Monday, 19 March 2012

Tips on Getting a JOB in the Mining Industry

As I have previously mentioned it can take a long time to get a foot in the door in the mining industry much longer than the perception. Before embarking on this adventure I had always heard of people heading to the mines to make their fortune. So I just asumed it was easy.

There are a few things that you can do to help your chances.

Tradies (Tradesmen) will have a better chance than anyone else as the majority of the work is in labour. Not many mining companies hire someone with no mining experience. They also don't take on domestic or household tradesmen you need at least some experience with industrial level machinery.
 The easiest way in is if you are a diesel mechanic that works for one of the top companies such as Caterpillar, Komastu or Hitachi etc even though you may not work on the size machinery they have in the mines you will still have all the formal training and all the mines use big rigs from those companies. If you are a fully qualified diesel mechanic and currently work for one of these companies then your chances are quite good. You can either look on job search websites or send your resume directly. Another option that worked very well for my brother -in law is he put his own resume on seek and companies approached him. He was courted hard by the biggest with no prior experience and worked out a fantastic Fly in Fly out (FIFO) deal. My sister writes a lovely blog about the FIFO lifestyle here.

Caterpillar Dump Truck- you need a ladder to climb on board
If you don't happen to be a geologist, mining engineer or diesel mechanic (like us) there is still hope!
Licence up;
I do recommend organising your trade licence in the state you are applying to work. You can organise it when you get here but takes a couple of months and will severely restrict your ability to work and in turn your hireabliity. So if you already have that organised before applying it will make you stand out from the crowds. This is a logical step you are showing you are serious and qualified to do the job you are applying for.
Tweak your Resume;
Having been on the opposite side of hiring I can honestly say that your resume will make or break your chances. I used to have a quick glance and sort them into duds and people that I wanted to read more about. I'd then give the dud pile to an off- sider to give a second chance to whoever they felt deserved it. But honestly hardly ever did anyone that was initially classed a dud based soley on a quick glance at their resume make it through to interview. First impressions count!
Remember that even though you are applying for a mining job the person that will receive your resume is in head office in HR they are a professional with little exposure to the job you are applying for. So make it as professional looking as possible - have someone else check it- ALWAYS do this.
Spell check (um...if you don't do this you don't deserve a job anywhere), don't use personal/ inappropriate email addresses hornyboi88@ will NOT make it through to interview!
Also its likely they will use your email to find you on social media like facebook and could form an opinion that your are unprofessional. When searching for a new job you should always have all social media settings to private and if a profile picture will show in search results tone it down! Believe me we do look and have a good laugh but we don't interview the people we find on social media if they come across as party people that are always drunk.
List all your extra qualifications such as first aid, fire warden, fork lift driver any other courses that your work might have up-skilled you with.
Try to keep it mining applicable if you work on heavy machinery this needs to be prominent.

Kalgoorlie Super Pit- the largest open cut gold mine in Australia
Leverage off someone you know; If you know someone working in the mining industry ask them to pass on your resume, chances are they get a finders fee once you pass probation so there is incentive to introduce quality workers.
Research and apply to companies directly -it might be a good idea to send your resume directly to the company you 'd like to work for. Call first and find out the email address for the HR department.
Job Agency;
Job agencies that are mining specific. Again research on the net all the major mining towns have dozens of job agencies that get people into the mines. Send them your resume and maybe set up a phone interview or just ring them and ask advice. My feeling on these agencies is that they will require you to live local.
Contracting Companies;
Some of the big mining companies wont look at you so it might be an idea to apply for a position at one of the thousands of contracting companies that service the mines instead. This is an excellent foot in the door and will get you the experience you need to use as a stepping stone. This is a good option also if you have only worked on domestic machinery as they will provide training. Believe me you will need training my partner (even though he worked on industrial and heavy machinery and was seasoned in his trade as an electrician) says that it was like learning his trade all over again!
Be prepared to MOVE!
Not many mines actually do FIFO in some cases you even have to cover a portion or all of your flying cost yourself! Many mines nowadays require their work force to live in the local area this is why they spend the money building up the communities instead. Some companies in their job offer will include a re-location package to help with the costs in return for you committing to a minumum of 2 to 3 years on a binding contract.
If you are looking for work in the non skilled sector or administration areas you are more than likely going to need to live locally. Many people do this come over without a job lined up. In fact I did this very thing -my partner had a job offer from an electrical contractor and I came to the unknown. I just looked in the local paper and found a job within a week. Office administration, non skilled labor and service jobs in the greater mining industry are quite easy to come by once you are here.

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