Speaking employers’ language

Guest speaker Rabia Adnan. 170897

Young migrants have unique capabilities to offer workplaces, employment experts told a recent forum.
South East Local Learning and Employment Network (SELLEN) hosted the migrant youth employment forum at the Dandenong Civic Centre on Tuesday 15 August.
The panel included Trent Lethlean from Woolworths, Bunnings operations manager Darren Moulder, Hudson Recruitment’s Alice Powell, McDonald’s manager Nikki Peut, Jayco HR manager Donna Paxton, and Bendigo Bank’s Mili Thurgood and Laura McBride.
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams served as moderator.
SELLEN’s Jennifer Ebdon said panellists told the audience to appreciate that they had unique capabilities to offer, particularly language skills.
“Both Bunnings and Woolworths particularly value these qualities,” she said.
“Woolworths is now recruiting to reflect the local community – the new Keysborough South store is a showcase of this new diverse recruitment policy.”
Ms Ebdon said Bendigo Bank also looked for multi-lingual staff.
“None of the companies advised applicants to change their names or make them sound more English on their resumes,” she said.
“Exceptions would be if you have a preferred name or to add the pronunciation of your name to your resume.”
The panel said to use key words from the vacancy advertisement in applications.
“Many larger companies use software to filter and score applications so to have the best chance of getting an interview make sure you include keywords in your resume, cover letter and application forms,” Ms Ebdon said.
Ms Powell advised the young people to include a copy of their visa, residency status or work rights with their resume so there was certainty around their legal right to undertake employment.
Mr Lethlean advised applicants to visit stores with a resume after applying online to show enthusiasm.
Ms Paxton advised that interview preparation was critical and urged guests to be on time, prepare questions to ask the interviewer and research the company.
For job applicants without workplace experience, Ms Peut said McDonald’s valued eye contact and the ability to have a conversation and at Woolworths Mr Lethlean said a positive attitude, enthusiasm and passion for customer service stood out.
On group interviews, the panel advised applicants to get involved with group activity, highlight how they would deal with customers, and demonstrate safety awareness if possible.
“They’re looking for team players so look for ways to involve others in the activity, especially if they seem quiet or shy,” Ms Ebdon said.
Panellists said they did not officially use social media to check applicants but many recruiters did.
“It is common for companies to monitor social media to see what their staff are posting about the company online,” Ms Ebdon said.
The advice was to remember that once something was posted online it was discoverable forever.
Guest speaker Rabia Adnan from the City of Greater Dandenong Young Leaders group has only been in Australia for six months.
She shared advice for new arrivals wanting to establish themselves in Australia and increase their employability.
Ms Adnan said it was important to connect to community, improve English skills and to join organisations and enrol in work readiness courses to make friends and increase skills.
She urged the audience to overcome their fear of asking questions.
“It’s the only way to learn,” she said.
“Do not give up. Do not lose hope.”