How to stand out during your mining job search

Mining job interview tips

Here are 5 ways to make your mining job application stand out from the crowd.

We hear a lot these days about the skills shortage in mining, but it would be a mistake to think the jobs market isn’t competitive.

Mining companies still want to find the best possible person to fill any job vacancy and they’ll always choose someone with the right qualifications, skills, experience, attitude and cultural fit over a candidate who falls short in one way or another.

Whether you’re hoping to secure your dream mining job, take the next step on your career ladder, or just need to change from your current employer, it always pays to do everything you can to make your application stand out from the crowd.

Here are five ways you can do that.

List relevant skills and experience on your resume and covering letter

It sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but you’d be surprised how many job hopefuls get this wrong!

Detail your relevant skills and experience for the role in your cover letter and in your resume. Highlight specific skills that specifically match the selection criteria that was listed for the role.

READ MORE: 7 tips for writing a cover letter for a mining job

Don’t try to be fancy. Use the most commonly used terms and job titles to describe your experience. Most recruiters upload applications to a computer system and then use a search function and keywords to scour hundreds or thousands of resumes to find ideal candidates for various job opportunities. Using the most common terms helps ensure your CV will be found.

Leverage your network in your references

A good referee can make all the difference in a competitive job search. Whoever you choose to list as references on your resume, make sure you’ve asked their permission first, that you’ve alerted them to the job you’re applying for, and that you’ve had a conversation with them about your hopes, plans and dreams. It’ll help them help you to get the job.

READ MORE: How to choose the right referee

To really supercharge the value of your references, choose a referee who works at the company that you’re applying to. Seeing a familiar name on a resume can help shift you towards the top of a recruiter’s consideration pile. It reads like an implicit endorsement from someone they already work with, and who’s work they rate.

It’s not possible to do this every time, of course, and it’s no guarantee of anything, but if you’re looking for anything that might give you the edge, an internal referee can’t hurt.

Show the interviewer you understand the mining company

“Why do you want to work for us?” It’s such a common interview question that it’s almost a cliché. But how would you answer it?

Before your interview, make sure you’ve researched and thoroughly understand the mining company. Most of the information you might want to know will be freely available on their website.

Then when you’re asked questions like the one above, you’ll be able to pepper your knowledge of the company throughout your answers. The fact that you’ve taken an interest in the company will go down well with your interviewers.

It’s not that they’re easily flattered, it says something about your work ethic and your character. It shows you’re serious about the job. If you’re looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, this is a great way to do it.

Have questions to ask the interview panel

In a similar vein, interviewers will usually ask interviewees if they have any questions they’d like to ask. This often comes at the end of an interview and while that might make it sound like the question is just a courtesy or a formality before the farewell handshake, it’s actually a bit of a test.

How curious are you? How serious are you about the role? What priorities are you suggesting through your questions? Is there any hint you’re not a good fit for the company culture?

It’s a good idea to have about three questions you’d like to ask towards the end of the interview. Some of your questions might be answered during the interview process, so think about backup questions (how can you take the topic a step further, perhaps asking something more in-depth).

READ MORE: 10 tips for leaving a lasting impression in a job interview

It’s a good idea, for example, to ask about the priorities in the role you’re going for and the challenges you might face. It suggests you’re already thinking about tackling the issues, and that you might hit the ground running. If it’s a leadership role, you might ask about the experience of the team you’ll have under you, and any deficiencies that might need particular oversight.

Sew up your answers with evidence

It’s also really common for interviewers to ask questions about times you faced challenges or difficulties in previous roles. They’re looking to understand how you handled the situation. This isn’t just about understanding your experience, it’s about understanding everything from your character to your problem-solving ability.

Before your interview, think about some tricky situations you’ve been involved in and your role in resolving those issues. It’s good to have some examples on standby, for instant recall. Thinking about these ahead of time means you’re not sitting in the interview umming and ahhing, wracking your brain, trying to come up with an example if you’re specifically asked for one.

When giving any example the rule is to outline the situation, what needed to be done to resolve it, the action you took, and then the final result. That gives the interviewers a complete picture and shows how you actively took part in a positive outcome.

Give yourself the edge with preparation

Standing out from the crowd is really all about smart thinking and preparation. The tips above will help give you the edge against your competitors. Putting in the work, rather than simply firing off a resume and covering letter and rocking up to an interview without having done preparation, makes all the difference — even in a skills shortage.

Make sure to register your details with us to ensure you’re considered for upcoming opportunities that match your skill set.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International