Refugee Council of Australia
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Not Working: Experiences of refugees and migrants with Jobactive

Resumes and interview support

Limited support with resumes and interview skills

Most jobseekers considered basic job readiness support — such as writing resumes, searching for jobs online and interview skills — as an essential step in entering the job market. This practical support is especially necessary for jobseekers with a low level of English literacy.

However, an overwhelming majority indicated they were not offered such support by Jobactive providers. Instead, participants suggested that the service provided by Jobactive required self-direction with little or no support from staff.

Jobactive could not speak to me as I have no English so they gave me an Arabic newspaper and told me to look for jobs. The newspaper didn’t have a job section. Confused, I would just read the news for 2 hours until they would let me go.

— A Syrian refugee from Fairfield LGA

Many surveyed jobseekers noted that they did not have a current resume and were not assisted in creating or updating one, despite the critical role of a good resume in getting a job interview.
Writing a successful job application requires a nuanced understanding of Australian recruitment practices that cannot be assumed. For example, resumes are expected to follow a specific structure that should appropriately highlight a person’s skills, qualifications and experience, as well as being tailored to the key selection criteria. However, the template provided through Jobactive is too basic to enable jobseekers to be competitive in the job market. Many jobseekers reported assistance with resumes as their priority.

More assistance is also required to develop interview skills. Going for a job interview can be daunting for any jobseeker, and those from different cultural backgrounds can fall down at the interview stage even where they are well suited to a position. This can be related to factors such as a different communication styles and cultural expectations. Appropriate language, body language and expected attire are important aspects of any interview. Fostering these skills and knowledge is essential in facilitating successful employment opportunities for refugee and migrant jobseekers.

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