The prospects of landing a job in the mining industry can be a tough one – more so, if you are at the entry level or with no prior experience in the sector.
Opportunities in mining tend to favour the experienced more. However, there is no stopping the right candidate, if you are determined and have got the credentials and the attitude to match.
1. Be flexible with your choice of entry-level profiles
In spite of the highly technical nature of the jobs in the mining industry, there are many profiles in this sector that are of a generic nature too.
For instance, there are hospitality related profiles like housekeeping, premises maintenance, the kitchen staff and other jobs of a support nature. As they are not out and out mining profiles, these can help you break into the sector. Likewise, other non-technical jobs like accountants, drivers and security are some other examples of profiles that may not need direct mining experience. You can earn good money even in an entry level mining job.
2. Get practical experience in other related fields
If it’s taking you longer to land your first mining job, remember that you can still work in another industry as long as you are in a profile that can eventually land you a miner’s hat!
Look for opportunities in fields like construction and in profiles like heavy machinery operator or truck driver or roller operator. Even exposure to and experience in support roles in construction sites can be useful.
3. Readiness to relocate
In a sector like mining, the workplace is far from the comforts of a city. There are countless mines strewn all over Australia who are ramping up their projects; be ready to relocate to wherever is required. The prominent ones are Kalgoorlie and Pilbara in Western Australia.
Whether conveying to a recruitment company or to an employer directly, this should be made clear. This can greatly increase your chances to get employed even when you are low on experience.
4. Stock up on the right qualifications
The right qualifications give you that edge to strengthen your chances of getting employed. A degree in engineering or geology or in the construction-related courses can boost your case.
Also, having mandatory licences or tickets can fast-track your chances for certain mining jobs. For instance, for drivers, an HR-X, a dump or heavy truck licence is needed for even entry-level positions like mobile equipment operator.
Other certifications that can increase your chances of getting a job in the mines and can help you get ready in a compliance sense are
• Standard 11 Mining Induction
• Enter and Work in Confined Spaces
• Elevated Work Platform
• Working at Heights
5. Reach out to Recruiters
In an industry like mining where there is a preference for potential Recruits with experience, those with little or nothing on their resume may need to push their case proactively.
A good first step is to mine (pun intended) the employment scene for potential Recruiters. This can be a mix of both specialised recruitment agencies and the companies themselves.
Enlisting with Recruitment Consultants and agencies and sharing your resume with them can put you on the radar of employers. Similarly, do not hesitate to write in directly to mining companies with a well-crafted and updated resume and pitch an earnest case.
6. Know someone in the mining industry and widen your contact network
As in any industry, you would need to make yourself known to be someone keen to work in the mining sector and willing to learn. Meeting someone already working in the mining industry and exchanging notes with them can give you a good insight into their workplace. Besides, letting them know your availability and your commitment can allow them to reach out to you in case of requirement and even push your candidature too.
Having a healthy and updated profile on LinkedIN and connecting with those in the mining industry can help. Watch out also for conferences and events in the mining world and follow and attend these to network better and wider.
7. Give your health and fitness due importance
Unlike a regular 9 to 5 job in a routine office setting, most profiles in the mining industry are stationed at the site and can be hard physical labour. Your fitness levels, therefore, are just as crucial as your other qualifications.
Ensure you have records of a medical check-up and fitness level clearance to qualify you for the job. You should also be able to clear a drug and alcohol test, if need be. Go for other check-ups like an audio test, a lung function, a musculoskeletal test, to name a few.
The mining industry, like most other sectors, is still in need of top talent. The money is good too. So, now that you have an insight into the above tips, give the mining sector a go.