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What sets the mining industry's future superstars apart?

What are employers in the mining sector looking for in graduates seeking their first job?

What sets the mining industry's future superstars apart?

@noorafniekawati on Instagram. Follow #facesofmining.
@noorafniekawati on Instagram. Follow #facesofmining.

It’s a hurdle most new jobseekers know all too well — the seemingly self-defeating prerequisite that stops so many before they can even get going: “The candidate must have ‘X’ years of experience in a similar role.”

It’s hard to blame employers for wanting to hire seasoned workers over graduates. Professionals with a foot already in the door know what’s expected of them, they have industry references and they are equipped to hit the ground running. Essentially, they are proven assets. So how does a recent or aspiring graduate convince an employer to take a chance on them?

For a select group in South Australia, part of the answer to that question has been their inclusion in a mining summer school. Adelaide University is currently running the intensive three-week course for 30 senior graduates, postgraduates and early career professionals.

Lachlan Furness, 22 and one of the participants in the program, told The Advertiser newspaper: “It’s all about the experience. I’ve applied for vacation work in my third year and even this year it’s pretty tough out there.”

While not everyone can be hand-picked for a summer school course, showing enthusiasm for your chosen field and embracing opportunities which come your way, no matter how small, are vital to ensure success.

Frankly, it’s competitive out there. Most companies involved with hiring graduates do so through a set program with a limited number of places available. This means it pays to be proactive.

Here’s how to give yourself the best chance of success

Identify a list of companies you want to work with, find out when they run their graduate programs and be early to the party in applying. Don’t be scared to pick up the phone either. A good-looking CV is one thing, but allowing an employer to put at least a voice to a name makes you more memorable.

Doing your research on the companies and operations you want to work for is also important. Find out what tickets and licenses employers need their workers to have and obtain them in advance. These can include vehicle licenses, police clearances and safety certificates.

Be aware that you are one fish in a large pool of graduates who will leave university with the same or a similar degree. It’s what you do in addition to that which will make you stand out.

For more information, also check out our ‘how to get started in the mining industry page at www.miningpeople.com.au/FAQS