Monthly Archives: December 2016

How to succeed in the Australian job market with limited local experience

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to succeed in the Australian job market with limited local experienceIf you’ve recently arrived in Australia and have been unsuccessful with your job applications so far, don’t despair. It’s tough finding a job when you don’t have one and it’s even tougher applying for roles when you don’t have any previous experience in the Australian job market. So how can you achieve success?

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of securing your first job in Australia. Here’s a few areas you could start with:

Check Your Qualifications: the first thing you need to do is make sure your qualifications are relevant and applicable to the local job market. For example, many medical, legal and technical roles require bridging courses or additional study in order to translate your qualification to the equivalent local qualification. Check this out with local industry associations to confirm what you need. Likewise if you have a qualification that is equivalent to something here – make sure to mention that so recruiters immediately understand.

Volunteer: if you have arrived in Australia, volunteering provides a great opportunity to build your local experience, while meeting new people and brushing up on your English skills if that’s an area of concern. It will help you acquire new skills, learn about the Australian culture and meet new people, while also demonstrating to recruiters that you are proactive. You can also ask for a reference after a while, which is another positive for local recruiters.

Research: if you’re applying for roles, make sure you know the industry, and do some specific research on the company. If you can mention something about the company in your cover letter and relate that back to your experience, that could be the key factor that makes you stand out in the recruiter’s eye as a viable candidate.

Network: connect with people in your industry through LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media. Attend network and industry events, join a local industry association if you can, and search for internships or other unpaid work experience opportunities to build your contact base.

Take Advantage of LinkedIn: follow companies you’d like to work for and influential people in your industry, as well as joining relevant groups and forums. Post responses to questions and start to get your name and opinions out there – doing this will help demonstrate that you are an expert in your field and will also contribute to the development of local networks.

Audit Your Skillset: make a list of skills and capabilities required to succeed in your target role, then work out what you’ve got and any areas you’re lacking. Within your Resume, it’s important to be able to demonstrate how you have these skills by using examples, rather than just saying you have ‘good communication skills’. Don’t forget to include relevant transferable skills or skills picked up during volunteer work.

Review Your Resume: make sure your Resume conforms to Australian standards which differs from many other parts of the world. Australian recruiters are interested in your accomplishments and what you achieved in previous roles as opposed to day to day ‘responsibilities’ in isolation. Make sure to provide some information about the company, the challenges, and the market – anything that shows context or scope of the role you held, because the recruiter may not have any knowledge or understanding of your previous company in another country. If you’re not sure about structure and format, ask a recruiter for advice, conduct some online research or engage a professional Resume Writing Service.

Brush up on Your English: many Australian employers worry about communication skills of skilled migrants which is often unjustified. However, poorly written Resumes might confirm this fear, making it hard for you to secure an interview. If English is your second language and you think it may be holding you back, take some classes and practice speaking English as much as possible. This includes while at home and by joining groups, volunteering etc. to get as much practice conversing as you can. Try speaking slowly and clearly to help improve your pronunciation.

Be Flexible: to other types of work – contract, freelance, part-time etc. If you are struggling to secure your dream role, open yourself up to other opportunities. Once you have proven yourself in this role, other opportunities may open up, or you can move on with more confidence and local experience under your belt.

There is no magic answer to this question, and there are many factors that will influence your success, however there are lots of things you can be doing to improve your chances. Would you like assistance from a professional resume writer or coach to prepare a winning Resume or conduct a customised job search for your next application? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services and/or our Job Search Coaching Services.

Will your job exist in five years?

Article by Belinda Fuller

Will your job exist in five years?According to experts, many of the jobs we take for granted today may disappear sooner than we think. With rapid technological advancements, globalisation, increasing government regulatory demands, demographic and lifestyle modifications, the pace of change is rapid. So how can you predict whether your job will still exist in the future?

According to a report released by The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) on ‘The New Work Mindset’, there are new sets of skills required to thrive in the new world of work, as well as a need to shift our mindset around our approach to jobs, careers, and work. Other research conducted over several years indicates that the way we work is increasingly being affected by automation, globalisation and collaboration. So how do we keep pace with change, and how do we even predict if our jobs will exist in the future?

The professions most likely to not exist in the near future are those where automation and/or technology is having the biggest impact and human interaction is not necessarily required. These include bank tellers, secretaries and administrative staff, traditional retail and customer service roles, travel agents, print journalists, manufacturing/assembly line workers, toll booth operations, IT support workers, and other less obvious areas like mining where automation is having a huge impact on human interaction; and university lecturers due to the rise in online training.

While all of these professions may not exist in years to come, most experts predict that while we lose jobs in one area or another, they will most certainly be replaced with other jobs – with many of the jobs of the future not even existing today. For example, some research indicates that over the past 25 years, Australia has lost 1 million jobs in manufacturing, administration and labouring, but gained more than 1 million jobs across the knowledge and service industries.

The jobs that will remain, appear, and continue to grow in demand will almost certainly require human traits such as common sense, compassion and interpersonal interaction, communication, teamwork, problem solving, innovation and creativity, project management and planning, training others, research and analysis, and writing.

The industries with predicted growth include:

  • Health care workers – nurses, pharmacists, radiographers, physiotherapists, community health workers, paramedics
  • Medical staff – GP’s, specialists, surgeons, psychiatrists, dentists
  • Emergency services workers
  • Social workers
  • Beauty and massage therapists, make-up artists, fitness instructors
  • Teachers, childcare workers, special education teachers
  • Policy analysts, statisticians, economists, financial brokers
  • Solicitors, actuaries, market research analysts
  • HR advisors, organisational psychologists, OH&S advisors
  • Gallery or museum curators
  • Detectives
  • Programmers, software engineers, web developers, database administrators

According to the FYA report, jobs are more related than we may have previously realised – with the good news indicating that when you train to work in one job, you may actually be acquiring the skills to work in 13 other jobs (on average). That means the skills you acquire for a role that may no longer exist in the future, will most likely be able to be used in several other roles.

Are you unsure which career path to take or which course to study? Are you interested in obtaining some career advice? If so our career advisors are experts in their field. If you would like some direction, please see our Career Coaching Services.

How to fit study in while working

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to fit study in while workingOne of the most common barriers to completing further study while working full-time is the perception that you don’t have enough time. We have found that it can be done though – even for the busiest of people. It just takes commitment, some careful planning, and the willingness to perhaps give up some activities for a short period.

Many of our clients fit full-time study in while working full-time and at first it can seem like an impossible (or downright crazy) thing to do. For many people, there just isn’t any alternative for financial reasons. Others may want to study while working to support their knowledge with practical skills, or retain their position in the workplace while studying. Regardless of the reasons for undertaking study while working, it’s important to maintain a balance otherwise you are likely to burn out. In saying that, there are some periods that you will feel like all you are doing is working or studying. This is where some pre-planning is important.

Here are our tips:

  • Schedule everything: at the beginning of the semester or study period, you should receive notifications of exams, assessments and anything that needs to be handed in or completed. Record all these important dates into a wall or desk planner that is easily visible. Work out what needs to be done for each subject and schedule in time each day or week to do that. By all means, enter this into your electronic calendar, but having it on show permanently will urge you to do something towards your goals on a more regular basis. If you create a schedule at the beginning of the semester and highlight when certain things need to be done by, you’ll have a much better chance of success.
  • Split up your reading: for many people, reading is time consuming and can’t be done at the last minute. I don’t know about you, but I can only read a certain amount of information that needs to be retained in one sitting otherwise I just end up with brain fog. Similar to the above point, work out what you need to read and how long you have to complete it then create a schedule that helps you understand how much reading you need to do on each day or each week. Once you have your schedule, enter it into your planner and commit to doing it so you don’t end up overwhelmed at the end.
  • Maximise your commute: at one time in my life when I was studying while working full-time, I chose to catch the train so I could read and/or prepare for assessments even though I had access to free parking. Alternatively, if you must drive to work, you could investigate audio options. You can even convert PDF documents to audio files with various free online tools.
  • Use your time efficiently: keep some study notes with you at all times, so that when you are faced with a wait or down time, you can slot in some reading or preparation. Even short periods of 5 or 10 minutes can help – when you’re waiting in a queue, sitting at an appointment, or even working out at the gym (on a treadmill or bike) you can create some extra reading or study time.
  • Make sacrifices: while we don’t recommend abandoning all leisure activities or time spent with family and friends, there are going to be times when you need to sacrifice things. You could be the most organised person in the world, but freeing up blocks of time to focus on study will make all the difference in the long run. Think about how often you watch TV or mindlessly scroll through social media. Sometimes saying yes to a social event is an automatic response, when you could have a catch up at another time that doesn’t interfere with your study.

It’s important to be realistic and work out how you can make your study schedule work. Planning ahead and working when you’re most productive helps you to achieve more in less time. And, don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go to plan – simply make another time to catch up on what you’ve missed and keep your eye on the big prize at the end.

Are you interested in studying but unsure which path to take or course to study? If you would like some direction, please see our Career Guidance Counselling.