The Job Hunt

Are you new to the Australian job market? Waiting for a break? Have you been applying to one too many organisations and haven’t heard back yet? Are you doing the right things though and do you have the right expectations?

As the title says – ‘The Job Hunt’ – It is truly a hunt as it takes time, patience, hard work and several failures. For those who have every tried to hunt will know what I mean.

Have a Plan

Having a plan and a backup plan is always key. I cannot lay enough stress at how much you should plan but also come to terms with the fact that things do not always go as per plan. Something will go the way you do not expect it.

I began my job hunt in Jan but it wasn’t until end of march that I got a break. The average number of months to land a job in Australia is 3-6 months. Knowing this one should plan on surviving for this period with enough finances and some backup finances as well. Eliminate all extra expenditures. Plan your day. Plan your weekend. Allocate time for applications, for learning and for meeting people.

No Bulk Applications

How do you like when you are sent bulk marketing emails as compared to individually addressed personalised offers. You are more likely to open, read, and probably consider offers personally addressed to you.

Every application needs to be read, understood, resume modified to highlight key skills and essential skills but also ensuring you highlight desired areas as well. Use the cover letter to ensure you briefly elaborate on the key skills and what you bring to the table and why you should be considered. Personalisation is key.

Lies Unacceptable

Never lie on your resume or cover letter. You may not be caught in the screening or job interview but on the job you are eventually going to be caught and that may result in far more worse consequences than expected.

Error free

Ensure you spell check, grammar check, use the right punctuation and are using correct sentence formation styles to capture the eyes of the recruiter. An application with errors is perceieved as an immature application.

Format is Key

Using a simple format with the right information is key. Do not put in your visa details or information that may be irrelevant to the job description. Do not clutter the resume and cover letter. Less is better. Focus on what is required. Use simple fonts (Times New Roman or Arial or Calibri). Choose a size at 100% view to ensure you are using the right font size. Save the resume as a .doc file and not .docx. Some recruiters are running behind on the MS Office upgrades and may miss on the advanced formatting in your resume.

Beat the selection system

If you haven’t nailed an interview after about 10-15 resumes then you are doing something wrong. There are ways to beat the system. When applying through portals, ensure you keep an eye for a number or email of the recruiter and give them a call or send them your resume directly. Try your best not to apply from portals but only use them to find the jobs out there.

If you are applying using a system, then usually these systems screen your application to map against the requirements and sort them based on a match probability. To beat this you can ensure you make a list of unique words from the job description and ensure those words are in your resume. Here is a short course that might help.

Use References

There is a higher probability of scoring an interview through a reference than applying. Talk to friends, family, friends of friends, meet people through professional Meetups, etc.

Meet Recruiters

It is critical to meet recruiters personally. The gesture is quite welcome and shows the extent you are willing to go to score the interview. It also shows how well polished, mature and friendly you are. Gives the recruiter more faith in helping recommend you to a client.

Keep it Professional

When meeting with friends, references or recruiters, keep it strictly professional. Do not get personal. Do not rant about your hardships and about your immigration journey unless asked. You have one goal – ensuring that the other side believes you’re good enough to refer, recommend, or recruit.

Take a Day Off

When everything isn’t going as you planned, taking a day off works. Take a break and do not write any new applications, call any one, talk about a job, nothing. Go do something you love. Get away for the weekend if necessary. However this should be minimal and cost effective. Not that you take 3 days off every week and travel. Be smart.

Have a Backup job

If you still aren’t scoring what you are looking for, then its time you start looking at different avenues. Start looking at shorter gigs that can start some cash inflow while you work yourself towards your primary job hunt. But don’t get too distracted. Your temporary job shouldn’t become your permanent one.

These are few of the tips that helped me score my first job here in Melbourne. I hope it helps. Please comment on your journey and your experiences along with any resources that would help others.

Right Expectations

Its always important to have the right expectations. Usually we apply with an expectation of an immediate response however it takes some time for recruiters to respond after they have gone through a whole bunch of applications and references they’ve had. You may not be the first one but you will get a response (most likely) with a Yes or No soon. I’ve had recruiters respond back a month or 6 weeks later as well. So they do take time. Having the right expectation can help you plan better.

I’m also writing a blog on how to settle down – finding houses, getting access to utilities, average house-hold costs, social life around Melbourne, etc. Stay tuned.

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