School’s out – now to kickstart your career

School’s out – now to kickstart your career

By Nicole Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer of Workskil Australia

Entering the workforce is a daunting prospect for any school leaver. From identifying your preferred area of work to contacting employers and the job interview itself – it’s a process that requires determination, commitment and a lot of patience. For young job seekers with disability, there is an additional set of challenges to navigate.

Encouragingly, there is a greater range of employment opportunities open to you. More employers now realise the enormous benefits of having a diverse workforce and are willing to give a young job seeker with disability a go. At the same time, there is a lot of support available to job seekers to become “work ready”. Workskil Australia helped 11,745 people with an injury, illness or disability into employment last financial year. The number one trait employers look for is not experience or technical skills – it’s attitude. As well as having a genuine willingness to learn and work hard, here are some other actions you can take now to improve your job prospects:

· Prepare a professional resume

Compile a succinct and well formatted resume that includes your contact details, a personal statement, achievements, skills, education, any previous work experience and references. It’s also a good idea to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for.

·Start with people you know

Ask friends, family and neighbours if they know of any jobs that may be available. This is often a comfortable starting point to your career search and can lead to “warm” introductions.

· Go online

Regularly check job search websites such as Seek for vacancies. The social media sites of individual businesses and organisations also often carry job advertisements.

· Check your own social presence

Make sure you also have a look at your personal accounts and ensure they show you in a positive light as it is possible a prospective employer will view these profiles.

· Build your experience

Contact businesses and organisations direct about voluntary work or work experience. This is a good way to get your foot in the door and build your confidence, capability and network.

· Seek help

Contact a registered provider of the Government’s Disability Employment Services to access a range of support services from career counselling, resume writing and interview techniques to assistance with special equipment or workplace modifications.

Workskil Australia is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit employment services providers and a certified provider of the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services (DES) which it delivers in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales and the Southern Adelaide region of South Australia. For more information click here.