The importance of proofreading your WA Training Awards application

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Applications for the WA Training Awards 2017 close in just two days, so now is the time to put the finishing touches on your application.

One of the most important things you can do over the next few days is set aside some time for proofreading.

To put your best foot forward, you want to make sure that your application is easy to read and presents you or your organisation in the most positive light possible.

Below are a few things to check when proofreading your application.

Does it make sense and have you answered the question?

Working on an application over time, we often rewrite things, delete paragraphs and sentences and add content as we go. Take the time to ensure you haven’t left any half sentences hanging when you’ve been chopping and changing information around.  Confirm that what you have written makes sense and your response to each criterion answers the question being asked of you. The judging panel should be able to easily understand what you have written without ambiguity so make sure it is as clear as possible.

Spelling and grammar

The WA Training Awards judging panels recognise that awards applications are not easy things to write and sometimes little mistakes slip through. However, continual spelling and grammatical errors in an application tend to give the panel the impression that you may not have given the application the attention it deserves. When an application is poorly written it undermines the hard work and determination you’ve put in to doing your best in your training.

One of the criteria for students is about communication skills. It is important to make sure that your application is written well and your messages and responses are clear.

You want the panel to recognise the work you’ve put in to this application, the dedication you have to the process and your committment to a role as an ambassador for the training sector.

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Eliminate jargon and explain things clearly

Don’t assume that the panel understand what is involved in your job or training specifically, as they may work in completely different industries. When using examples from your training and work, it’s important to clearly explain to the panel what was involved in that particular process or part of your job/training in order for them to understand the significance of the example.

Are there areas that can be improved?

Sometimes when we make the time to read over what we have written, we realise there is a much simpler way of saying something or we see where something could be communicated better.

Take the time to think about what you have written and whether you can make any improvements or add more hard hitting examples before you press that submit button.

Proofreading improves the quality of your application and may be just what you need to transform your application from middle of the pack to the top of the pile.

Applications for this year’s WA Training Awards close on Friday 5 May 2017. Put your best foot forward and submit your application today. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for further information.

Need assistance with your WA Training Awards application?

The countdown is on to submit your application for this year’s WA Training Awards 2017. If you really want to put yourself in the spotlight but you’re finding answering the selection criteria a little bit difficult, ask for help! Here are a few places you can go for assistance.

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Consult the WA Training Awards team or website

The WA Training Awards website has a wealth of information to help you with your application. The best place to start is the Tools page – here you’ll find examples of award winning applications so you can see how others have answered the criteria and you can check out the evidence guides to give you more information on what kinds of examples and evidence you can use to answer each criterion.

If you’re having trouble understanding the criteria or have any other queries, contact the WA Training Awards team by emailing trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Talk to your employer, lecturer or VET Coordinator

Your employer and lecturer are people who work in your industry. They may be able to help you with information on the latest industry trends, regulations and new developments in your industry or workplace that may be relevant in the context of your application.

If you’re still at school, your VET Coordinator will be able to give you a good understanding of the VET sector and assist you in understanding the selection criteria.

Your employer, lecturer or VET Coordinator may also be able to assist in brainstorming examples of times during your training or work that you have demonstrated certain skills outlined in the criteria and achievements you’ve gained throughout your training.

Contact student services at your training provider

If your TAFE/training provider has a student services team, contact them to see if they can offer any advice and assistance in writing a winning application. They may also be able to point you in the direction of further assistance from lecturers or other industry contacts.

Talk to your industry training council

There are nine training councils in WA covering all industry areas. The training councils are industry bodies providing strategic advice to the Department of Training and Workforce Development on industry skill needs. They can assist you with information and advice on training needs, current issues and skills shortages within your industry and much more. Visit the State Training Board website for a list of industry training councils and contact details.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need to broaden your understanding and submit the best possible application for this year’s WA Training Awards. Applications close on Friday 5 May 2017. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for more information or to submit your application today.

How to sell yourself in your WA Training Awards application

Just like writing a job application, the key to writing an application for the WA Training Awards is to sell yourself.

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Sometimes it can be hard to sell yourself in an application or an interview – you may feel like you are boasting about yourself. Don’t think of it as boasting – what you’re doing is providing the panel with the evidence they need to select you as a semi-finalist.

The most important thing you can do is talk about your skills, abilities and achievements in relation to the selection criteria and back it up with examples of when you’ve used those skills in your training and work.

Your written application is the deciding factor for whether you get an interview or not, so you need to ensure you’ve given the panel every reason to shortlist you.

Show don’t tell

Your application must include examples from your training and work. To really sell yourself, you need to show the panel through an example of when you’ve used those skills, don’t just tell them that you have the skills. If you’re not sure what examples to use, visit the Tools page on the WA Training Awards website and download the evidence guide for your category. Alternatively, brainstorm with your employer, lecturer, VET Coordinator or a colleague.

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What’s your message?

Be clear on what your message is. Why is your VET qualification and your career pathway important to you? What difference has it made in your life and therefore, what difference could a VET pathway make in anyone’s life? Once you are clear on this, weave your experiences around this message into your application.

For example, WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2014 Taylor Wood wanted to show other school students that taking on a VET pathway isn’t a ‘second option’, that VET qualifications lead to rewarding careers just as tertiary pathways do. Taylor’s message was to encourage school students to pick a pathway that leads them to their dream career regardless of whether it was through VET or university.

WA Apprentice of the Year 2016 Brendan Carlson had been in the army for six years prior to starting his apprenticeship. For Brendan, it was his electrical apprenticeship that helped him to transition from military life back into civilian life. Brendan’s message was about the power of apprenticeships – how they can change your life and the opportunities apprenticeship pathways can provide for ex-Australian Defence Force personnel.

Understand the end goal

The judging panels are looking for ambassadors for the VET sector. People whose stories inspire others to follow in their footsteps. People who are passionate about what they do and know the value of the skills they’ve learnt to work in their field and have a successful career. When you apply for a WA Training Award, you are applying to be an ambassador, so show the panel why your knowledge, experience, journey and message sets a positive example for others.

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Selling yourself might not come naturally to you. For most people, it is not common place to self-promote and it would rarely be appropriate in any other social interaction. But when it comes to writing an application and preparing for an interview, put the time into considering your strengths and what sets you apart from others and ensure that is what you put into your application.

Applications for this year’s WA Training Awards close on Friday 5 May 2017. Sell yourself to our judging panels this year and submit your application today. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for further information.

Submitting your WA Training Awards application

Applications for the WA Training Awards close in just over one week’s time. If you want to be in the competition to be recognised as the best in the State at what you do, now is the time to finalise your application and press the submit button!

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Review your responses

Once you feel you’ve finished your selection criteria responses, do a final read through. Even have someone else read through them if you can to point out any spelling or grammatical errors or anything that needs further clarity. Ensure you’ve included real working examples for each criterion to demonstrate how you meet the criteria and convince the judging panel you’re the next training ambassador. Check your word count and use the word limit as a guide to ensure you’ve given enough information for each criterion.

Check all details are correct

Do a final check of the Applicant details and Training details pages to ensure you’ve entered all the correct information with regard to your training course, provider, referee and employer if applicable as well as your contact details.

Upload your attachments

The required and suggested attachments are essential to your application. Double check what’s required of you in your category application guide then head to our website to download any attachment templates you need. It’s a good idea to prepare, scan in and upload attachments in advance to ensure you don’t forget these when it comes to submitting your application.

Press submit!

Once you’ve done all of those checks and ensured everything is correct and complete, that’s it! Press the submit button to be in the running for this year’s WA Training Awards!

The WA Training Awards judges can’t wait to read your application and see what great work is being done in the training sector this year.

If you have any final questions, contact the WA Training Awards team on 6551 5609 or email trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.