Getting a Job
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For Jobseekers – The Nuts and Bolts
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Below is some tips on looking for work, developing your resume, applying for jobs, writing a good application and nailing the interview.

Looking for work
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There are many things you can do to try to get a job. Here are some ideas:

Register with a Disability Employment Service (DES). They will assist you to write your resume, apply for jobs, and will put you in touch with employers and arrange interviews.

Ask around. A great way to get a job is through word of mouth. Let friends and family know that you’re looking for a job and specify what kind of job you would like.

Look for jobs using the connections you have. This could be Facebook groups, in a local newspaper or Gumtree.  It’s a good idea to keep an eye on these places, because you never know what might come up.

Use the internet as a resource. Create a resume and get an idea of what you are looking for on job finding platforms like INDEEDSEEK and Linked In.

Look for volunteering, work experience, a temporary job, or an internship in your chosen area.  These are all good ways to get your foot in the door in a company or area that you’re interested in.

Developing your Resume
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You need to have a resume to get a job. Think of your resume as the story of your life to give to a future employer. It is important to be truthful, positive, accurate and up to date. You will want to stand out from the crowd of other job seekers. Try to tweak your resume to make it relevant to each position you apply for. You will mostly be emailing it to employers, but a paper copy will also be of use to hand to an employer that you meet.

To create a great resume, include the following:

  • Personal details– Include your name, address, telephone number, mobile phone number and email address. The more ways you give someone the chance to contact you, the better.
  • Your profile– Provide a brief summary (3-4 lines) of your skills and experience including qualifications, experience, abilities and personal attributes. This will help you grab the employer’s attention and encourage them to read on.
  • Your goals – Explain what you want to achieve in your work life.
  • Work history – Start with your most recent job and work backwards. Include company name; positions held; time of employment; key duties and responsibilities; key achievements in this role. Do not leave gaps in employment, list the reasons as to why you may have been out of work. Include jobs done while at school on weekends and volunteering.
  • Education and qualifications – Include short courses, such as Barista training, First Aid, any trade certificates, degrees or diplomas, listing the most recent first. Also include any current licenses, or if you are fluent in any languages.
  • Personal information– Here you can talk a bit more about your interests outside of work. Include positive interests that could relate to this field or could be of relevance to this position or employer. Include any community involvement- have you been on a Freeza committee or done fundraising? Don’t provide too much detail.
  • Referees – Include the names and contact details of two people who have agreed to act as referees for you. Past employers are ideal if they will provide positive feedback. Otherwise, you could also include family friends, or a teacher where the course is relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you have their permission to include their details.

Before you finish:

  • Make sure your resume is error free by checking spelling and grammar.
  • Have a friend read over and provide feedback.
  • Highlight your strengths and abilities.
  • Ensure sentences begin with action words.
  • Ask yourself, ‘does this resume sell me as best as it can?’

Writing a good application
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Most employers use a platform like Seek to advertise their positions, and most positions now require online applications.

When you see a position advertised that you want to apply for, you should:

  • Thoroughly read the job description and Key Selection Criteria and identify what aspects you are confidently able to do, and what areas will stretch you. This will help as you prepare your application.
  • Phone the contact on the advert, introduce yourself, discuss the position, and speak positively and professionally about your interest in the role – this is your first opportunity to get your name to stand out from the rest, so when you speak to the employer imagine you are already being interviewed for the job
  • Make sure your resume is up to date and relevant to the job.
  • Develop a cover letter to send to the employer
  • Develop a response to the Key Selection Criteria

A cover letter is how you sell yourself, in it you are telling the employer why YOU are the right person for the job, and your interest in their company. You should take the time to tailor your cover letter to each position you apply for. Explain why you are the best person for the job you are applying for and what you will bring to their team. You might want to explain how you have managed your disability and overcome adversity, or you may decide not to disclose your disability. Keep it short and sweet and stick to clear and non-complicated language.

A cover letter is how you sell yourself, in it you are telling the employer why YOU are the right person for the job, and your interest in their company. You should take the time to tailor your cover letter to each position you apply for. Explain why you are the best person for the job you are applying for and what you will bring to their team. You might want to explain how you have managed your disability and overcome adversity, or you may decide not to disclose your disability. Keep it short and sweet and stick to clear and non-complicated language.

Cover Letters- the good and the bad

Key Selection Criteria are the skills, attributes, knowledge and qualifications that the employer has defined as being essential for satisfying the requirements of the job and give employers an overview of your capabilities and experiences. Writing Key Selection Criteria responses is a bit of an artform as they vary extensively between organisations – some employers base their recruitment selection on Key Selection Criteria and others do not use them at all. Around 250 words in response to each Key Selection Criteria is suggested by recruitment agencies as a good guideline and there are some excellent tools to help you practice Key Selection Criteria responses available online.

Employers might get 20+ responses to a job so ensure your files are named appropriately and clearly and that you have checked them all for accuracy and good style, and before you hit ‘send’. Make sure you have uploaded the correct attachments.

Congratulations! You got an interview!
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You are probably nervous and worried you won’t be at your best on the day. Here are a few tips to help you make a great first impression.

Before the day,

  • Do your research on the company.
  • Have a practise interview with friends and family.
  • Phone ahead to check if there maybe access issues you are worried about.
  • Think of some good questions to ask your interviewer.
  • Make sure you know your rights regarding disability discrimination. It will make you feel more confident.

On the day,

  • Arrive to the interview at least a few minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Dress smartly and appropriately.
  • Introduce yourself to reception or ask for the contact person provided.
  • Remember that your first impression starts straight away. Even if you’re waiting for the interviewer to come and get you, you can still be leaving an impression with the receptionist who can share his/her thoughts with the interviewer.  Don’t talk on your mobile, doze off or act unprofessionally, even if you think the interview has not yet started.
  • Make sure you smile. Smiling can make you appear more friendly, positive and likeable.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic (even if you don’t feel like that)!
  • Greet each interviewer and maintain eye contact.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is switched off. Definitely do not answer it during an interview.
  • Research the business before the interview. If you can show you know a few things about the business, it will demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job.
  • Make sure you ask a few really good questions. Prepare one or two questions that you want to know about the job or company.
  • Depending on your situation, you may or may not decide to talk about your disability.
  • Thank the interviewers at the end.

If the interview is on line,

  • Try out your technology before the interview. Show your best angle.
  • Do a practice with a friend or family member.
  • Check the link works. Have a phone number of the contact in case it doesn’t.
  • Make sure your background is neutral and doesn’t show a messy house!
  • Close other programs on your computer.
  • Dress as if you are going to the interview in person.
  • Look at the camera instead of any notes in front of you.
  • Use your mute button in case of an emergency.

For more assistance:

Contact Inclusive Towns
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Register your business as an accessible business for people with a disability