Here at the Skills & Jobs Centre we’re really getting into the swing of using Zoom for our workshops and information panels! Goes to show that you can learn new skills at any age…
Last Friday we hosted speakers from a variety of organisations who talked about job hunting while we’re in COVID-19 lockdown and managing our mental wellbeing at the same time.
Where are the jobs?
Marianne Messer – Geelong Region LLEN
Job seekers in the Geelong region now have a consolidated online jobs board, which takes away a lot of the stress of searching across different online job boards on social media. Marianne explained how her organisation has partnered with Simon French, the Geelong Employment Facilitator, on the Geelong Careers site – a great example of working cooperatively in COVID-19 time. Back in 2019, the Barwon region was doing well; however, we’re now seeing significant drops in hospitality and accommodation jobs. Transport, logistics and health job vacancies have increased, though the application process is more competitive.
- Search jobs on https://www.geelongcareers.org.au/ – it’s free and local!
- Make sure you get the word out amongst your networks that you’re looking for work – many jobs out there are word of mouth and don’t get advertised
- Use social media to look for job groups…
…which leads us neatly into insights from the Skills & Jobs Centre’s Jodie Walsh – our social media queen…
Social media and recruitment agencies
Jodie Walsh – The Gordon Skills & Jobs Centre
Did you know that Geelong Job Watch on Facebook has 25,000 members? Or that Geelong Jobs has 15,000? Jodie knows – she manages our social media accounts and understands the importance of social media for job search these days. There are approximately 9 Facebook pages for employment in Geelong, 1 in the Surfcoast, 2 in Colac and 2 in Werribee/western suburbs. See the Facebook Job Groups list at the end of this blog.
Over 90% of Geelong’s business community is small business, and these types of employers advertise their jobs on social media because it’s free and easier to use than sites like Seek.
- If you’re concerned about your online presence, make sure you set your accounts to the highest privacy settings. And you don’t have to post – just use your accounts for job search.
- Search for local community noticeboards online, where there can be posts about job opportunities.
- Follow businesses (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn etc) that interest you, so that you’re connected to their direct advertising.
- For help with managing your privacy settings, the Facebook Help Centre is your one stop shop. For some basic instructions, go to https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242
- Or, if you’re a visual learner, try one of the many tutorials on Youtube, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VyoouopcDY Make sure that the video is made within the last 18 months so that it’s relevant to the most recent version of FB.
Recruitment agencies can be another good strategy for job search. Check out as many websites as you can and browse through the jobs listed. Register with them if they have positions that suit your preferred industry. But don’t complete your online registration and just wait for a call…it just doesn’t work that way. Check in on the agency websites regularly – make sure you’ve set up your jobs alerts properly to receive notifications.
There’s a comprehensive list of recruitment agencies in our region at the end of this blog – see Job Seeker Resources. Also read this informative past blog.
Large employers and the Working for Victoria (WFV) scheme
Colin Nicholson and Michaela Lobb – Department of Education & Training (Victoria)
Recruitment agencies are often the first point of contact if you’re looking for a job with large employers. Colin mentioned that large local companies such as Carbon Revolution, Cotton On, Chisholm Road Prison and Energy Australia are all recruiting at the moment. Remember that applying for jobs with large employers may be competitive, as recruiters will often advertise nationally through sites like Seek and Indeed.
Looking at a state level… The WFV scheme was initially set up by the Victorian government to support people who lost jobs directly as result of COVID-19. However, the great news is that anyone with full working rights in Australia is eligible to apply! WFV now has 25,000 job seekers and over 100 employers registered, and is partnered with recruitment agency Sidekicker.
- Read more about WFV at https://www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria
- Register with Sidekicker at https://www.getsidekicker.com/create-sidekick-account?source=vic-gov-marketplace
- Some employers in the WFV scheme may be looking for applicants who’ve been impacted specifically by COVID-19, so make sure you read the job information carefully.
Practical tips for job hunting in lockdown
Jo Black – The Gordon Skills & Jobs Centre
If you’re reading this blog then you’ll know that the Gordon Skills & Jobs Centre is a FREE service for local job seekers, with a team of knowledgeable and friendly advisors – such as Jo Black! One recruitment trend during COVID-19 is a preference for one-page resumes. Jo gave us a few pointers on this:
- include your address, as it may be an advantage if employers are looking for people living in the area who can be responsive
- a profile statement at the top of your resume is a useful way to highlight how well you’re set up to work from home, eg ‘reliable NBN internet, laptop and headset’
- include your qualifications and training, and if you have a long work history, focus on the last 10 years
- if you also need to include a cover letter, make this punchy, using four paragraphs that give a snapshot what you have to offer.
Scroll to the end of this blog for some Sample resumes and cover letter tips from the SJC.
It’s always important to prepare for job interviews, but social distancing rules mean you may need to do an online interview using a platform such as Skype or Zoom. Make sure you:
- understand the technology and practise using it in advance
- dress like you would for a face-to-face interview, set up at least 5 mins in advance for your interview, and locate yourself somewhere quiet and tidy with good lighting where you won’t get interrupted
- have all your application documents close to hand, try to use your mute button when you’re not speaking, and be respectful to the interviewers.
Looking after your mental health and dealing with stress
Tony McManus – Local Ambassador for Beyond Blue and RUOK?
It’s a strange time at the moment, a period of chaos. As Tony emphasised, it’s super important to look after your mental health and reach out for help if you need it. Risk factors such as isolation, chronic illness and traumatic life events do have solutions: social connection, diet and physical activity, and a healthy work environment.
The Geelong Community Foundation plays a key role in supporting the broader Geelong community, with grants to support community organisations.
Here’s some links to mental health resources recommended by Tony:
Job Seeker Resources
Check out the great job resources on CareerHub that you can access as a Skills & Jobs Centre client.
If you haven’t yet logged into CareerHub, call us and we can step you through it. We’re still offering all our services – 1:1 career counselling, workshops, employer panels – by phone or Zoom.
Recruitment agencies with a local presence/office
Programmed Skilled Workforce
Direct Recruitment Geelong
Calibre Workforce (mainly hospitality)
JK Personnel (mainly Ballarat but sometimes has Geelong jobs)
External recruitment agencies for Geelong region – large volume, specialised and government recruitment
Toll Group Recruitment
Public Sector People