Preparing Geelong for the jobs of the future!

On Friday I was lucky enough to attend the ‘Skilling the Bay’ forum.

What is Skilling the Bay I hear you asking……  Well, it’s a regionally driven, jobs of the future project led by The Gordon and delivered in partnership with Deakin University and the State Government. Skilling the Bay have been working behind the scenes for 4 years to help improve workforce participation and get people ready for what is to come.

What did I learn from this fantastic forum?

Most importantly, I learned that our Resume Queen Christina is truly multi –talented. Not only is she articulate on paper, she is just as great on camera. She was the stand –out star of the Skilling the Bay initiatives video. Good to know as we start to explore our own video content!

Seriously though, the forum was fascinating and I think there were some very valuable takeaways (other than Christina’s star quality) which I’d like to share with you.


Turns out there are still a lot of people who are unable to navigate the digital world confidently or in some cases, at all.  This world isn’t going anywhere so that skill gap needs to be closed.  The good news is Geelong actually have a digital engagement strategy and there are already some great supports in place.

  1. The library can help – they have advisors you book in with who will teach you the foundation skills you need to start you off in the right direction.
  2. Neighbourhood houses have low or no cost computer training and digital literacy programs and a whole lot of other programs too.


There is this ‘thing’ called the Gig economy which is also quickly becoming the norm.  Some of you may have already felt its influence.  Maybe by choice or maybe not, more and more of us are making our living working multiple ‘gigs’ rather than being in full-time, ongoing employment. Some of my second point is driven by the first point. Did you follow that? Navigating the gig economy requires a slightly different skill & mind set to a traditional career pathway.

You need to:

  1. Get your digital on! If you’re not a digital native get to your local neighbourhood house to see what’s on offer.
  2. Become an innovator and be constantly learning to stay at the top of your game.
  3. Be actively creating, looking for and identifying the opportunities that are right for you.
  4. Be self-managing and directing. Learn to set and accomplish goals independently.
  5. Market yourself! Be constantly showcasing and improving whatever it is you do.

Most importantly, you need to be adaptable and resilient to make the most of the Gig economy.

Written by our valiant captain, Tanya. If you have a story to share about your experiences within the Gig Economy, we’d love to hear from you.

How to best structure your interview responses!

Robyn STAR blog

Written by our resident interview champion, Robyn. If you would like help with structuring your answers to interview questions, make an appointment with Robyn or come along to her interview workshop.

The Tinder of Job Applications!

Are you sick of trawling through Seek and other online job boards? Then, you have to check this out!

For those of you who are single, or have a friend who is (let’s be honest, we’ve all seen a Tinder account), it looks and feels exactly the same as Tinder.

It’s called Found!

And I think I’m in love! (No, I haven’t confused it for Tinder!) Seriously, wait until you see this app.. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun searching for a job!

Being a fairly new app, I didn’t expect to find much in our region, but I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of Geelong jobs coming up. Most of the jobs are in hospitality and retail, but there are also opportunities in sales and admin.

Firstly, you update your profile to include long walks on the beach and holding hands.. oops, I mean, you include your employment history, education and even your referees.

Then, you start to search for jobs. Each job comes up with a profile of the employer, location and description of the job.

You then have the opportunity to hit yes or no (the same as swiping left or right on Tinder). By hitting yes, your details are provided to the employer who can then make contact with you to discuss the opportunity.

One of the best parts is that you don’t have to upload anything!!

This would have to be the simplest way of searching for a job I have seen yet. I’m hoping for more of a move in this direction.

Check it out for yourself ( and let us know how you go 🙂

Written by our social media guru, Tracey. If you need assistance with your job search, make an appointment with Tracey or any of our helpful advisors.

Help Your Resume Score a 10/10!

Time is money, as they say in the world of business. Employers, especially those running small businesses, are finding that increasing demands on their time are leaving them with less time to spend on the recruitment process. As a result, applications are often simply glanced at when an employer is making an initial “yes/no” judgement, sometimes for no more than 6 seconds.

So how can you make sure your resume makes it into that all-important “yes” pile and receives a thorough review?

It all comes down to looks. Employers are far more likely to favour resumes that are visually pleasing over those that are messy and difficult to read, regardless of the content.

To get your resume looking so good no employer could pass it up, follow these tips and hints:

Resume Formatting Graphic

Written by our resident resume queen, Christina Matthews. Book an appointment with any of our helpful advisors for assistance with a resume or job application, or sign up for Christina’s resume workshop.

Practice makes perfect!

But Practice what?

Firstly, prepare!

  1. Common Interview Questions – it’s an educated guess!
  2. Responses to these common interview questions – use the STAR method & keep it brief!
  3. Focus on your strengths, experiences and skills from a range of areas.
  4. Talk about your education choices and achievements.

And then practice!

  1. Identify examples of achievements you want to promote & how they are relevant to this job.
  2. Get help – friends, colleagues, family or the Skills & Job Centre team – to practice potential responses.
  3. Focus on speaking clearly and concisely.
  4. Prepare a list of 2 to 3 questions you’d like to ask – Choose wisely!

And remember, practice makes perfect!

By our resident interview champion, Robyn Gray. If you need to prepare or practice for an interview, make an appointment with Robyn or another of our lovely advisors.


Why I’m not about putting bums on seats!

I had an interesting visit from a very clever woman a couple of days ago.  We’ll call her Alison.

Her visit was because she mistook the Skills and Jobs Centre for Customer Service. “I’m here to enrol in a Cert 4 in Business Administration” she announced, as certain as anything that was the solution to her yet to be verbalised problem.

An easy enrolment right? Sure, we’ll take your money, more bums on seats, more job security for me! So as a Gordon staff member why didn’t I take the win?  Luckily that’s not what we do at The Gordon. An ethical education facility won’t take your money for the sake of it, they’ll dig a little deeper and make sure you are getting the right value and support.  At the Skills and Jobs Centre our goal is to help you manage your career sustainably.  That means helping you make the right career decisions for you rather than our bottom line.

After sitting and talking to Alison for a while I discovered that this already highly skilled and experienced  woman had worked for an excess of 10 years in admin. She clearly was great at what she did, having been given more and more responsibility over her career and still loved it!

She wasn’t, as it turned out, looking to make an extreme change or in actual fact looking to study. What she wanted was to leave her role in a small organisation, where she had developed as far as she could, and find an admin opportunity with a company where she could grow. Alison also wanted to be in a place where she felt like she was contributing in some way to the community. She believed when she walked in the door that her experience was of no value and that somehow a Cert 4 would provide her with more opportunities to do so. This particular qualification, in her case, provided skills which she had since surpassed during her already established career.

Initially for Alison the solution is not training (not yet anyway), but to:

  • Do some research and identify organisations that offer what she is looking for in a role
  • Determine a job seeking strategy
  • Realise and recognise all the beneficial experience and talent she already has to offer
  • Carefully target her applications, or prospective applications, by ensuring she is articulating her relevant skills in the best possible light

Don’t get me wrong, education & learning are vital and add a lot to professional development. Let’s face it, lifelong learning is the norm. It’s important to stay current and employable.  A Cert 4 is a great qualification for someone with a smaller amount of applied experience to use as a starter qualification or to up-skill.

It is always important to consider your motivation and the specific value a course will provide when looking to study.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my skill gaps?
  • Is the study I am considering at the right level?
  • Is it adding anything to my currency?
  • Will this study develop my skill base in the way I need it to?
  • Will it take me where you I want to go?
  • Or am I just qualification loading?

Education should be a value add to your life or career and an investment into your future. Make your time and money count.

Written by our valiant captain, Tanya. If you would like to discuss your training options, make an appointment with Tanya or any of our Skills and Jobs Centre advisors.

A pocket guide to hAPPiness!

Keeping the blues at bay in the elusive job search

It is well documented that job loss (along with divorce, death, illness and moving house) is one of life’s major stresses.

It may not be as devastating or long lived as some of the above, but it often contributes to loss of self esteem, confidence, family harmony and financial security.

Retrenchment, workplace bullying, long-term unemployment or even a required career change, can leave you confused, angry, disappointed or lost. You may find yourself bombarded with well meaning suggestions and ideas from friends and services that may not be what you want or need at that particular time.

As compassionate and astute career counsellors we know that in conjunction with job guidance and vocational support sometimes you need additional assistance to keep upbeat and on track. Whether that be through professional health services, therapeutic avenues, exercise programs or life coaching, the important thing is that it works for you. That’s the only thing that matters.

Recently I have discovered the power of therapeutic Apps.

For me at present it’s the mindfulness meditation application (app), Headspace, which has been great. There are hundreds of free or minimal cost apps that are like having your own personal support team in your pocket.

There are apps for motivation, positive thinking, setting your goals, meditation and getting through depression or anxiety. The same way an app may be used to regulate your exercise, these apps help to regulate your mind and mood.

Personally, I love face to face support and guidance when I need it, but the brilliance of being able to access online apps, forums and support programs confidentially anytime, anywhere can do wonders for your well-being.

To start you off try Mind Health Connect, an Australian site with lots of online suggestions. I found the best thing was just to type in your interest, find a related app, and try them on for size. It is not a one size fits all scenario, so explore, taste and see what’s right for you.

Best of luck and Happy apping!

Written by Erika, our Workshop Wizard. If you are struggling with a career decision, book in an appointment or workshop with one of our advisors.