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Bill Gates wouldn’t get a job in Australia because he has no local experience,’’ says Ailis Logan, the founder of Tribus Lingua, a consultancy assisting skilled migrants find jobs. Logan is only half joking.

She believes that Australian employers value local experience much more than their counterparts in Europe and the US.

For the many overseas professionals enticed here by the lure of a bountiful job market, the difficulty of finding a job without local experience is no joke.

What does “no local experience’’ really mean?

Are we so parochial that we’d reject Bill Gates if he sent us his resume?

Do we run our businesses in a uniquely Australian way?

Many of us will go overseas to work, valuing the career and life experience we bring back-yet we appear to view the experience that others bring here with suspicion.

Ian Little, the author of Project Australia: Land that Engineering Job in Australia, suggests our geographic isolation has contributed to our conservatism. As the senior engineering manager at engineering giant Worely Parsons, he’s hired many overseas professionals.

He believes that a lack of Australian experience is actually the biggest barrier any newcomer will face. Employers appear worried about the communication skills of skilled immigrants.

Poorly written resumes from overseas professionals may fuel employers’ doubts about immigrants’ communication skills. Little and Logan say they see many bad resumes from recent arrivals.

This makes it harder for employers to assess overseas experience.

Logan recommends that newcomers provide context around places they’ve worked, including the challenges and drivers of the businesses they’ve worked in. It can be difficult to read a resume in isolation of preconceived ideas about a nationality.

It would be naive to suggest that people never discriminate, but Little certainly doesn’t believe many Australians are inherently racist. When it comes to hiring he thinks Australian employers are just risk-averse.

“People will still encounter difficulties when they want to switch industries,’’ he says. “Employers don’t realise how tough times are, and they need to get flexible.’’

But even if everyone spoke English, misunderstandings about meanings can be common. Logan suggests our easy-going expressions can easily .

“Australians appear casual, but are not casual at all,’’ she says. “Come in for a chat’ can mean a formal interview, so you need to be prepared.’’

But perhaps there’s more going on than verbal confusion. Body language plays its part in defining meaning and each culture uses this differently.

Aparna Hebbani, an academic and researcher into intercultural communication in interviews at the University of Queensland says “non-verbals’’ such as a academic and researchercontribute to an estimated 66 per cent of meaning in social interaction.

She’s seen many cross-cultural misunderstandings in an interview. “If an Indian interviewee, for example, does not make ‘appropriate’ levels of eye contact with an Australian interviewer, they can interpret that as a lack confidence or not being truthful,’’ she says. “But the interviewee might not look into the interviewer’s eye out of respect.’’

The way different cultures see interviews may be detrimental to their chances of success. Little claims some have a “servant attitude’’ when it comes to marketing their skills.

“An employment contract is a two-way thing. I’ve not seen many overseas professionals who understand that,’’ he says. “They don’t understand that they have something to offer.’’

Confused communication aside, what are other risks in recruiting a newcomer? Logan and Little say that new arrivals need to understand Australian law, regulations and codes plus the general rules of Australian business practice. But Little suggests in engineering that employers’ perception that newcomers can’t adapt is greater than reality.

“Engineering is an applied science-the laws of science do not change,’’ he says.

In some professions the local learning curve is steeper and longer. Accounting is one example. David Smith, a former partner of accounting firm PKF and ex-president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, runs Smithink, a management consultancy advising accountants.

He sees the employers’ concern over communication skills of immigrants and their ability to understand the highly complex Australian tax system and superannuation laws as major barriers for accountants new to Australia.

Logan says overseas professionals need to understand that the structure of the Australian economy is “old-fashioned’’, with up to 70 per cent of businesses classified small-medium.

The accounting industry reflects this statistic. Smith suggests a typical small-business accounting firm will find it hard to embrace new arrivals who cannot hit the ground running.

Small firms struggle to verify skills, have limited resources for training and perhaps less patience for the newcomer under pressure.

There are other barriers that make it difficult for newcomers to find jobs. Smith and Little suggest that employers need to assess attitude when it comes to hiring overseas professionals, as this makes a big difference in how quickly people will adapt.

Little says employers’ rigid recruitment practices can prevent this. “Many employers are stuck in a 1980s way of thinking. In that decade there were lots of people to choose from and some fairly militant unionism. Employers found that if they didn’t select the right person [the union] would be likely to challenge. They needed a bullet-proof system.’’

She believes employers should build teams-instead of filling holes when they hire-matching weaknesses in skill sets with complementary strengths.

HR professionals would argue that recruitment processes have evolved. The larger firms often spend many thousands of dollars identifying what makes the company tick before writing it into recruitment practice, hoping to recruit candidates with the right attitude.

Yet the “right attitude’’ is nuanced, notoriously difficult to codify and assess from an appraisal of a resume and the more traditional interview.

Also keeping candidates at a distance are recruitment consultants and online resume screening software.

Many employers’ online careers pages do not have a contact name or number. It can be difficult for applicants to talk directly to someone with close knowledge of the core business who can give them a realistic appraisal of their fit.

Little sees many benefits for organisations willing to open their doors a little wider. While he has observed overseas engineers having a slower path to productivity than their Australian equivalents, he notes the longer term rewards of hiring them as a bonus.

“They are less likely to move on than an Australian hire and they have a great work ethic and less baggage from their background,’’ he says. “They bring new skills not available in Australia, and support our international operations with their knowledge and language skills.’’

Source : www.careerone.com.au

More Information  :  www.tribuslingua.com.au

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One of the biggest mistakes new migrants make when attempting to enter into the Australian job market is sticking with the resume from their country of origin.

It is absolutely crucial that newly arrived jobseekers tailor their resumes towards Australian employers. Lisa LaRue of CareerWorx Careers & Transitions specialises in adapting overseas resumes for the Australian job market.

Ms LaRue says: “A lot of migrant jobseekers contact me for help when they have been unable to find work for months after arriving in Australia. The first thing I ask them to do is email me their resume”.

She said some of the most common errors she sees are spelling and grammatical mistakes. Another mistake is including obsolete information or detail which has no relevance to an Australian employer.

“Many contain too much personal information which is a major faux pas in an Australian environment,” added Ms LaRue. She pointed out that Australian labour market law prohibits employers from discriminating against certain job seekers.

“There is no need to divulge your marital status, age or religion in your resume,” Ms LaRue said, “unless you are applying for a teaching position at a religious school, it is not necessary to inform your potential employer of your religious beliefs”.

Although employers are prohibited from discriminating against job seekers, it would be naïve to assume that all employers adhere to the law all of the time. With this in mind, it is best not to mention your age in your resume or cover letter. There is always the possibility that you could be discriminated against should the employer feel you are too young or too old for the position.

Migrant job seekers should also ensure that their qualifications will be accepted by Australian employers. Overseas qualifications need to be recognised by the appropriate body for them to carry weight within the Australian job market. Information about having your qualifications recognised can be found at www.immi.gov.au/asri/

It is a good idea to have your resume appraised by someone in Australia to ensure that it is easily understood and appeals to Australian employers. CareerWorx offers a migrant employment assistance service including resume tailoring and assistance with job search skills.

 Visit  :   www.careerworx.com.au for further information. 

 Source  :  www.careerone.com.au

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JobSearch is Australia’s largest free online jobs website.

 It is funded and operated by the Australian Government as a free service to assist job seekers into employment and connect employers with quality staff.

Job Services Australia providers and public employers upload their job vacancies to JobSearch and search for potentially suitable staff.

Job seekers can search for jobs via the map on the homepage by choosing their state, local area and occupation category. The advanced search function includes more detail in searching criteria.

Everyone is welcome to use JobSearch to search for vacancies. It’s free to register and take advantage of the complete range of services.

Vacancies displayed on JobSearch come from many different sources, including:                                                                   

  • public employers
  • Job Services Australia providers
  • newspapers
  • the Australian Public Service
  • the Australian Defence Force
  • the Harvest Trail.

For job seekers

JobSearch has a range of features to help you search for a job, including:

  • free registration for all Australians seeking work
  • jobs across all industries and regions of Australia
  • your own personal page, where you can create a job match profile, upload your resume and use our instant job list to find jobs based on your skills and experience
  • links to employment assistance and information for all job seekers.

For employers

JobSearch has a number of features to help you find the right person for your job, including:

  • the ability to search for staff based on criteria in your advertisement using our find staff feature
  • high visibility of your jobs – with around 1 million people visiting JobSearch each month
  • a secure personal page to manage your advertised jobs or view past jobs
  • phone help from the Employer Hotline 13 17 15 to advertise new jobs or check the status of your existing jobs.
  • http://jobsearch.gov.au

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