Job seeker resources
Tools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Job Seekers
Landing the right job can be a tough process for anyone.
Follow this page as we create a list of tools, services and organisations that can make your job searching journey a little bit easier.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the information below or if you would like us to add something that might be useful to other job seekers.
The following categories provide a few resources to start your job searching journey.
- Preparing an eye catching resume
- Writing your application
- Heading to an Interview
- Mentoring and training
1. Preparing an Eye Catching Resume
One of the first things you will have to do when applying for a new job is prepare a resume that will help you to stand out from the crowd. Remember, usually your resume is the first impression a potential employer will have of you so make sure it is clear and concise and free from errors. In particular, employers will be looking for the following information about you:
We have outlined below suggestions for what you should include under each of these categories. You can find some pretty good, free Microsoft Word resume templates by clicking here or contact us if you require further assistance.
Your name, address, phone number and email address should be displayed clearly at the top of your resume. Include your full name at the top – not a nickname.
This is a chance for you explain in one or two short, concise sentences what your career goals are and how they relate to your current qualifications. Explain why you are looking for work and why it is that you are qualified to apply for these roles.
This should be a dot-point section (up to 10 points), which outline your key skills and abilities. For example think about any computer applications, or software packages you may have experience in or where you have gained knowledge inside or outside of work that might be useful for the position.
This area is usually the most important to employers and should include a list of all your recent and past jobs, including paid and voluntary work. Remember that you need to support what is written on the resume if you get a job interview!. A good format to follow is:
- Job Title
- Name of Employer and the Location
- Dates of employment
- List of key tasks that the job involved.
- Any awards/recognition you may have received during your time at this company
Education and Training
Don’t underestimate the value of outlining your education and qualifications – particularly if you haven’t had a lot of experience. Your education and training section can cover anything from degree’s, TAFE, school and certificate courses, industry courses, courses you completed at other jobs or in your own time. A good format to follow is:
- Name of degree/diploma/certificate/course etc
- Name of education institution
- Location of education institution
- Graduation date
- Specific achievements (e.g. finished in the top five)
Hobbies and interests (optional)
Many hiring managers now look not just at your skills and experience, but also at how you would fit within their organisation.
For this reason, it is sometimes worth including a short list of your hobbies and interests to give them a sense of who you are and what you enjoy doing outside of work hours.
Whatever your hobbies, if you do indeed decide to include this section, be careful in terms of what you want to include- there is always a chance that this section could work against you if the reader dislikes or is threatened by the activities you list.
References and referee’s are usually listed at the end of your resume. This can be a list of around 2 to 3 people who you have worked with in the past or present – usually your managers, or ex-colleagues. Always ask for permission before listing someone as a reference. A good format to follow is:
- Full name of referee
- Job Title of referee
- Company name and location
- Phone number of referee
- Email address of referee
The most important thing when writing your resume is to make sure that it is relevant to the job you are applying for, and to showcase your skills and experience in a way that will have the hiring manager who is reading it jumping out of their chair in the effort to call you and confirm an interview time and date. The structure above provides the potential employer with the information that he or she wants – in the correct order – to help them make the decision to interview or not. Before using your resume to apply for roles, ensure that you have no spelling errors, and that it is well formatted and easy to read.
At the end of the day, no-one gets a job based on their resume alone – the purpose of the resume is to get the interview, no more, no less.
2. Writing a cover letter
A cover letter is a single-page letter that should be part of any job application. A cover letter shouldn’t be more than one page. It’s only meant to be a summary of the information you put in your resume, so remember to keep things short.
Jobs Tip: Always try and write a new cover letter for each job so the information fits the job description. A good cover letter should include the following information.
Your Name and Contact Details
Put your name and contact details at the top of your cover letter. You don’t have to give your postal address, but you do need to include your email and phone number.
Their Name and Contact Details
Under your own name and contact details you should include:
- The name of the person you’re writing to
- Their position or the name of their company
- Their contact details
If you’re having trouble finding this information you can call the company to ask who you should address your application to. You can also use “To Whom It May Concern” – but try to only use this as a last resort.
The Name of the Job You’re Going For
At the start of your cover letter explain which job you’re applying for. You can either do this on a line by itself (e.g., “Re: Application for Stock Controller position”) or in the opening paragraph (e.g., “I am writing to apply for the recently advertised Stock Controller position.”)
A List of Your Relevant Skills
Your letter should Include a brief summary of your skills and experiences that match the job description. A short bullet-pointed list is fine.
If you’re answering a job ad, either the ad or the position description may provide a list of skills and experiences that are essential for doing the job.
It may also provide a list of “desirable” skills and experience. Your cover letter needs to respond to all of the items on the “essential” list and as many items as possible on the “desirable” list in as short a way as possible.
Remember that if you say you have a skill or experience, you need to show how you’ve used it or how you got it (e.g., if you say you’ve got child-minding skills, mention some jobs where you’ve used them).
A Summary of Why You’re Right for the Job
After listing your skills and experience you should explain why this means you’re suited to the job (e.g., “The combination of my interest in AFL and my experience with book-keeping makes me ideally suited for this job.”)
You should always spellcheck your cover letter. It’s even better to get someone else to read it and point out any mistakes or confusing things. People you can ask include friends, family members, your careers teacher or a careers counsellor at your university or TAFE.
Double-check everything in your cover letter. If you mention a company’s name, make sure you get it right. If you mention places you’ve worked before, make sure you get their names right too. Mistakes on cover letters are worse than typos.
3.Heading to an Interview
Getting a job interview in a competitive job market is often a great achievement in itself.
The job interview is the part of the job searching process that most of us like the least. If you are nervous about your interview remember that you are not alone!! All the other applications are likely to feel just the same. Keep in mind that you were chosen especially to interview for the job out of what may have been many other applicants.
Interviews really do get better with practice and this is the best advice we can give. Here are a few other tips that will help you on your way to.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Find out as much as you can about the company, research the job, and formulate a strategy to stand out in that interview among all the other candidates.
Getting a cheat sheet together and studying it can help you out, too.
Make a Good First Impression
Your job interview starts the second you walk in the door, so be ready.
Practice walking into a room if you have to. But more than anything, learn how first impressions work and do everything you can to make a good one: be on time, dress and groom yourself well, and be aware of your body language.
Remember, just giving a damn will go a long way in your first impression—if you don’t want to be there, they’ll know.
Tackle the Tough Questions
Once you’re inside, it’s time for the hard part: answering the interview questions. Know the questions you’ll be expected to answer backwards and forwards, and do some extra research on answering the really tough ones, like “what is your biggest weakness,” “have you ever been fired,” “tell me about a challenge you faced with a coworker,” or even just the ever-vague “tell me about yourself.”
Most of all: read the job description over and over to learn why they’re asking you each question and tailor your responses to their hidden motives.
Ask Some Questions Yourself
Your interviewer shouldn’t be the only one asking questions.
This is your chance to not only make a good impression, but learn a bit more about the job you’re applying for. Ask a few questions that will make you look good, as well as some questions that’ll show you whether this is the right job for you.
Emphasize Your Good Qualities
You’ll probably feel the need to be humble, but don’t. Shameless self-promotion is a good thing in job interviews. In fact, it’s the only thing you can really do to showcase your good qualities. If you don’t have experience to tout, remember that potential is actually more valuable than experience.
Follow Up Afterwards
Don’t let your interview be the last they hear from you. If you follow up afterwards, you’ll help them remember who you are, and make sure your resume doesn’t get forgotten.
Even consider sending a thank you note after your interview or a short email later on to check in if you haven’t heard back.
If You Don’t Get Hired, Find Out Why
Not every interview will be a winner, sadly, even if you do everything right. If you don’t get hired, the best thing you can do is find out why and apply that knowledge to your next round of interviews.
Look back on your interview and think about what you could have done better. There are any number of reasons someone might not hire you, and all you can do is use this round as practice for your next interview.
4. Mentoring and training
Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience
The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) provides an innovative mentoring program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support them through high school and into university. Beginning in 2005 with just 25 mentors and 25 mentees, AIME is now the largest education support service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students in Australia.
AIME is a dynamic educational program that is proven to support Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education at the same rate as all Australian students. AIME gives Indigenous students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to grow and succeed.