A ‘job’ means different things to different people. For some, it can mean a hobby that pays an income, or something to keep them busy during the week. But for many, it’s what is needed to feed, clothe and house their family. Which means for many being out of work can cause financial hardship.
The Australian job market is like a rollercoaster, going up and down depending on the economic conditions of the time.
Unemployment is also more erratic and higher for young people under 25 with little experience or qualifications. Just ask anyone who has been through the 1990-91 recession, the dot com crash of 2001-02 or the financial crisis of 2007-10 and they’ll tell you that it isn’t easy getting a job during hard economic times, particularly if you have little skills or experience.
Being out of a job, particularly for a long time can become somewhat disheartening. You may have a family to care for financially, rent to pay or a mortgage to pay off. The longer you are unemployed the more you may start to feel less enthusiastic about applying for jobs. Luckily for us in Australia we have a relatively good social security system that looks after us financially in the event that we become short – long term unemployed.
Unemployment is not good for anyone – the government, businesses and society. It affects everybody. Higher unemployment means less taxation for the government and a bigger burden on the social security system. Businesses earn less revenue which result in smaller profits as they start to reduce their prices to attract customers. It also affects the individual as their self-esteem falls and society at large as families are affected.
So if you or someone else is unemployed, what are some wise choices to make? We will now look at a few suggestions to help you obtain a job and bring back your sense of self-worth.
Education and training is essential
Educational institutions are good training grounds to get you job ready. They teach you how to read, write, be self-disciplined and speak well. Every job requires good communication skills and you can learn this through schooling and training. Whether it be a taxi driver who needs to read a map and be able to listen for directions, a bricklayer to measure out the right amount of cement mixture or a salesman required to do computations, communication skills are vital.
In Australia depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for financial assistance if you choose to pursue further studies to improve your job prospects. Speak to your local job provider for more information.
Be determined. Don’t give up!
Being determined to find a job, by definition, means to devote all your strength and focused attention to finding a job. While you are unemployed, your job should be to find a job. While you are looking for work, pretend that you start at 8:30am and finish at 4pm. Spend that time working on your resume, calling prospective employers and sending out your resume along with a customised covering letter for each job.
But don’t give up! If you use all your power, energy and strength to look for a job, you will be more successful finding a job in a tight job market and your efforts will pay off. We will now look at a number of ways you can exert your power and energy to look for a job.
Update your resume
Are you still using the same resume you had since finishing high school? If so, you need to revise your resume so that it accurately reflects your current job skills and experience.
Should you include every job experience you have in your resume? Well if you were applying for a job as a fireman, would it be wise to include experience as an office clerk? Of course not! Your resume should reflect the skills and experience you have that are important to the employer. Try and have a different resume for different jobs. For example you could have both a fireman resume and an office clerk resume.
Is your resume easy to read? Grammatically correct without any spelling mistakes? A resume that reads well and is grammatically correct shows professionalism, it also shows that you take pride in your resume.
Customise your covering letter
Each covering letter should be written from scratch in your own words unless you write up a standard format and personalise it for each job. If the employer sees that you’ve just copy and pasted your covering letter and shown no effort in trying to get the job, it won’t look good, and your chances of getting a job will diminish.
Cold-call prospective employers
Employers love job seekers who show enthusiasm. You can start cold calling prospective employers in two ways. One way is by making a list of jobs in an industry that you want to work in, and searching for available jobs via job search websites and the newspaper for that industry. Secondly, contact companies that involve the work you want to do and cold-call them. Remember, the majority of jobs are not advertised. Before you call, write a calling script first. This will prepare you. Use the following calling script as a template:
Hi (use their name) my name is John,
WAIT FOR RESPONSE
The reason for my call is that I am currently looking for a job as a (type of work).
I thought I would call your business/company because I am particularly interested in the kind of work that you do.
(use their name) I was wondering if you could help me?
WAIT FOR RESPONSE
Use this template as a guide and alter it to suit what works for you. Try to sound confident on the phone and be positive about yourself. Before you make a cold-call, assume that the business would be interested in hiring you. Having a positive attitude will come across in your tonality and the way you speak. If you hesitate at all on the phone the employer may feel that you are unsure of yourself.