Using your Transferable Skills to get into Mining

Using your Transferable Skills to get into Mining

By Ashley Michailaros

Have you got skills in small business, trades or other positions and want to get into the mining industry?  It can be tricky to write a resume where you don’t have any direct experience within the job you’re applying for.  If you are keen to get into the mining industry, here is a list of 10 transferable skills you can use on your resume to demonstrate relevancy through the positions you have had.

  1. Communication

Communication and interpersonal skills, or the ability and willingness to talk and listen to others are skills which every job requires.  Even as a mechanic in the mining industry, there are a range of internal and external people you will need to communicate effectively with.  Communication can be demonstrated in a myriad of ways including:  presentations to others, negotiation of prices and tasks, having a large amount of contacts and networks, coaching and training others, writing of reports or correspondence in any form, working across organisations and dealing with multiple departments, caring for others and lots more.  If you demonstrate your communication skills well, they can apply to any role.

  1. Working Autonomously

One area of working in mining that crosses over with small business well, is the ability to work autonomously, largely on your own, or with limited direction.  The ability to be able to take direction and then use your own initiative to get the job done is a skill lots of employers in the mining industry would be keen on.  Within a lot of mining and associated industry roles, you will be required to work in sometimes isolated surroundings and be able to identify problems and find solutions with limited resources.

  1. Working under direction

Having demonstrated your ability to work autonomously, you also need to demonstrate your ability to work under direction.  This requires listening skills, ability to ask questions as required and to be effective under stress and the watchful eye of your Manager or Supervisor.  This kind of skill is good to demonstrate, especially if you are applying for traineeships or apprenticeships within the mining industry, or other entry level positions where you will be initially working under close supervision.

  1. Safety

Working safely at all times is something that should be evident in every workplace and is a significant consideration for both small and large mining operations.  Mining companies are big on workplace health and safety and simply won’t stand for workers non-compliance.  If you have any experience in formal safety learning or can demonstrate how you work safely in your current role, you will need to outline this on your resume, and probably in your cover letter too.

  1. Quick Learner

It goes without saying that if you are new to the mining industry, there will be a learning curve you will go on to become a competent, contributing member of the team.  If you have demonstrated in your past that you are a quick learner of new concepts, then this is something to represent on your resume.  If you are not a quick learner, don’t put it on your resume.  This may sound obvious, however it is something that is very obvious once you start work and you don’t want to be in a position of getting caught out.

  1. Adaptable to different conditions

Perhaps you have worked for a range of organisations; perhaps you have moved around in your life or perhaps you have had multiple work titles in the past.  All of these seemingly negative aspects can be turned into a positive when painted as being adaptable to different environments.  It goes without saying that a large percentage of mining roles are in challenging conditions and often a long way from home.  If you can demonstrate your ability to adapt and remain flexible, this will enhance your prospects.

  1. Leadership

When I say leadership, I don’t necessarily mean managing people as a supervisor or manager.  I mean leadership in the sense of demonstrating positive behaviours through example, contributing to communication within the company and showing everyone that you are motivated and willing to assist others.  Leadership is something that any level position can aspire to and by reflecting on situations and determining what you could have done better you are already beginning to show leadership in your role and this should be represented in your resume.

  1. Teamwork

Teamwork is another area which can just about relate to any role and should be demonstrated on your resume in some form.  Working within a team is about showing that you can work together with others to achieve goals and aims.  Teamwork is about assisting others in their achievements and ensuring you are contributing your part to the team’s goals.  If you are working in a very small business, think about teams outside of work, such as coaching kid’s sporting teams, or being involved on school committees to achieve something together.

  1. Hard-working

Mining can be hard work.  You can demonstrate your ability to work hard through any role you have had in the past.  Often it is measured by what you have achieved, or through talking to your referees about representing your hard work to a potential employer.  You can talk about the kinds of hours you work, whilst thinking about what you would be expected to do in a mining role.  A lot of mining roles work 12 hour days whilst they are on site and although this is offset through time off, they work very hard and long hours at the time.

  1. Direct Relevance to the Role

Clearly your best transferable skill is anything which relates directly to the role.  If you are applying for a mechanic role, ensure you have all of your direct mechanical experience, training and tickets listed along with a list of your mechanical skills and knowledge.  The same goes for any type of role to which you are applying.  It may sound obvious, however I find that people often rush their resumes and very often forget important elements of their roles, or assume the recruiter is going to understand that they have that experience.  Never assume.  The recruiter has often never set one foot on a mining site, so you need to tell them what you have done.

Of course there are many other considerations which go into writing a great resume.  If you would like some more information, call our friendly staff and ask how we can help you get the best resume for your ideal job.

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