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Community Services

Cassandra graduated from UTAS with Master of Journalism, Media and Communications. She also has experience back in her own country of journalist and media supervisor for NGO. However, she found it hard to find a journalist job in Tasmania. Then she decided to study Certificate IV in Community Services. 

At the beginning, she had no idea what kind of job in community services she should be looking for. There are lots of areas in community services: migrant, children safety, family violence, disability support, aged care…  

She did some research on all of those area, and found out that all of these jobs had some comment requirements: drive license, Work with Vulnerable people check, police check, first aid certificate…That’s why she applied the ‘Learn to Drive’ program with MRC and got her drive license. 

After the community services course, Cassandra did her placement as a disability support worker and she found herself really love this job. She decided that she would like to work in the same area. Then she began to apply for jobs of disability support worker. But after 3 weeks, she began to receive lots of emails started with “Unfortunity…”.  

She decided to stop applying for jobs with no hope, but went to MRC Career Coach program for advice. 

Here are some tips she received from the coach: 

  • Read through the job description and pick up any relevant words that could put in your resume; 
  • Do not put any experiences that is not relevant to the job. Take an example of myself, I took off lots of media experiences from my resume but put on more of community services; 
  • Rewrite a cover letter for each application. Do some research of the company and put something on it; 
  • Do lots of research of the companies in your field, visit their website to express career interest, even they are not hiring at the moment. For example, I got a list of all NDIS providers in Tasmania and look through their websites one by one; 
  • Send your application documents with Word platform instead of PDF, because PDF could sometimes not be recognized by the computer system; 
  • If the company post the recruitment on their own website, it is better to apply through their website than SEEK; 
  • After applying the job (normally 1-2 weeks), give the company a follow-up call; 
  • Networking: tell everyone around you that you are looking for a job and what kind of job you are after; 
  • Mediation: don’t be upset if got rejected, never give up. 

Cassandra got her first job as a casual disability support worker 4 weeks after attending the Career Coach, which was from networking and follow-up call. 

“That was a normal Friday. I just thought up a student who did the placement together with me and we often shared job information, but he had been quite for a while. I asked what he had been up. He told me that he got a job with M company. It came to my mind that I also applied for that company and it sent me a letter saying that I was put in their talent pool, but I didn’t receive interview invitation. Then I decided to give the company a follow-up call. 

When I called the company, they said that they were hiring at the moment. Then they asked me when I have time for an interview. I answered anytime. And they said ‘okay, could you come this afternoon?’ I said yes. And it happened so quick that I passed the interview that afternoon and received the job offer on my way back home! 

6 weeks after the first job, Cassandra received a second job offer. 

“I received this job from the government job fair. Before I went there, I did some research of the companies that I would like to contact. Then I prepared cover letters for each company. I went their quite early that day, actually, I was the second person who came into the hall. Because I knew that people have more energy in the morning and would be more welcomed for their first visitor 

The HR from the company caught me before I went to their stall. He asked me ‘did we meet before?’ I said yes I went to your company’s job fair and met before but I got rejected, but I was still willing to try again. He then looked at my resume and gave me his office number, said ‘I will keep your resume and you will receive an email from our HR, but if not, you can call me.’ I received a rejected email from their company again the next week, but I called him later. He invited to an interview. Then I got that job.” 

Cassandra told us that networking and follow-up is also important for job hunting in Tasmania. 

 Now Cassandra works over 30 hours a week. She is considering her next step of career plan as a communication officer in a not-for-profit organization. Good luck to her! 

Photo credit: Cassandra

About MRC Tas

Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been supporting people from migrant and humanitarian backgrounds to settle successfully in Tasmania since 1979.

About Migrant network tasmania

Migrant Network Tasmania draws on the goodwill, stories and tips of migrants and the wider community to help fellow migrants to establish lives and careers in Tasmania.