CV, Interview and Career Advice

OK. So it is time for a change and time to brush up that CV and get the ball rolling.

Urrrghh. We can hear your collective groans from here. We know writing a CV is hard, an often painful exercise that is typically left to the very last minute. One that is sometimes rushed through so quickly that the finished product is a Frankenstein document made up of old formats and job descriptions all copied and pasted together. It becomes something so hideous you will probably give potential employers nightmares. Instead you lock yourself away for hours in a dark room tinkering and poking, drawing in all the disparate and often conflicting advice you hear from others editing it to the point that you wish you never even had a ‘career’.

If you want to secure your next role, not scare people away, we can help. Below is our CV writing guide, it’s easy to follow and full of practical hints and tips on how you can make sure your CV represents you in the best possible light.

View our CV writing guide

CV, Interview and Career Advice - HorizonOne Recruitment


Top six CV tips

1. Format/Presentation.

This is not the time to show off your fancy MS Word skills. Your CV needs to have a clear visual hierarchy. Avoid large blocks of text, get straight to the point, use bullet points and consistent spacing.

2. How long?

The question we are asked most often. People are often confused by advice recommending a 2 page CV. The best CV’s we receive are around 5 pages long.

3. Gaps! What do I do?

Don’t leave them unaddressed. Whether you were on holiday, extended leave, studying or looking after family; put this in your employment history noting clear dates so the gap is addressed.

4. Employment History.

This is the first thing employers look at on a CV. Make sure it’s easy to understand the context of your responsibilities and the organisation.

5. Edit.

Can you guess what the number one turn-off when looking at a CV is? Poor grammar, bad spelling and silly mistakes, they make you look like you just don’t care enough.

6. Qualifications.

Whilst you may think it’s great that you were the 2001 Tuggeranong Hyperdome hot dog eating champ, potential employers just don’t want to know. Keep your education and qualifications relevant.

Bonus tips

  • Personal details. Information like your name, address and contact numbers are essentials, but information such as your age, religion, marital status and what car you drive are not necessary. (Even if it’s really cool car…)
  • Pokey Photographs. Don’t, please just don’t.

Security clearances

One of the most common things we get asked about are security clearances. Please read on to find out more information on what they are and what it means when you see a job advertised with a clearance required.

Read more about security clearances.

CV, Interview and Career Advice - HorizonOne Recruitment


Ok so your CV is a done and you have landed an interview. Now what?!

We have all been there, eyes wide, breathing heavily, trying to remember our strengths and weaknesses. We know interviews can be a challenging and stressful experience, regardless of what stage in your career you are. While we can’t cure your interview nerves completely, we have prepared a guide which we hope will help you to feel as prepared and confident as possible. And don’t worry; you don’t have to imagine anyone naked.

Read our Interview Preparation Guide.


1. Take the time to research the role and company you are interviewing for.

The internet is a huge help and we can be too. But don’t forget, Canberra is a small place; chances are you have a connection who can provide some inside intel that will be very useful.

2. Prepare some answers to commonly asked questions.

Consider how you will structure an answer to these questions that best shows your suitability for the role. Think about what other information you really want to ensure the potential employer knows about you and your professional experience.

3. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination.

Interviewers do not want to hear about the bad traffic, lack of parking or how you couldn’t find their office. No excuses, don’t be late.

4. Put yourself in your interviewers shoes.

Make sure you can clearly articulate around these three key things:

  1. Do you have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to do the job?
  2. What is your motivation for doing the job?
  3. Will you fit into the team and company culture?


1. Complain about or criticise former employers or managers.

Be VERY careful here as you’re the one who is going to look bad. Be factual, objective and keep your personal feelings aside.

2. Feel guilty about roping someone into helping you role play a practice interview.

The more you practice the easier it will be to provide clear and articulate answers under pressure.

3. Focus too much on the ‘what’s in it for me’ stuff.

If you spend time examining the fine detail around every personal benefit offered by the employer it will leave you looking like a needy or difficult employee. Wait until an offer is on the cards before you dig into this.

4. Forget to put your phone on silent!

You would be surprised how many people do not think of this.