope for similar philosophies and attitudes – as skills they require can be taught, but by comparison you will have little compared to their huge – so they look for other attributes… personality, adaptability, communication, willingness to learn, and attitude!

Your CV Should Include

Think substance not fluff – quality not quantity.

Network, network, network. Friends, fellow students, contacts, and colleagues you make at Uni today, will one day be either a work colleague, a supplier, a future boss, a future employee, or a competitor and one day you will need them somehow, someway, somewhere, so make sure you maintain your contacts.

A poor reputation earned at Uni can translate to no employment offer years later.

Scrounging for loose change to buy milk in your retirement would suck – big time! Learn about new roles first, and get the edge for your career – at a time you will most likely need it most!

You are the master of your own destiny – so master it!

We strongly suggest you have a read of the CV Hint’s and Tips, scope out the sample CV, and have a quick squizz at the surviving interviews page for some great assistance. These have been created especially for you.