Lead a vivid life that does good

Month: January 2012

14 tips when applying for jobs from the business owner of a recruitment company

UPDATED: Feb 2019

While a lot of the below post still applies. Technology is changing how CVs and Data of Jobseekers is handled.

I’ve written an updated post »

10 great tips when applying for jobs online!



Having just spent an hour or two looking over applications for an internal role at agoge, I am compelled to share some hints about applying for jobs. They are just my perspective, from a guy who has been on the receiving end of literally 1000’s of CV’s and covering letters.


  1. I don’t read the whole CV. Not even close, I just skim read. If I’m really interested I might read more than 10%.
  2. As I skim read, I’m looking for fit into my business culture, as well as growth and learning and experience that could be portable into my business. You don’t have to have done the job, just show me you could do our job, in our context.
  3. Even though I don’t read your CV, bad speling and formatting jumps off the page.
  4. Most CV’s arrive electronically, make sure they are PDF that way your formatting looks the same to me, as it did when you sent it. PDF also saves me clicking 2 times to open your docx on my doc machine and I can read and highlight all over your PDF on my iPad.
  5. Computers have colour available. Yip, you can use graphics and colourful fonts and pictures to sell yourself. It might make me read more than 10%. It will definitely make you stand out from 99.99% of the other people. I’m serious in the latest 100+ CVs I’ve read, none have done a good job of that.

The cover letter

  1. Firstly all of our ads have a contact name. So “Dear Sir/Madam” is really not appropriate. I also doubt I will ever be a “Sir”.
  2. If we ask you to provide 2 great reasons why we should consider you. Then provide 2 great reasons, don’t just cut and paste your last letter.
  3. On that note, I frequently read other companies names instead of our company name in people’s letters. Oops … best you proof read it, or better still get someone else to proof read it.
  4. Make it obvious in the cover letter that you have checked out our website, or know about who we are. You can’t underestimate how excited we get about people who are excited about us.
  5. Your first two lines of any letter either scream “boring, stop reading me”, or grab our attention and draw us to read the rest of the letter. Make it the latter.

Other stuff

  1. I really like it when people take an interest in our jobs and our company before they apply. It stands out in their CV, their letter and gets my attention.
  2. Alexander Bell created these amazing things called Telephones. If we give you permission, pick up the phone and ask a couple of questions. You’re not likely to blow it, and I will remember your name. Therefore your CV moves up the pile because you showed initiative.
  3. I know a lot of companies will now only accept electronic CV’s. I don’t mind getting a physical colour, bound CV. Dress up, call in, ask for the person and just let them know you wanted to set a good impression and drop your CV in. It’s scary as anything, but this is about getting the job you want. This will move your CV up the pile.
  4. I really appreciate honesty. If you’re applying for a job that’s a stretch. Say so. We often keep hold of CVs we might be interested in later.

So these are my suggestions. Some people will pay a lot more attention to your CV, most I suspect don’t.

Listen to my ideas, or don’t. It’s up to you.

Unless of course you’re applying for a job with me.

One question with Sam

Caught up for coffee with Sam who has recently returned from Hawaii for his summer holiday.

So I asked him … “highlight?”

The people.

Definitely the people.

I just loved spending time with the people, getting to know new people and having the time to listen to their stories.

‘He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata!’ (It’s the people, the people, the people)

Sam did heaps of amazing other things like swimming with Manta Rays at night, but his highlight was people.

Sometimes in our busy and task based days we forget that life is about people.

He tāngata.

Life is an adventure, and adventure is defined by you.

Cape Reinga
The noise in the back seat calms as Cape Reinga draws near. The squabbling turns to conversation about the lighthouse … the ocean … and the sea. Adventure for our family waits.

Our family value of adventure has drawn us here. A desire to explore and learn and have fun (despite another full day in the car). This particular adventure is also number 2 on my 12list for 2012.

For us, adventure means exploring, its often unusual, typically fun and sometimes hazardous. It often requires courage. Kid sized courage. The kind of courage that pressures parents into new things, because “we value adventure”.

Adventure creates learning.




So go ahead and define your own adventure. Just don’t miss the opportunity to embark on an adventure of your own. Take your family, your friends, or yourself.



Twelve : 12 memorable things for the 12 months of the year 12.

Twelve - Project Leap begins. A photo each day from 1 Jan 12 to 31 Dec 12. 366 photos in total, including the leap day | 1/366

Happy New Year and welcome to the year of 12.

Because it’s the year 12, and because there are 12 months in the year, why not have a 12 list?

A 12 list is kind of like a bucket list but easier, and just for the year. I think the idea beats new years resolutions (although Jim’s new years resolution is good).

A 12 list is a list of simple memorable things you want to do this year. Don’t worry about the order, or when you will do them. Just list 12 things, anything, as they come to mind.

Then pick one a month and do it, don’t forget to take your camera to record the memory.

Here is my 12 list:

  1. Have a snow fight with my family
  2. Visit Cape Reinga
  3. Marvel at a sunrise
  4. Catch a fish with Jayden
  5. Take my wife on a picnic (without kids)
  6. Fly again
  7. Have someone I have yet to meet, over for dinner
  8. Visit a good.water project
  9. Catch up with a person I didn’t see last year
  10. Go caving
  11. Have a bbq at the beach
  12. Take my kids to a NZ city they haven’t been to before


‘Twelve’ – Project Leap begins. A photo each day from 1 Jan 12 to 31 Dec 12. 366 photos in total, including the leap day | 1/366