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Written by Simon Houlding, Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc, lifelong learning is an accepted feature of a mining career in today’s world. Simon explains – These are not the easiest of times to find a job in mining. The economic climate of the mining industry means that few companies are expanding and many are still shrinking. None-the-less there are always job opportunities out there, created by people retiring, changing jobs and generally moving around. The mining industry employs a wide variety of specialists, from engineers, geologists and metallurgists to accountants, human resource professionals, technicians and managers. Job opportunities are never non-existent, they are occasionally limited. If you are not successful at finding the job you want, then perhaps you are not going about it the right way. Here are some of the ways you can improve your chances of finding the job you want.

High unemployment rates create a flood of candidates looking for the available jobs. When there are a limited number of jobs available, only the best candidates will get the jobs. Limited opportunities mean that you can get a job but that you will need to outshine your competition to do so. This is easier than you think: take a course, learn a new skill or another language and improve your mining knowledge. For example, if you are an engineer then consider taking a course on a key topic like strategic mine planning or, if you are a geotechnician then consider a course in mine water management. There are many opportunities today for taking accredited online courses on mining topics, at reasonable cost and in your own time.

You are missing some of the essential skills for the job you want. This is particularly true if you are trying to move into mining from another industry and require some degree of cross training … for example, a civil engineer looking at a mining engineering position, or a metallurgist looking at a mineral processing position. As above, there are many opportunities for taking courses to rectify the situation, from single courses, to professional, management and vocational certificate programs, to university-accredited programs. Again, many of these programs are available online and are extremely cost-effective.

You may not be representing yourself well to employers and recruiters. Having acquired the necessary or appropriate skills and ensured your competitiveness, you may still need help in representing yourself for the job. In this case, there are numerous resources available to help you prepare your resume and cover letter … see Tips for Job Seekers in 2014. If this does not work for you then engage a consultant to help you prepare a winning resume. Once you’re at the interview, it’s how much you show the hiring manager you’re the right fit that will determine whether the job goes to you or your competitor; if necessary invest in some interview coaching to improve your chances.

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