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Resume, Cover Letter and Interview Tips for Aged Care Workers

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Overtime and going home late is now a work health and safety issue

So you’ve completed your aged care course, what’s next?

It’s time to put your skills to good use.

Whether you’re applying for a position in an aged care facility, community center or as a home carer, you’ll notice that the major requirements are the same. You’ll need to submit a resume together with a cover letter and pass a job interview.

This means that you’d better make a good impression with those 3 requirements if you want to even get considered for a position. You may have the right aged care qualifications and the necessary skills, but you still need to show the hiring manager that you’re the one they’re looking for.

How can I strengthen my resume?

First of all, make sure that it has the information hiring managers look for in every resume. This includes your background, the qualifications you hold and any relevant work or volunteer experience you have.

According to a government survey, 53% of aged and disability care employers prefer candidates who have a certificate III level of training. If you’ve taken up the Certificate III in Aged Care, then you already hold a valid qualification.

Majority of Aged Care Employers prefer a Certificiate III Qualification

There are other courses you can take to add on to your skill set. The Certificate III in Disability is ideal for supporting disabled children and adults, while the Certificate III in Home and Community Care is specific for residential care.

80% of hiring managers also give high importance to how much practical experience you have. Work placement is extremely valuable, but it’s not enough to just say that you completed 240 placement hours. Your resume should also list the specific tasks you did during that time plus your achievements. This lets employers know that you have the core skills of aged carers and shows them what you can do for their organisation.

Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience yet. You can look for volunteer opportunities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and across Australia on the www.govolunteer.com.au website. For more tips on how to get a an aged care position, read the guide “Getting an Aged Work Placement”.

How do I write a cover letter for aged care?

How do I write a cover letter for aged care?

Your cover letter serves as the summary of your resume plus your personal traits. It is sometimes even used to measure how well you communicate with others, which is a key trait for personal support workers. A good cover letter covers the major reasons why you are fit for a position, but it should be short enough to be read in under a few minutes.

Cover letters for aged care typically include the following:

1. Opening Statement

It’s important to make your intentions clear right away by stating the position you’re applying for in the beginning. Example:

“My name is Emma Brown and I would like to apply for the Aged Carer position at the Brisbane Centre for the Elderly.”

If the employer includes a job reference number in the job advertisement, add this to your cover letter too.

2. Background Introduction

Afterwards, you should describe your background starting with your qualifications and experience. Example:

“I currently hold the Certificate III in Aged Care and completed 240 hours of service earlier this year at the Greenfield Elderly Community Center. My daily duties included organizing social activities, assisting in the hygiene of elderly clients and participating in their daily food preparations.”

If you have other relevant experience besides your qualification, you should also put it here. You can also add what you learned during other points of your life. Example:

“For the past 3 years, I have been taking care of my elderly father which has given me additional experience in general care. Being my dad’s constant companion while monitoring his health has taught me the importance of this service and strengthened my patience in caring for others. It was during this time that I decided to become an Aged Care Worker.”

Don’t forget to also describe your personal traits. Surveyed employers said that your work ethic and how well you work with others are particularly important when selecting new carers. Example:

“I believe that Aged Care is where I can focus my energy and compassionate nature to work as part of your team in providing high quality care.”

3. Closing Statement

End your letter strong with a suggestion on what you’d like to happen next. Example:

“I have attached my resume with more details on my qualifications. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to discussing the position with you soon.”

What questions will I get asked in the job interview?

What questions will I get asked in the job interview?

Most job interviews consist of general questions and age care specific questions. Preparing how to answer them goes a long way towards showing how suitable you are for a position.

Interviews test your knowledge and personality. This means that both your answer and how you say it are important. You might have an amazing resume and cover letter, but hiring managers still want to see and hear why they should choose you. This is even more important in aged care where communication skills are highly thought of.

For the complete list of the most common questions, check out the guide “Interview Questions and Interview Tips for Aged Care Jobs”.

Summary

You can start applying for jobs once you hold a valid qualification in aged or disability care.

Aged care employers look for qualifications, work experience and personality traits when reading resumes, cover letters and conducting interviews. This means that you should put your best foot forward and make a good impression in all of them.

 

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Comments

There’s 27 comments (add a comment)

  • DoloresB says:

    I think this is a good help for people looking for jobs in aged care clinics. It’s important that people looking for jobs in aged care clinics have the right training and certification. It also helps to have a love for the job, but i don’t think you can know you love it until you try it.

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Well said, DoloresB! Aged care providers are definitely looking for people with the right qualifications. After all, they want employees who know how to deliver high quality service. I’m sure their clients appreciate having excellent staff support them as well!

  • Raj says:

    hi i am a care worker in residential aged care home.i have been working for 2 yrs now.apart from short course in dementia, i haven’t studied anything for aged care.i do have attended all the mandatory trainings being provided in the organisation.
    i have completed bachelors degree in another occupation out of australia and worked for 5 years as professional then after coming to aus, i got a job as a personal carer.during this,i completed dip. in project management.
    i am planning to move out of where i work and apply for caring jobs again.
    do i need to include my previous qualifications in my resume?

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Raj! Your previous qualifications and 2 years of work experience in Aged Care should help you when you start applying for aged care jobs again. Make sure you include your short course in dementia and all the previous training you took in your resume because these are extremely relevant to the industry and may give you an edge over inexperienced applicants. It also won’t hurt to include the Diploma of Project Management, just make sure to explain how it makes you a better aged care worker and how you can apply what you learned in an aged care setting.

      You might find that employers are now looking for candidates with qualifications specific to the industry such as the Certificate III in Aged Care. You can apply to gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and reduce the number of units you have to study to gain this qualification because you already have experience working in residential care. To gain RPL, make sure you have documents that prove you had job responsibilities similar to the units of the certificate course.

      Did that answer your question, Raj? Let me know if you need more help 🙂

  • Maria says:

    Hi, I am currently studying aged care certificate III ( 2nd term ) , and have done my placement but only for 50 hours, should I include that as a job experience..thanks

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Maria! Yes, you can include that as a job experience because you still worked in an aged care facility and got to practice your skills. Remember to list the actual tasks you did and your accomplishments. Just make sure that you aren’t misleading your potential employers if they ask you how many placement hours you completed.

  • kavitha says:

    Hi Guys,
    can you please help me with the resume prepration as am changing my career from accounting to Aged care worker
    Am studying cert iii in Aged care from a college in Perth
    my whole past career is in accounting and customer service
    am lost here in how to prepare my new resume for Aged care worker

    Please help

    Regards,
    kavitha

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Kavitha! Accounting to aged care is a big shift, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use your previous experience.

      TO start, you can make a list of your customer service responsibilities that have similarities to aged care work. For example, as customer service staff, you’re likely to have helped people with diverse backgrounds with their problems. You can say that you have excellent communication skills in guiding clients and making them feel satisfied or minimising their feelings of frustration which can be useful in the aged care industry.

      Another example is, as an accountant, you likely create reports and document processes on a daily basis. Documentation is important in aged care and your accounting experience can be an indicator that you can understand and create reports based on your client’s needs.

      These are only a couple of examples to help you get started. I hope that helps you, Kavitha!

      -Luke

  • Moddy says:

    Hi there, Can you please help me? I come from oversea and I just finished the CERT III in aged care and want to apply a job. I have no experience working here at all as I am a stay home mum for nearly 10 years. I did 80 hours workplacement. I did first aid and CPR. I need to get Resume and Cover letter done. But I don’t know where to start. Please help. Thank you in advance. Moddy

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Moody! No worries, it sounds like you have everything already and you just need to put it on paper.

      The first thing you can do is make a list of all your work experiences including those from overseas. Next, list down the skills you’ve learned or achievements you’ve made during those experiences and then think about how it will help your work in aged care. For example, caring for children for 10 years shows that you are dedicated to caring for others and know how to cater to individual needs. Remember to follow the tips here while you’re doing all of these.

      Hope that helps!

  • Imonq says:

    Hi Helpers!
    I am a new comer to Australia. I’ve been in the education sector for more than 23 years in my country. I have worked with different aged learners. Also volunteered in a Tsunami affected child care center. I like to join education sector here, So hope to enrol for a Bachelors in CDU. But I need to study more about child care while earn. Without any certificate, will I be able to get some work? I am also looking for an institute to do diploma if they help me find a workplace, I am preparing my Cv now. Would you please help me?
    Thanks,
    Imon

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Imon! It’s great to hear that you want to get into the child care industry here in Australia. All child care educators are now required to hold at least the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. This means you’ll have to hold this qualification if you want to work as an educator in child care. You would also need its higher counterpart, the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (at least 50% of educators at centre based child care facilities are required to have this) if you want to pursue higher roles.

      The good news is, it sounds like you have heaps of experience in education already so that should come in handy in your CV and future job interviews. You can use your work experiences to gain credit towards education-related qualifications as well, including the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning and can be effective to gain new qualifications that you are already competent in. Take note that RPL depends heavily on evidence and you will not be recognised if you do not have enough documents to support your claim.

      I hope that helps you, Imon! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us by enquiring on the Cert III Early Childhood page or on the Cert IV Training and Assessment page 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    Hi there
    I would love to get into the Aged Care industry but don’t know exactly where to start. I have 3 school aged children so have been in a home office for last couple of years but have a real passion for helping people in particular the elderly. I honestly belive they deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity and would really love to get into the Home Care part. My background is administration, customer service. Do i have to have a Cert III in Aged Care? Do you recommend putting DOB on resume as there is some that want in and others that say don’t do it. Can you please suggest where to start and what exactly i should be putting on resume to make it stand out seeing as i don’t have any experience as yet in this industry.

    Thanks in advance.
    A

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Amanda! It’s great that you sound so passionate about this field of work. This industry really needs more carers who feel the same way you do.

      Yes, you need a Certificate III in Aged Care because many employers will only consider you qualified if you hold a nationally accredited qualification, especially if you are just starting out. This course will also teach you how care facilities work in Australia and will allow you to get your first aged care work experience through vocational placement so it really is essential. If you have any questions about it, feel free to claim a free course infopack by clicking here to enquire on the Cert III Aged Care page.

      For your resume, it would be a good idea to review what skills you use for your current and previous jobs and see how they can be applied in an Aged Care setting and highlight those. It’s hard to say without knowing more about your background, but you can put your work experience even if they are not directly related to aged care.

      I hope that gives you something to work with, Amanda! If you have any questions just enquire on the Aged Care page.

  • Nisha says:

    Hi , I am seeking a career change from admin to age care industry … could you please guide me with my resume preparation??
    I’ve more than one year of experience working in a pharmacy as a pharmacy assistant and hold relevant qualifications as well… Additionally I have worked as a volunteer admin assistant for a NFP organisation..

    Thanks

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Nisha! The best way to start is to list down your responsibilities and accomplishments for your previous jobs. Even if they are not directly related to Aged Care, you can use those to highlight the skills, values, and work ethic you have. For example, were you involved in dealing with clients or customers? If yes, that can show that you have experience in fulfilling client requests, and making sure they are satisfied and well taken care of. You can also search for sample resumes online for Aged Care Workers, Care Assistants, and other related positions to get a better idea. Hope that helps you, Nisha!

  • Carl says:

    Hi good day. I have a degree in nursing already which i took overseas way back in 2007, i only had 6 months of experience in a hospital setting after i graduated. after that i have worked as customer service in call centre setting for the last 5 yrs. i just arrived here in Australia, and i am currently enrolled as a 1st year nursing student. Now my question is will i be eligible to work as a carer? or do i still need to get certificate 3 or is it already equivalent to the degree that i took on 2007? your response would be appreciated! thanks!

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Carl! Employers may look for formally qualified carers in many cases so you have to hold a nationally accredited qualification like the Certificate III in Aged Care. One of the reasons is that this course includes vocational placement where you will gain experience working in an aged care facility, which can be different from a hospital setting.

      The good news is, you may not have to take up the entire course if you already have related experience. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows you to gain credit for course units that you are already proficient in, but you need to provide enough evidence to be granted RPL. Please feel free to send our Enrolment Coordinator a message if you want to learn more about RPL and the Cert III Aged Care course. Simply enquire by clicking here to go to the aged care course page. Hope that helps you, Carl!

  • Sharon says:

    Hello I have worked in Aged Care for twenty years and I stopped work to be a carer for my partner two years ago and now I have started to look into going back to Ain work but I cannot even get a interview now. What do I do Thanks Sharon

    • Luke Imbong Luke Imbong says:

      Hi Sharon! 20 years is a lot of experience and that is a big advantage to have. Does your resume and cover letter highlight your responsibilities and accomplishments so that your potential employers know that you are already capable of fulfilling work responsibilities right away?

  • Ash says:

    Dear Luke,
    i just finished aged care cet.iii – theory classes & looking for placement to get practical experience in 200 hours. could you please help me to make a resume and cover letter, cause i have experience in marketing , not in aged care industry.

    i hope to found a job at same place after completing the placement. so it is very much appreciate if you could help me to make resume in professional.

  • Emily says:

    Hi guys
    Please help me and needed a good advice. I have done a bachelor degree in social however, for the last the last 3 years, i have work as a community support worker/ caregiver in home care for elderly, and i totally enjoy it.
    i have applied a few position vacancy but unsuccessfully, together all company that i have tired to applied for are looking for someone that have obtain a social work registration or license.

    any idea where should i start????
    Emily

    • bill says:

      it’s alright to want experienced workers in the aged care/ disability sector now in 2016 but how is a person supposed to get this experince while you are studying for a qualification, huh? you know the bills have to be paid, instead of having a system where ( and i’m not talking about the 200 hours of mandatory experience which incedently you have to pay the facility you are working at to get this 200 hours of experience ) a support worker is just that, not a synonym for a carer but a worker who will be fully supervised, paid, has the plice clearance checks and can get up to 6 months experience in the industry as a whole working part time / casual, while being monitored continually for performance, and from a security perspective, an then see if they can adapt to the industry as a whole

  • Sony says:

    Hi there
    I m new in Australia. I am graduate in B.Sc.Nursing back home. I have 6 months experience working in Red Cross Society and 3 months as registered nurse at hospital. Currently I am taking training on first aid and manual handling. Will I be eligible for aged care??? Will you help me to make cover letter??
    Regards,
    Sony

  • john shortis says:

    how does one complete there units i did 6 out of ten done work placement 240 hours is this enough to be able too work in aged care thanxs john

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