According to a recent media release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in September 2017, the trend unemployment rate has finally reached its lowest level since March 2013. This reflects the strength in employment growth over the past 12 months. The strongest annual growth was recorded in Queensland (4.1%), followed by Tasmania (3.9%), Victoria (3.1%) and WA (2.9%).
What does this mean for the rest of us? Well, there is increasing confidence across the economy in Australia, and it’s time for job seekers to put their best foot forward when it comes to finding work. It is not just full-time employment which has increased over the past year, the trend also shows that the number of monthly hours worked has increased. This is a good indication that casual work is getting more in demand, as is usual around this time of year.
Job Search Strategies
A little known fact is that you will need some clever strategies to be successful in finding a job. This competitive world is full of capable and skillful people. Your qualification and technical skills alone are not enough to secure a job. Your resume needs to catch the eye of a busy recruiter or hiring manager and needs to outline your skillset before any face-to-face meeting.
5-steps to Strut Your Stuff
1. Be authentic, know your strengths and follow your passion
If one of your goals of finding a job is simply to “get better money”, it is not attractive enough for the potential employers who tend to receive hundreds of application letters just to fill one casual role in their organisation. The best way to stand out, is to simply be yourself. Believe in the positive traits you have. If you can’t convince yourself, no one else will put their trust in you. Highlight your strengths.
2. Keep your resume simple and readable
This is your sales brochure, so make sure it’s easy to read. Use bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs, and don’t hold back on stating your key achievements and show the world that you can deliver results timely. Remember that your resume must be written for the employer, so highlight your skills, knowledge and abilities which will help the company achieve its goals.
3. Be aware of what the employer wants from you
- Your eagerness to learn – They are not looking for someone who knows everything, rather they want a person with self awareness who is willing to learn and adapt to the company’s specific ways to do the work.
- Effective listening, writing and verbal communication – There are big differences between simply hearing things as an automatic reaction to a noise / voice, and effective listening which is something we consciously choose to do so that the brain processes its meaning from words and sentences. Reiterating what the other person’s saying is a sign of effective listening, and that’s a clever way to maintain positive communication in the workplace.
- Creative thinking and problem solving – This of course relates to your self confidence in your ability to think on your feet. Asking questions in the beginning of new employment is only natural, but when you need to keep asking the same questions numerous times would raise some doubts in your problem solving skills.
- Self esteem, goal setting and positive attitude – Think of a person or two which you idolize, you follow on social media and those you strive to be. Set your positive goals, continue to think positively and you will gain self confidence in the process.
- Organisational effectiveness and time management – Ask yourself how your skills and previous experience fit into the bigger picture of the organisation. Ask yourself what benefits you could bring to the company.
- Leadership quality – This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to wait until you are the leader of the pack in order to show your quality to the world. Showing that you are in control of yourself and the work you do shows positive leadership quality in itself. Remember, dress and do according to the job you are aiming for, not just according to the job you have now. Be the best version of yourself.
4. Be mindful of the unspoken words
Body language can be seen without being heard. Learn the valuable ways to be more positive, welcoming and open in your day-to-day world, so that people will respond to you in the same manner.
5. Accept that it’s a process
If you want a dream job to simply land on your doorstep without working hard to achieve it, you may have to wait for a long time. Even winning a lottery would require you to take a step out of your home, into the world, visit a newsagency and pay money for what could be the winning ticket to get you into the game. Everything is a process.
I will leave you with some thoughts in mind:
- Remember to be organised, self motivated and assertive;
- Job searching requires time, energy and patience;
- Don’t be discouraged, and avoid venting your frustration to the recruiter or hiring managers at all costs – being desperate won’t get you any job;
- Persevere; and
- Continue to upskill yourself, develop and use new resources to diversify your job search.
Don’t be scared of rejection, this often leads you to a better opportunity somewhere along the way. It will force you to grow and accept the area which you may still need to improve and learn more. In doing so, you will continue learning and be more readily available for the next job to come.
by Donna Cotleanu-Vassallo