Entering the Resource Sector Workforce

This week's Tagai Management Consultants news is suggested advice on how to position yourself to apply for a mining resource job.  It is in response to people I know and have crossed my path seeking guidance to get into the sector.  I welcome further comments  on what other advice and assistance can be provided to people exploring resource sector opportunities as I what I share is only from experience:

  1. Review your skills and experience and update your resume. The first step before looking for a job is to review and update your resume (e.g. contact details, employment history, qualifications/training and referees). Create a comprehensive resume with all your work history, training, volunteer work and other areas you want to capture in the document.  This comprehensive resume will be your reference document which you will use to create "job specific" resumes. When applying for a job it is important to create a resume that is structured and focused for the job you are applying for, and it should be a maximum of 3 pages.
  2. Safety, Safety, Safety. A key focus for all mining companies and service providers is SAFETY.  In your resume ensure you provide details of any Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) related roles you held, training and committees you were part of.  If you are looking at entering the resource sector get involved in the safety culture of your current organisation and/or attend SHE training courses. Do not settle for Operator roles. A lot of people entering the industry primarily look at applying for operator roles (truck driver). I would like to challenge this approach and suggest you look at your updated resume and apply for other roles either operational or professional if relevant besides the operator roles. You limit your focus and opportunities by just concentrating on applying for one type of employment role.
  3. Contractors are a another way of entering industry. Every mining company remains operational through the engagement of various Goods and Services Contractors. Possibly sounding like a broken record, you limit your focus and opportunities by just concentrating on applying to get into one of the mining companies. Expand your vision and apply for jobs with Contracting companies which will provide the required experience and more importantly provides greater opportunities for a job in the sector.
  4. USE the S.T.A.R. technique to answer interview questions. Once you are invited for a interview I would suggest you answer interview questions using the S.T.A.R. interview technique. This technique will keep you focused and provide the interviewer with a thorough answer, just don't waffle. S.T.A.R. stands for:
  • Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself.
  • Task: What did you have to achieve? The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation.
  • Action: What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what the alternatives were.
  • Results: What was the outcome of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?

The final suggestion I would like to share is seek feedback if unsuccessful. It is important to seek feedback if you are shortlisted and interview but do not get the job you applied for. Seek areas of improvement and apply learning for next job application process. Hard work and perseverance will get you to where you want to be.