Job Search Advice for Unskilled Workers

Bendigo Miners' Statue, Victoria, AustraliaBendigo Miners’ statue in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia – Photo Courtesy: Tim Gillin

With the current state of the global economy, you would be hard pressed to find a single country that has not been affected by the major downturn in business.

What we are finding is that as unemployment rates continue to rise, there is an increased demand for entry level and unskilled work. This is due to an overall decrease in new job openings and we are seeing a lot of college educated and trade qualified workers that just need some form of work; so the unskilled positions continue to get inundated with applicants.

This is something that we are definitely seeing in the Australian mining industry. With a lot of construction workers needing to find work due to the slowing of their industry, a lot are turning their attention to the mining and resource industry in the hope of earning big money in return for unskilled labor. To which they are faced with the same problem as almost every other industry and job market feeling the pinch – too many applicants for too little jobs. So what can people do?

Simple Advice for Any Unskilled Job Seeker

We are going to use the Mining job market in Australia as a reference to look at simple things that you can do in any industry (in any country), to improve your chances of employment for entry level positions:

Get Some Training

Now don’t stress, I’m not talking about spending 3-5 years getting re-skilled through a university or college degree. Employers want to know that you really want to work in an industry, as then you will be more likely to become long term employees, so they look at what you have done personally to educate yourself for the industry. For example, in the mining industry, you may wish to complete a mining induction course or get your HR driver’s license. Little things that show you are committed to the industry.

Refine & Refocus Your Resume

It can be easy when applying for so many positions to just use a single resume and application letter for all positions. It improves your efficiency, but is it really getting the job done? How often do you think recruitment agencies see a generic job application and just bin it before they even really read it? Sure you may be applying for more jobs, but how many of your applications are actually being considered? You would be much better off choosing positions wisely, and targeting and tweaking your resume and application specifically for the each job listing.

Follow Up Your Applications

You would be surprised with how few job seekers follow up their applications with a simple phone call. Now I am not recommending a hard hitting phone call; just a simple ‘just making sure you got my application’ call is fine. If they mention that you were unsuccessful with your application then you may wish to ask what you could have done to improve your application for future job listings.

Go to Where the Jobs Are

If you are looking for unskilled work in a specific industry ( like mining), then the majority of new jobs openings are not going to be advertised online or through recruitment companies. Most positions are advertised locally or sometimes not at all. The only way to find these positions (or to have a chance to get them) is to actually be living in the location that you wish to be working. This is why in Australia, we are seeing a lot of job seekers relocating to mining towns in an effort to find work.

Obviously you have to take your own situation into account, but these tips will hopefully be a springboard to help you think of things that you can do to help find work as an unskilled worker.


Thomas is editor of an Australian mining news website that focuses the jobs sector of the industry. For more information visit:

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