Shark Tank judge Andrew Banks’ job tips

Jobseekers should assume they will have to apply for more than 20 roles just to get three or four interviews, according to recruitment guru and Shark Tank judge Andrew Banks.

And resumes are “overrated”, playing just a part in any successful application, he said.

Mr Banks took part in an online Q&A with News Corp readers, and was inundated with questions about staying positive amid the doom and gloom of high unemployment figures and the strong competition for jobs on offer.

One reader, a woman in her late 40s who had worked in the same hospitality job for 15 years, asked how she should set herself apart from applicants using her resume.

“The resume is overrated and it doesn’t get people a job,” Mr Banks said.

“It is supposed to get you an interview, but so can a phone call directly to the hiring manager as can a good covering letter.”

Another reader also asked about resume technique and got a similar reply.

“The resume is just one part of the process when I’m recruiting people,” Mr Banks said.

“It tells me what the person ‘used to think about’ (knowledge) and why I should at least talk to them. So I am looking for key skills, what they are most competent in, where and why they have been successful in the past, and some basics like education, location, availability.

“What I don’t want is just an ‘information dump’ with no dates, no summaries of the last jobs and what was successful in the past.”

Mr Banks likened a job search to a funnel – “the more you put in the top the better”.

“So do your research on type of company/industry/role/location/money by looking online and then tailor your applications to suit, but assume you have to apply for 20-plus roles to get three to four interviews.

“That includes adding recruitment agencies that seem to be advertising the jobs you are most interested in. It’s the combination of both direct and via agency applications plus volume that counts.

“Go and create a profile online with software like that automatically matches you to jobs. These platforms don’t just look at your technical skills or qualifications, it also matches you based on your personal qualities and motivations.”

One reader asked what he could do to make himself stand out amid the record number of Australians now looking for work.

One reader asked what he could do to make himself stand out amid the record number of Australians now looking for work.

“It’s a number’s game so make lots of calls, don’t take it personally and be ready to describe what you can offer the employer so they can survive these times better than they could without you,” Mr Banks said.

“And smile when you are talking to them – warmth comes through even a phone call.”

Sinead Hourigan, Queensland managing director of specialist recruitment agency Robert Walters, said there was a sense that across the board, hiring has slowed, hence the availability of candidates had increased.

“But I think that’s a period in time,” she said.

“I really do believe as we all start to get back into offices and working as normal, we will see hiring sentiment pick up, particularly in professional and white collar sectors. Certainly, the version of normal we are heading into is better than the version of normal we had a few weeks ago.”

Ms Hourigan said embedding videos in applications was helping candidates stand out.

“At Robert Walters, we use Spark Hire and it demonstrates that personal connectivity that at the moment we are not in a position to give,” she said.

“Candidates are presenting these beautiful videos to give a sense of who they are. It’s a really positive touch at a time when it’s so hard for people to physically connect.”

She urged job hunters to take advantage of training support opportunities that have been made available by the government.

“If an employer sees you were stood down a few months ago but used that time to enhance your Microsoft Office or business writing skills, that’s definitely going to be viewed positively by a potential employer,” she said

“Make sure you don’t see (a job interview) as an opportunity to bemoan your fate. Find the positives and show you have worked through that and are now in the right headspace to move forward.

“It’s a tough time but there are still opportunities to differentiate yourself. For some people, in 12 months’ time they might see it as the best thing that ever happened.”

With Melanie Burgess, Careers Deputy Editor

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