CDAA Career Development Professional
Defence Recognized Service Provider
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Australian Veteran Owned Business

1300 366 104

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Q: Does Trans-Civ understand Defence people and the issues they face leaving the ADF?

A: Absolutely, all of our coaches are ex-serving members with over 200 years of combined ADF experience.  We all have experience outside of Defence, ranging from being corporate business owners, HR and Hiring managers, public servants and corporate employees.  Not only will we help to help you find a new career, give you the tools to win the job but also help set your expectations of what it is like working and succeeding in a non-Defence environment.

Q. I’m leaving at my own request, but under CTAS I can only choose either CMTC or CTT.  Which is better or me?

A. This is a complicated question to answer, because if you have the qualifications to get an interview, then your focus should be on winning that interview.  But if you don’t have the minimum qualifications, then your immediate focus should be on gaining the qualifications first, then concentrating on winning the job interview.  Just be aware that the CV won’t win you the job.  It only gets you to the interview.  Its then up to you to convince the employer you have what they’re looking for and aren’t going to be a risk (cultural fit, experience and commercial value).

Career Advice

Q. I want to change my career path, how do I find out what sort of jobs I am suitable for?

A. This is a very common questions and one that we all struggled with also.  As a result, we have developed a service that combines internationally recognised personality testing to look at your personality, factors that make up your ideal work environment and your values to look at how you view the world, how you make decisions and what makes you “get out of bed” each day.  Then one of our qualified Career Advisors will walk through some options and help you look at things from a number of angles to help you decide what your next focus might be, or create a career plan to achieve your career goals.  With career focus, then we can target job applications accordingly.


Q. Which is the best template style to use?

A. There are thousands of free CV/Résumé templates available on the web.  They are free for a reason – because the format is not the main focus.  What is important is what information is presented to the reader and how does that information relate to what they are looking for.

Q. Can I apply for a job with my old CV and then send in a better application later?

A. No.  When an organisation receives an application, they use that information to form an opinion about you.  It is normal for them to then make notes in their Database about you.  If they are in any way negative, when you send in another application, all they will see is that you have applied before and they already have notes about you, indicating that you were found not suitable then.  They don’t take the time to compare CV versions, as they will assume that anyone who applies for a job wouldn’t send in poor information.  So they must assume the information will be virtually the same and there will be little point revisiting your new application to arrive at the same conclusion.

Q. Is there a right and wrong way to fill out job applications correctly?

A. Correctly compiling Job Applications isn’t difficult, once you know what you’re doing.  But like everything, there is a right way and a wrong way.  The right way is to know what the employer/hirer wants in an application.  How do you know this when you’ve not been involved with this process in many years?  Because there are many jobs and many employers, the answer to this question isn’t a simple one that assumes one size will fit all.  This is where we can help. The only common factor we have found in regularly canvassing over 50 employers is that they want you to show them on the first page the depth of how you meet their requirements for this job.  Its for this reason alone “Generic CVs” will always miss the mark.  Sometimes friends and colleagues who give you advice can be well-meaning, but the reality is that tailoring your application for the reader is the key, not copying.  Don’t be mislead into thinking that just because something worked for one person that it will work for you too.  If your application isn’t targeted toward the job ad, then it makes no difference how nicely laid out it is or how pretty it looks.  If you sincerely want to get your application right and not experience the frustration of nor replies, take the time to get it right the first time.


Q.    How do I handle the question on salary expectations in an interview?

A.  The one questions we want to get right the most.  You don’t want to undersell yourself and you don’t want to price yourself out of the market.  I went through this at an early interview after I discharged, I did not go to the interview with an idea of what salary I wanted or could expect.  All I knew is that I wanted this job.  I expected the salary would be set and I’d just start on that.  Not quite what happens in the commercial world.
When asked, “what sort of salary expectation do you have if you won this job?” I tried to avoid giving a figure by stating “Money is not my motivating factor for this role, it is the opportunity to work for a large organisation such as yours and the opportunities to further develop my skills in a long term career, that is my main motivation”  I thought that would do it but, they said “that’s great but can you please give us a figure that you would be looking for?”  I of course froze and said that I did not really know to which they again stated that they wanted a figure.  I gave them a figure that I thought was at the lower end as I wanted the job and the interview continued on.  Sure enough, a week later I received a call stating that I was the successful applicant and that the salary was set at exactly the level that I had mentioned in the interview.  A few months after starting this job I went to an industry networking function and found speaking to peers that even though I was in a higher profile job that I was being paid $10-15k less than my peers.  Even though I was rewarded for my performance in this role with pay rises and bonuses, the employer did not say “Ross we know that we are not paying you the going rate so we will move your salary up”.
The moral of this story is that employers want to get the best employee at the lowest price possible as the reality of the corporate world is making or saving money is the main goal. What I learnt from this is that I needed to research industry salary standards for the role interviewing for, then have a salary range not set figure so that there is room for yourself and the employer to move if you are the preferred candidate.

Q: Is it appropriate to have my Career Coaching sessions at my house?

A: We have a firm belief that your home is a comfort zone that may have other distractions that affect your ability to assimilate and process our important training.  For your benefit, we also like to take you out of your comfort zone and create a situation that is as close to a real life interview as possible.  For these reasons, we recommend you don’t conduct your career coaching program at your home.  While it may sound great on the surface for convenience sake, the longer term benefits could cost you dearly.

Q. Are there negatives to having family members sit in my coaching sessions?

A. To answer job interview questions the best, you should talk about yourself in such a way that it promotes your chances of winning the job.  Sometimes talking like this is foreign and unfamiliar to begin with.  We all have an ‘inner critic’ who tells us we aren’t as good as we are making out.  This inner critic goes into overdrive when family members are present and greatly hinders any chance of you actually verbalising the great things you have done in a way that you can get comfortable.  There is a reason people struggle identifying achievements.  Its this inner critic that downplays our achievements and tells us to get back to being average.  Average doesn’t win jobs.  Once you have completed our coaching program we provide you with a comprehensive document pack which is the written version of the coaching, that your spouse will find extremely useful.  We would also be happy to tailor a package that would suit your spouse’s requirements.

Q: How many one on one sessions will I receive?

A: This depends on you CTAS entitlements, below is a run down of our individual meetings (all session are approx two hours).

  • CTMC for Tier 2 or RSL: 1 x initial coaching session + 1 mock interview
  • CTMC for Tier 3, medical, MIER and redundancy: 1 x initial coaching session, 2 x face to face mock interviews and life time free practice interviews prior to real interviews to accessing any of our national network of coaches.
  • Privately funded:
    • Top Program: 1 x initial coaching session, 2 x mock interviews
    • Ultimate Program: 1 x initial coaching session, 2 x face to face mock interviews and life time free practice interviews prior to real interviews to accessing any of our national network of coaches.

Q. What are the common interview questions that get asked?

A. If you Google ‘job interview questions’ you’ll get thousands.  There are some questions that seem to be evident in many job interviews.  Beyond these it gets down to job specific questions, whether about leadership, communication, technical ability, supervising skills, etc.  Some frequently asked interview questions are:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tell me two of your weaknesses
  • What is your five-year career plan?
  • Tell me about a difficult customer
  • What motivates you to try your hardest?
  • What do you now about our company?
  • How have you demonstrated initiative?

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