Searching in a Down market: IF YOU’VE GOT IT FLAUNT IT!

By Elizabeth Suttie

It’s tough out there in the Mining job market, competition is fierce; HR professionals are receiving a high number of submissions, making it difficult to stand out. If you are sending a lot of resumes and not getting a response or an interview, it is disappointing but don’t take it personally.

When the market was hot companies were more flexible about hiring candidates who may not entirely match their requirements but with the current availability of talent they are less inclined. Today your best shot at being considered is to ensure you clearly present how you are a perfect fit for their organization.

 Have you ‘Got It?’

To confirm a position is right for you from the recruiter’s perspective, you may want to create a table and in one column list every skill required according to the posting. In the opposite column, list your experience related to each item. This process will plainly illustrate if this is a suitable position for you.

 If you do then “Flaunt It!”

Ensure all points are clearly articulated in your submission so that any reader can tell at a glance that you meet the posted criteria. It can also be helpful to say where you gained a skill by naming the employer as it can be very difficult for a reader to scour your resume to pick out skills and experience that seem obvious to you.

If you don’t quite have it all but still want to apply, be honest and provide a clear avenue to overcome the deficit. For example if skill in using a particular software you don’t know is requested, you may show you have expertise in a similar package and are highly adept with computers.

Other factors: Some companies want confidentiality when recruiting in which case you won’t know who the employer is, and to maintain confidentiality the posting may not identify all criteria the HR person has been mandated to find. This makes it impossible for you to really know that you have everything required so if you don’t get a call, that may be why.

The resume: A complete, chronological resume is what I prefer to read. I do not hold to any two-page limit if it means you have to leave out important information. If you have worked with the same firm more than once, ensure you make that clear by showing all the dates related to that employer in one cluster at the first mention of the company. I often see what at first glance looks like a spotty employment record but turns out to be many repeated attachments to a company or a mine site that changed hands. When a recruiter is fielding many resumes they may miss those relationships unless you make it very clear. Ensure your resume is complete and easy to read, you can bold or highlight passages that relate to critical experiences to ensure they stand out. A good test is to ask someone who knows nothing about mining to compare the posting to your submission to see if the necessary facts are clear. Some firms have junior staff do the cursory screening and this step may ensure you get to the next level.

The submission: Cover letters are often too wordy and don’t plainly present the information needed to make a determination. A direct response which specifically addresses the skills and experience you possess will yield a better result whether you do so in a cover letter or the email accompanying your resume.

The markets will return and when they do another skills shortage will follow. But in the meantime I hope that next posting will be your success story!


Elizabeth Suttie is the founder of The Suttie Group which started operations in 2008. The Suttie Group is exclusively focused on executive and professional placements for the mining sector. Elizabeth has provided successful business solutions and recruitment services for over 25 years. Her outstanding commitment to customer service, communication and timely results are keys to her ongoing success. Excellence in service strategies and quality delivery has also resulted in the achievement of many awards and being appointed primary recruiter for several large organizations.

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