Jobs Work Careers in Australia
The following information is an excerpt from the Jobs and Careers Kit that is available for purchase for AUD$14.95.
Jobs and Careers Kit
A practical guide for newcomers to help them
find a job or their next career in Australia.
Written by Sue Ellson BBus AIMM MAHRI
Founder and Director, Newcomers Network
Telephone + 61 3 9888 6480
Facsimile +61 3 9012 4419
Mobile/Cell +61 (0) 402 243 271
2nd Edition published 3 July 2009
1st Edition published 20 April 2004
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The information in this publication is Copyright.
You are able to print the full kit and use it in its entirety or you can use extracted
information in your own publications, but you must quote that it was written by
Sue Ellson from Newcomers Network. If you do quote from the publication,
please tell us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents
1. Introduction – the best tips including resume guidelines
2. What job or career do I really want?
3. Pre Departure and Application Ready Advice
3.1. Professional readiness
3.2. Documentation readiness
3.3. Networking readiness
3.4. Contingency plans
3.5. Budgeted time, money and resources
3.6. Personal readiness
3.7. Cultural readiness
4. What do I do now? – including interview tips
5. Index List of websites listed in the Jobs and Careers Kit
6. Final words
1. Introduction – the best tips including resume guidelines
This Jobs and Careers Kit draws on both my own personal experiences and the extensive research that I have completed. I have co-produced 150 radio programs on the topic of employment in Australia and have advised a variety of individuals and organizations on how to either find a job or the right candidate for a job. My intention in every situation is to find solutions that best meet the needs of everyone concerned – sometimes this means delving deeply to find out what a person really wants from their work (especially when we spend so many hours every week doing it!).
This ebook includes a variety of website links and checklists that you can use yourself. It is a self help guide and it is up to you to decide which ideas and suggestions will be useful to you (considering your own personal style – for instance some people prefer online methods, others prefer face to face communication). All of the links included in this ebook are listed in an alphabetical ‘Index List’ at the end. These details have been collected via extensive internet searches for your personal use and include information from many different sources.
It is a very comprehensive ebook – so be warned! It has been written with as much information as possible so that you can do all the work yourself (if you want to).
This ebook combines information from the original Pre Departure Employment Jobs Kit that I wrote in 2004, the Career Advice Booklet I wrote in 2005, the Expat Jobs in Australia article I wrote in 2009, the various guest speaking presentations I have made on networking, mentoring, living and working in Australia and the one-on-one job facilitation coaching I have provided to individual clients. It is a living document and will change as new information is collected.
I advise all job hunters to source information from many different places. There is no secret formula that is suitable for every situation and some industries and decision makers have their own idiosyncrasies. The more research and relationship building that you do, the better chance you have of securing the job or career move you are seeking.
To be successful in finding the right job for you for now, you will probably need to use a variety of different strategies all at the same time. Do not rely on only applying for jobs that are advertised – there are MANY different ways to find a job. Don’t wait for one method or job application to finish before starting another – just keep working on them all the time (but keep a journal/record so you can remember what you are up to and which resume you sent for which job).
If you do not know what sort of job or career move you would like to make, get some professional advice! It is much easier if you start the job hunting process with a very clear idea of what you want – both the job role and the type of organisation. Professional Career Experts, Advisors, Coaches and Counsellors can often advise you on which careers would be most suitable for you considering your personal preferences, abilities, cultural background, experience, current life stage and the local market.
Good advisors may also be able to refer you to selected people who can provide further advice, contacts or assistance. Once this picture is ‘clear’ in your own mind, you can try and source a mentor to also help you with your search and coach you through your first year in the new role.
I often say that it is not what you know, or who you know, but who refers you! Consider this statement. If someone who is highly regarded by a decision maker makes a recommendation on your behalf, it is likely that you will be well received when you contact that person. So build up your relationships and keep your network alive (even if you have been with an employer for many years). Keep in contact with people at least four times a year (every three months) – even if it is just a quick email.
Make sure you manage your own ‘brand.’ What will people see if they ‘Google’ your name? There are many professionals worldwide listed on Linked Inhttp://www.linkedin.com so this is one website I definitely recommend. Here in Australia, you may also like to list your resume on the websites of carefully selected employers (who often do not advertise anywhere else), recruitment agencies (particularly ones that specialize in certain jobs or industries) and generalist employment websites in the ‘head hunter’ sections including:
My Career – Head Hunter
Seek – Create Resume
Career One – Upload Your Resume
On the jobs websites, you can also subscribe to ‘job alerts’ and this is also vital because when there is an oversupply of good quality candidates, job advertisements may only be online for one or two days so that the decision makers do not receive too many applications.
Resumes and Curriculum Vitaes
Resumes and Curriculum Vitaes need to be designed for each job that you apply for. However, there are some basic rules:
- Correct grammar and spelling, use present tense for current role, past tense for all previous roles, avoid using the pronoun ‘I’
- Clear and easy to understand (only use one 11 point font, bold and plain text, avoid abbreviations, simple layout with a logical flow) no more than four pages, consistent formatting, avoid punctuation as it ‘stops’ the eye from reading onwards, use dot points as they are easier to read than long sentences or paragraphs
- Include the most important information first and leave out unnecessary details but explain things that the person reading it may not understand (for instance, describe the type of organization if it is based overseas – a medium sized steel manufacturing company)
- Make sure it looks like continuous employment (use years instead of months if necessary)
- Include all the keywords that might be entered into a search in your resume (not just your cover letter) so that you may be selected for other job roles with a recruiter
- Include the following sections:
Personal details – name, address, phone, email (do not need to include date of birth, age, religion etc)
Career objective – what you are currently seeking (this can change with each resume for each job)
Skills Summary – brief outline of some of your abilities, specific skills (like computer programs you have used), competencies related to your career objective
Achievements Summary – if applying for more senior roles
Employment History – outlining roles, company names, dates, duties/achievements
Education and Training – what you have completed, where from and when
Memberships, Boards, Voluntary Work – again, summarized
Other interests – what you like to do in your own time (describes a little about you – your hobbies, interests etc)
Referees – mention that they are available on request
Expectations can become unrealistic within a very short space of time. If you are someone with excellent skills, qualifications, references and work history, it can be very disappointing to not secure an interview or a job quickly and the whole job search process can be very difficult.
Remember that the skills for finding a job are very different to the skills required to do a job (in most cases). Take care of your emotional health and remember that it is the employer’s loss if you are not selected for the job. Spend a minimum of two hours per day completing job search work if you are not currently working. Go outdoors each day, keep up with regular activities, fitness, sleeping and eating – don’t fall into the bad habit of going to bed late, waking up late, eating takeaway food, watching television, playing on the computer and letting your health slide. Spend time with good friends who are supportive and encouraging.
For someone who has been working full time for many years, if you are not working at all now, it can be very difficult to keep up your motivation and six weeks can easily feel like six months. You may like to consider volunteering your skills or time to an organization so that you have something to look forward to and you can be with people. If you are able to secure some voluntary work either close to where you are living or in a role similar to what you would like in the future, you can still list this on your resume as experience even though you are not being paid.
However, you do need to make sure that you are not being exploited! If the employer wants you to contribute many hours for no pay, this is obviously not in your best long term interests as you still need to be looking for work. To source some volunteer opportunities (if you don’t approach organisations or professional associations related to your work directly), visit:
I had a look at your career kit and other information from your website and I think it is absolutely great. Actually I did not expect that much information before I read it. Thanks for taking times to put all the information together. I am sure it will benefit not only the newcomers but also people who have been living here for quite a long time. I will, of course, suggest my friends and other Chinese students to have a look. Jennie, Melbourne, 23/7/09
This is a great resource for newcomers Kelly, Melbourne, 16/7/09
Thanks very much for sharing this with me. You have put together some great tips and advice. I’m working through the process and getting there slowly but surely! Di, Melbourne, 15/7/09