2020 is shaping up to be a great year for the Queensland job market with some great incentives for employees and employers. The Queensland Government is continuing to invest in creating opportunities for job-seekers and employers.
JSQ increases its capacity
I have some positive news to start off the year. I have FINALLY completed my TAE upgrade, which gives me the necessary qualification to deliver accredited training and qualifications. The upgrade has given me more knowledge on Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) which is invaluable for working with learners that may need additional support with their reading, writing and learning. The TAE will also allow me to deliver first-aid training which will be a goal for this year.
Onto further study!
Just as I have completed my TAE upgrade, in the spirit of lifelong learning I have been accepted into a Masters of Applied Psychology at Central Queensland University. This is minimum two years of study but I am looking forward to how I can apply my new knowledge to the benefit of my clients and participants.
Soft skills are some of the most important qualities for employees to have.
This is what Job Skills Queensland is all about; developing peoples soft skills to improve their chances of finding and maintaining meaningful employment. There is enough evidence to prove it’s value in the workplace so don’t ignore that your employees and/or participants may need to hone in on these skills to be more productive and therefore successful in the workplace!
Countless times I have met job seekers that have held higher education qualifications and they always ask me: “Should I include my unrelated degree in my resume?”. The reason that they ask is that they don’t want to appear ‘over qualified’ for their job applications in a different career path, particularly when they are applying for jobs that are entry-level.
Why is it a bad thing to be over qualified? Do employers think the candidate will view entry level work to be menial? Or do they think they candidate won’t settle being a ‘cog in the machine’? In my recruitment experience, I don’t think I’ve ever had an employer tell me they didn’t want to hire a person because they hold a degree in a different field/industry. I’ve been asked this question a lot by job seekers so maybe there are employers that don’t like seeing unrelated degrees…. In any case I’m writing this to clarify things with my job seekers and to any employers that have this view.
Here are five reasons for hiring someone with an unrelated degree.
1. They have committed to and followed-through with a goal – The completed course is hard evidence that they can commit to something and complete it over a period of time.
2. They are inclined to follow protocol and evidence-based information – Writing assignments needs correct formatting and referencing.
3. They will have a degree of critical thinking – This is an important skill learnt through higher education.
4. They can be organised and adhere to deadlines – Sometimes a loose term for admitted procrastinators but all assessments (particularly University) have a deadline.
5. They can work autonomously – Getting assignments and study done is really up to the individual to be self-motivated.
Many people change career paths and what they thought would be a good idea for study (and subsequent career) may not be the same at the end of the course. The graduate job market is extremely competitive in many industries and those that aren’t high achievers may need to look at other options for employment (this happened to me when I graduated!). I hope that job seekers keep their completed degrees on their resumes as I feel like they should be proud of their achievements and employers need to see the value in that too.
When presented with the task of finding a new job; it can be quite stressful and daunting. There can be a lot of negative emotions and stress, particularly if you need the income and you are getting knocked back repeatedly.
Here a few things to consider when applying for work.
What is the employer looking for? This is often missed by the applicant. If the employer is seeking someone that has a specific qualification or a experience; chances are that’s the first thing they will rule a potential applicant out. Don’t waste the employers and your time by completing an application for a role that they are more than likely to pass on.
Who do you know? We’ve all heard that term: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. There is a lot of validity in that statement. Think about the people in your network and if they may have an opportunity. Even if they don’t have a job available in their company; try catching up with them for a coffee and ask about how they achieved their position and how you can get there.
What is your presentation like? This question covers a broad range of things but really what it means is what impression will you leave on the employer? This can be from your resume having a professional-looking layout through to your ability to communicate effectively in an interview when you first meet the employer. These things count in the eyes of the employer as it shows a level of respect for them and the process as well as to the other applicants.
Are you applying for the right work? The knock-backs or the lack of replies to your applications might indicate that this is not the role or industry for you right now. Find time to re-think and re-evaluate your career choice/s and change trajectory if it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Also think about what might be missing from your applications and find a way to address it; for example: gaining more experience by volunteering or interning. Try the Australian governments ‘Career Quiz’ to see what you might be suited at doing: https://joboutlook.gov.au/careerquiz.aspx
The final thing I wanted to address is the need to stay positive. It affects our outlook on our job prospects and can often find it affecting our personal relationships. Kanfer, Wanberg & Kantrowitz (2001) determined that there is a positive relationship between behaviour, motivation and career outcomes. Take the ‘wins’ when you get them. Getting a call-back or email from an employer is a win, particularly if there are a lot of applicants. Don’t lose faith; especially if you seem to be meeting the ‘criteria’ for the role on paper, the employer could have been torn between choosing you and another applicant.