Australia’s employment landscape is no battleground for the complacent, only the proactive. In fact, if you’re young, then at least one in seven will struggle to find long-term, meaningful employment, with the national youth unemployment rate sitting at above 13%.
The answer? Being proactive. So here are five ways to show you’re willing to go above and beyond when push comes to shove on the job hunt.
BE PROACTIVE AND Approach employers
You can hide behind a computer emailing résumés to job vacancy ads as much as you want, but unless you have a lengthy list of skills and experience, a more proactive approach to job seeking will likely reap better results.
That means going “old school” and actively approaching employers you would like to work for. Whether you phone them to ask about potential vacancies or take the further initiative of visiting in person, have your résumé tailored for their needs and ready to go, while dressing to suit the part if you’re planning on door knocking.
As a tip, if you’re dropping by, make sure you arrive at a suitable business time when it’s not likely to be busy or mid-rush.
One of the best ways to show your enthusiasm for an industry is to start acquiring skills in that field, and that’s particularly important if your young and do not have the benefit of previous experience. If you’re keen on hospitality, undertake a bar tending, barista or hospitality course, if it’s reception work you seek, ensure your computer skills up to par.
The Father James Grant Foundation offers a series of industry tailored skills programs to bring you up to speed on the skills front and have you job-ready within weeks.
Work experience is another great way to get your foot in the door of an industry while gaining valuable skills, but often you have to be with a training organisation or educational facility to take part. As part of our programs we offer real, on the job experience within businesses who have partnered with us to meet their employment needs.
Hone your strengths
Soft skills count in making you stand out from the crowd of applicant CVs landing on a potential employer’s desk, so use them to your advantage.
When tailoring your résumé to an advertised job position, outline the life skills you’ve acquired over time. If you held a leadership position at school, note your leadership abilities, if it’s sports, highlight your teamwork, and the list goes on. You’re trying to sell yourself as a diamond in the rough, who with a little spit and polish, could shine within their business.
Finally, a network is a valuable resource on the job seeking front. This network includes letting friends and family know you’re actively seeking employment, and ask around about jobs when the opportunity arises.
Meanwhile social media is also a key tool. Put it out there that you’re ready, willing and able to work and proactively looking for a job.
Runs on the board
For young workers it’s all about getting some experience runs on the board so be prepared to put in some hard yards before attaining the ultimate position you require. If you’re offered a good job that gives you basic skills to get you where you want to go, seize it, and use this stepping stone experience as the bottom rung on your ladder to shoot for the stars.
The Father James Grant Foundation runs Mission Engage programs throughout the year. Our aim is to connect motivated young people with real job opportunities in the real world via real experience.