How to transfer your skills to a life after mining

Classifieds and cover letter

Not all mining jobs have a long life span. Find out how your skills can be translated for non-mining jobs.

The mining sector has taken somewhat of a beating in recent times. The headlines have been littered with job losses into the thousands since the boom ended, and many have been left scratching their heads as they grapple with redundancies and attempt to find their way back into work.

For workers forced to leave their mining job behind, the shock of a redundancy is often compounded by the prospect of the significant transition from fly-in fly-out work to a 9 to 5 lifestyle in the city.

For some this might be a considerable upside, but for others it can be large move outside of their comfort zone.

In addition to lifestyle changes, it can be a challenge to figure out how to transfer mining skill sets into a new career and get potential employers to take notice.

Mindset Coaching and Consulting Lead Psychologist Therese Lardner said that when trying to impress a potential employer the key is to reflect on transferrable skills.

“If you remove the mining-specific knowledge, what lies at the heart of your skills? Think leadership, attention to detail, communication, teamwork and conflict resolution,” she said.

“Focus in on these and do the hard work for the reader. Talk about these transferable skills in a way that makes sense for your intended audience.

“Be sure to include the information on transferable skills in your cover letter as well as your resume, particularly in the opening section, often titled ‘Summary’ or ‘Overview’, to ensure the reader is clear on the skills you can bring to their business.”

Though job hunting can be an exhausting and longwinded process, Lardner warned against the temptation to try and write a ‘one-size-fits-all’ resume.

“In terms of job search tips, and in particular your resume and cover letter, be sure to customise it for each application rather than using a scattergun approach,” she said.

“A smaller number of higher quality applications are much more likely to be effective.

“Also, make sure that your resume includes achievement statements for your most recent roles. These are brief sentences that give a sense of what you've accomplished and are very attractive to potential employers.”

The upside of a lot of redundancy situations is that severance payouts can be substantial and afford individuals the time to carefully consider where they want to go next.

Common options include re-skilling and retraining, starting your own business or even relocating and starting fresh somewhere else.

Whichever route you choose, Lardner said it is important to do a bit of soul-searching.

“Firstly, recognise that an involuntary job search is a process. There will be good days and bad days,” she said.

“Lean on your support network, particularly in the early days, to help process the news and what it will mean for you.”

If you are seeking career advice, you can find a number of resources on our Job Seeker Career Guidance page.