OMG, I haven’t applied for a job in years!
OMG, I haven’t applied for a job in years!
Sound familiar? In the past, most people in the mining industry got their jobs from word of mouth, or the old ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ routine. Whilst this does still happen, these days you will still need a great resume as even the person you know will have to pass this onto others. So, how do you get started in putting together a great resume? Here are five tips to get you on the right path.
Tip 1, Get your dates in order
Make a list of all the jobs you have had in the last 10 years. If that’s only one job – maybe list the last three jobs. List them in order of date of employment, listing the most recent one first, back to the oldest one. Write them all down with as much detail as you can about the job, what you did, extra responsibilities you undertook, achievements within the role and the month and year start and end dates. If you have been working for a contractor or sub-contractor, include both the name of the organisation, and the projects you worked on. For example: Employer might be ‘John’s Crane Hire’, and you might have worked at Wheatstone and Barrow Island. At this stage, it doesn’t matter how it looks, just jot it down and include as much detail as possible.
Understand the difference between responsibilities and achievements. Responsibilities are those tasks you are required to do in your role. Achievements are the difference between someone who does the job, and someone who does the job well. For example, a responsibility might be ‘Erection of pre-cast panels’, however an achievement would be ‘As a team, erected all of the pre-cast panels inside the time given’. Achievements are often the things that split two candidates with similar experience.
Once you have listed all of your jobs for the last 10 years, in date order, you can move on to the next tip.
Tip 2, Think about what makes you a good employee in your industry
My next tip involves thinking about what makes you a good employee. Why should they employ you? You should think this way because that’s how employers and recruiters are thinking when they read your application. Are you reliable? What are your technical skills? Have you managed/supervised others? Have you trained or mentored others? What can you do for the organisation that others can’t/won’t? Do you have a good safety record?
As you know, mining jobs are more than just your technical skills, although they too are very important. You need to be able to get along with others, often work a long way from home and family, and be able to communicate effectively with your workmates, as well as management. These are all good attributes to list on your resume. If you have successful experience working FIFO, then let them know, it might just get you the job over someone who hasn’t done it before.
Lastly on this point; safety, safety, safety, safety – mention your safety record. Let them know if you are committed to safety and how you have demonstrated this in the past. In each job listing, what did you do around safety – Take 5 meetings, site safety officer, JSAs, induction training, white/blue card etc.
Tip 3, Include all of your tickets, licences and qualifications
Of course, we all know that we have to list relevant tickets, licences and qualifications in our resume. My tip here is to look up the actual names for the tickets, instead of just listing, EWP or WSAH, go with Elevated Work Platform Certification, or Working Safely at Heights certification. You can look up the correct names on the internet or they are usually (but not always) listed on the cards themselves. One good website I have found to do this is: http://www.miningoilgasjobs.com.au/privacy/alternative-energy/licences,-tickets—certifications.aspx
Whilst you don’t necessarily have to date your certifications, it might be a good way to show you are up to date and have renewed them as required.
Anything with Certificate II, III or IV in front of it, is classed as a qualification and should be listed separately to tickets and licences. Of course, qualifications also include Degrees, Diplomas, Trade Qualifications and similar.
Tip 4, Get help
Once you have your job history in order, your licences and tickets listed and your skills and attributes down, you are then ready to get help. I suggest getting help in a number of ways. You can download templates from the internet, or you might like to buy one from us at www.professionaltemplates.com.au. Once you have a template you can start entering your information. If your computer skills are average or lower, I suggest getting a friend or relative who is computer savvy to assist you at this stage. Maybe offer them a carton of beer – I’m sure that will do the trick!
With all your information entered – you need to ask someone else to read it over for you. This is to make sure it’s clear and there are no spelling errors or inconsistencies. This is so much more important than you might think. When I am reading resumes, I get turned off straight away by spelling errors. That’s just me, but it’s a lot of other people too, so get it right! (Hoping there’s no errors in this post!).
Once you have done this, you are nearly ready to go!
Tip 5, Adapt your resume to the job
So you have your resume in the template and it all looks great. Now you need to find a job ad. My tip here is to read it over at least twice to get a feel for the job. Circle any words and phrases you think are important and amend your resume to include these words. If one of the words is not safety – add this in! Large organisations often have word scanners which pick up on these words, so it’s worth your time adapting your resume to include them, ensuring it all still makes sense of course.
My last tip (well, it’s more like a list) relates to your cover letter:
– Adapt it for each role and individually address it at the top
– Tell them why you would be great for their job and what you will bring to their organisation
– Include a brief list of the most relevant skills you have to the role
– Invite them to contact you to discuss it further and thank them for the opportunity
– Don’t just repeat what’s in the resume
Whilst these are just a few tips to get you writing your resume when you haven’t had to do so for years, they will get you headed in the right direction. In fact, even if you get an organisation like us to write your resume for you (which of course we would be happy to do), you will need most of this information anyhow, so it’s a good process to go through.