Job Hunting in Perth

Posted: 2nd September 2013 by admin in Uncategorized
I distinctly remember members of our family telling us not to bother looking for work in Perth from the UK. They said that it would take as little as a week to land a job there, and if we were contacting recruitment agencies all the way from England, it would be difficult to attend those interviews that were not uncommon to come at a moment’s notice!

We were told that with our skill sets we would be considered highly employable and therefore very easy for both of us to find work.

I have Marketing Communications experience for international 5-star hotel chains, speak 4 languages, and am a very fast learner.  I was told that my background provides me with many transferable skills that would fit most positions in Perth, and that having had such an international upbringing would serve me well in Australia’s fastest growing city.
I was very excited about the prospect of returning to work after such a long break. Mind you, this break wasn’t left totally unproductive. I filled my time with courses in photography, copywriting, handled the family holiday lettings business in Spain, did some freelance copywriting work, and achieved personal goals such as certifying as a Spinning® instructor. I’m not one to sit around.
I also appreciate the look of my CV from an employer’s perspective. As a mom who’s taken such a long time off, I don’t expect to be hired as a Marketing Manager, and am quite happy to start from the beginning. So I started looking for administrative and coordinator type roles. I thought that having been a Marketing Manager previously, coupled with my productive yet lengthy (7 years) time off, an administrative role would be a good place to start.
Job hunting in Perth is not as easy as we were told it would be.
After searching online at Seek for 2 months and applying to almost every suitable position without getting anywhere, I finally started feeling demotivated. I understand that 2 months isn’t a long time for job hunting, but when you’ve been told it takes a week, 2 months then feels like a long time. A friend then advised me to contact recruitment agencies directly. She said she and a few of her friends found their jobs by calling them up one by one and having a candid chat with an agent who was able to help advise them on what to do.
So that’s just what I did. I only got through 6 agencies because I kept hearing the same thing over and over “apply at, and if your CV has been successful, we’ll keep your record on file if anything turns up.” I asked the question if it mattered that I’ve had such a long time off, and was told that it didn’t.
One lady from Hays recruitment agency wasn’t so diplomatic, and I appreciated her advice over all the others, because she was totally honest with me. In a nutshell, she told me to stop wasting my time. Hays recruitment clients would never look at my CV as I’ve had such a long time off. She explained that their clients might, at most, consider someone who’s had 6 months off. I asked if it made a difference that I kept busy with courses and freelance work during my sabbatical. Apparently it did not matter how I filled that time. The market was bad and employers were that much tighter with their recruitment processes (reminded me of the UK!) Her advice was to contact companies directly, because those companies would not be paying an agency any retainer fees, so from a cost perspective there would be a higher chance of looking at my CV.

So, I guess that’s what I have to do. Looking at Seek today I noticed that it’s a challenge to contact companies directly. Most of the jobs listed are done through recruitment agencies and private listings are few and far between.

However, I remain hopeful and if nothing materializes, I may look into starting my own thing. Let’s see…