I started out writing resumes for university and TAFE students back in the 1990s. I was a senior lecturer in writing at a university in Melbourne and the students needed help with the ‘sales proposition’.
They’d ask, ‘what are my key skills and capabilities and how do I sell them?’ We’d sit down and map out a response. Every short paragraph had a selling point. Every paragraph was structured to lead the reader to the inescapable conclusion that the applicant MUST be short listed.
In Adelaide, I started writing more manufacturing and service industry resumes. I still do plenty of those and I really enjoy them. I’ve had great success getting people short-listed for jobs and actually getting jobs in a tight employment market.
I have executive professional writing and editing skills and working for the Department of Employment in Canberra helped a great deal.
In the last couple of years I started getting requests from professionals in Canberra and Adelaide to help them target specific jobs advertised on Seek or in the public service.
About one third of my work is spent in partnership with clients who want their resumes and cover letters written for a specific job.
We work together to demonstrate equivalent skills and experience. We dig in to the career history to find gems that attract employers.
People (usually recruiters) ask, ‘Isn’t that cheating?’ No. I help clients articulate and sell their work experience, their training and their personal and professional motivations, when applying for a specific job. Recruiters want to keep their clients happy and so do I.
Some good tips from SEEK on resume writing
A resume is usually the first point of contact between you and your next potential employer. It's the first impression you get to make, and with a well-written professional resume, it could be one of many more to come. These tips are from SEEK and they’re pretty good.
Take out the objective. Seeing that you're already applying for the job, it's obvious you want it.
Brief is best. Get rid of the clutter if it's not related to the role you want to pursue now. Give more detail about your current or recent jobs and less about the past.
Cut out unnecessary info. That includes your age, marital status, religion or nationality. All of this information is now illegal for your employer to ask you. As for an address, a suburb and postcode will suffice.
Make it clear and straightforward. Use simple text in one modern, standard font that is easy to read, and that everyone can understand. As everything in your resume is about your experiences, avoid writing in first or third person. Write "responsible for managing a team of 3" in concise bullet points below headlines where necessary.
Avoid using cluttered or complicated layouts with headers, footers, tables or other items that may not look right when viewed on different computers with varying software versions. Make sure you also run a spell check to pick up any errors - a big mistake that is easy to avoid!
Be professional and discreet. You may still be using the same email address that you set up when Hotmail came about in the 90's, but if it's anything that looks unprofessional, it might be worth your while setting up a new one for the purpose of your job applications.
Keep to the employer's submission requirements. You won't get noticed if you don't follow all of the specific requirements in the job description. Often both resumes and cover letters are requested in a certain file format (doc, pdf, docx, rtt).
The widening gap between profits and wages growth is damaging Australia’s social fabric but that’s not the only source of pain between workers and business, writes Malcolm King, a professional resume writer and social researcher in InDaily.
Mark Twain wrote: “When the rich rob the poor, it’s called business. When the poor fight back, it’s called violence.” The trenchant refusal of employers to pass on profits as wages is doing violence to the Australian and SA economies, while rending the social fabric.
According to the Centre for Future Work, back in 1975, the ‘labour share’ of GDP had climbed to 58 per cent. Now wages, salaries and other payments to workers, including superannuation, have fallen to 47 per cent of GDP.
In the recent reporting season to June, profits hit a record $335.4 billion, up 10.1 per cent on the previous year. Wages and salaries, according to the ABS, rose by just 2.1 per cent. The lion’s share of profit went to shareholders.
The relationship between wages and unemployment has fundamentally changed for the worse. RBA Governor Philip Lowe said recently wage increases of around 2 per cent are now the norm, rather than the 3-4 per cent mark that employees used to get.
People have taken out mortgages in the belief their incomes would grow at around 3 per cent. Many now have no capacity to fund rising interest rates, especially with little savings to fall back on.
Employers’ complaints haven’t changed much since Charles Dickens’ times: taxes are too high, workers have too few skills, there’s too much red tape, etc, etc.
For 40 years, governments of all persuasions have driven down taxes, thrown billions of dollars at the university and the vocational education sectors and initiated a major Productivity Commission report to slash red tape. But still, the complaints come.
The problem isn’t the blockers to economic advancement but business leaders and their whining lobbyists such as the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Group, who live off their members’ fees.
It’s as if the better angels of the business community have left town, replaced by Scrooge with a cloven hoof and a pointy tail. Since when does greed trump a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay?
Wage stagnation creates some ironic knock-on effects. In Adelaide’s retail sector, fierce competition for tight household dollars has forced prices down, thereby killing off any chance of pay rises.
Some of the blame can be attributed to online shopping. Yet nationally, only 5.6 per cent of purchases were made online in May 2018, although this figure is rising.
In the year to December 2017, SA workers received pay rises of an average 1.9 per cent, while consumer prices rose by 2.3 per cent. Wages are lagging prices.
Graduates clear tables and ask: "was my degree worth it?'
Competition for graduate jobs in South Australia is fierce. I work in the labour market as a resume writer and employment specialist. My clients ask, ‘when will our universities start to focus on quality over quantity?’
"No-one would have believed in the early years of the 21st century that young men and women were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than their own; that as they busied themselves for new careers, university marketing departments regarded them with hungry eyes and drew their plans to enrol them.
The tempest bearing down on universities draws its energy from young people’s dreams of a good job after graduation. But there is a chasm between the dream and the reality.
In their quest for more taxpayer dollars, should publicly funded universities ignore the perilous state of the full-time employment market?
Late last year job advertisement market aggregator, Adzuna, found 22 university graduates were competing for every new graduate position nationally. The competition for graduate jobs was worst in South Australia with 46 recent university graduates fighting for each job.
There is a serious disconnection between enrolments and the local job market. According to Commonwealth Department of Education and Training figures, there were 11,895 domestic bachelor degree graduates from the three major South Australian universities in 2016. Including postgraduates, this figure rose to a whopping 19,680 graduates.
Many students do find work two or three years after graduating. Graduate surveys brag about this but, for many, it’s not the type of work they trained for. While universities brag about ‘employability’, that’s not the same as career-targeted employment.
For the last 30 years, universities have packed their faculties with professional and vocational degree programs. When criticised that many of these programs don’t lead to jobs, they say they’re not job factories and that striving for knowledge shouldn’t be connected to crass questions of employment.
For some, a university degree works very well. These graduates secure stable, well-paying jobs. These ‘success stories’ are profiled on university websites and in glossy brochures – especially if the graduates come from poor or migrant backgrounds. But the part does not tell the whole.
For 13 years I worked as a programs director and senior lecturer for a large technical university in Melbourne. I rose through the ranks by writing and launching new industry-based programs. I was responsible for 50 staff and about 1500 students.
I saw graduates and post-graduates in other schools and universities end up on Newstart after being charged HECS or full fees. Many did worthless “Job Active” taxpayer-subsidised training courses.
They wasted their skills and qualifications doing menial jobs that paid so little, they couldn’t afford to leave home or start repaying their HECS debt. Some employers exploited them as long-term, unpaid interns.
A very odd decision from the SA government. Some of the most draconian pay and worker conditions stem from these labour hire organisations. As a resume writer, one in ten of my clients are either locked in to labour hire contracts or else would never go back to labour hire organisations. This story is from ABC Adelaide.
"A decision to scrap laws put in place to punish companies that exploit workers has been labelled as an "attack" on the state's most vulnerable workers by the South Australian Opposition, according to SA ABC News.
State Government plan to repeal SA Labour Hire Licensing Scheme
The scheme included strict penalties for companies that exploit workers
Opposition labels the repeal as an "attack" on vulnerable workers
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman has announced the State Government will seek to repeal the Labour Hire Licensing Scheme which was put in place by the former state government.
This story is from ABC Life. Taking a job can help you get a foot in the door for another job. Plan for tomorrow today. Resume writers understand that people have to put bread on the table but that doesn't mean you have to stay in a job you dislike forever.
At some stage you'll find yourself in a position where you need a job. An opportunity presents itself, but deep down it's not one you really care for. You might not know what you want, but you know it's not… this. So, do you take it?
The answer is rarely straightforward, but Sydney-based career coach Jane Lowder suggests: take the job.
She says if there's no other work available to you at the time and you're not entering a toxic work environment or compromising your health, you'll be better off.
Of course, there's a little more to it than that. Let's look at some of the genuine benefits of a job you don't love and may never even like. Doors won't open if no-one is knocking.
Adelaide breakfast radio host and comedian Amos Gill worked at a call centre before moving on to sell cable TV subscriptions door-to-door (literally knocking on doors).
Now, it's hard to miss his face on trams, billboards and bus stops in the great city of Adelaide.
"I hated [that work], but it taught me a lot," he says.
The official statistics aren’t telling a complete or accurate picture of unemployment and underemployment in Australia. I wrote this story in 2018 for InDaily. As a professional resume writer, I know the real state of the job market in Adelaide, Canberra and across Australia and it is nothing like what is being portrayed in the media or by politicians.
"Let me take you down to the Strawberry Fields estate, as we follow those who deliver the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).
The estate is an imaginary place but there’s nothing fictive about high unemployment in working and middle class suburbs across Australia, even though the LFS statistics would tell us otherwise.
This story examines how tight definitions of unemployment and the statistical manipulation of data, drives down the unemployment rate. The media then uncritically reports these figures, allowing the government to spin them to the public, creating an enduring delusion."
As the number of applicants increases, the success of any one applicant decreases. In other words, job applications have become a numbers game. In the hands of applicants, automated software would drastically cut down the time taken to apply for the requisite number of jobs to secure a position.
Automating the process would reduce time spent reading job ads, uploading resumes and signing on to various job sites under the current, woefully inefficient system.
Several programmers have already attempted to create a job application robot. This type of online robot, or "bot", is a programmed piece of software that performs a variety of functions on behalf of the applicant.
Read the full story here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-13/job-applications-why-you-should-consider-using-a-robot/8701834
All your workplace rights in one place
Have you ever wondered what your workplace rights are?
The ABC have done an exceptionally good job of listing the big ones here:
This is one of the major problems with the resume writing industry. A lack of professionalism, education and copy writing skills. Anyone can call themselves a resume writer. Ask to see their qualifications and a sample of previous work. The story below is a nightmare for the client and the resume writing business. It could have easily been avoided.
The Age: VCAT backs lawyer who spied errors on outsourced resumé for ASIO job
Tom Cowie, 15 August, 2018
A lawyer who paid an online resumé company $600 to write her a job application for Australia's spy agency has successfully sued the business after it misspelt ASIO and used someone else's name to apply.
Jobseeker Susan Cole, aged in her 50s, filed a 136-page complaint with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against 1300 Resume after missing out on her dream job because of a CV she says was "littered with errors".
Ms Cole hired the company, which specialises in government job applications, in early March to rework her resumé and write a selection criteria response for a position in the graduate lawyer program at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
After a series of unsuccessful attempts at landing a job, the Master of Laws graduate said she bought the company's gold-level application package looking for the edge that could get her over the line. "It was a mystery to me," she said. "I didn't know what I was doing wrong."
However, what she ended up receiving did not match her expectations, prompting her to take the company to VCAT.
"To have such a poor quality, I just could not believe it," she said.
In its defence filed to the tribunal, the company described Ms Cole as trying to "make a profit out of her experience".
Before the legal dispute, Ms Cole sent through some documents to help the company write her application, including a previous CV. She asked that her order be completed a day before the ASIO applications closed at the end of March, as she was going away on holiday. She organised to pay the company in instalments.
With the deadline approaching, the company sent the material back in time for Ms Cole to lodge her application online. But as she was running late for her trip, Ms Cole said she did not have time to check their work before uploading it.
When she returned, Ms Cole proofread the documents for the first time and realised that the wrong name, "Danielle Garcia", had been written at the bottom of the resumé.
Another error referred to ASIO as ASIC, which is the acronym for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
She was also unhappy with the formatting of the CV and that the response to the graduate position's selection criteria was 400 words over the limit.
"I have spoken to the ASIO recruitment team and they have confirmed that the system will automatically delete any words after it reaches the maximum," Ms Cole said in an email to the company a week later.
"I am devastated, as I would have liked to progress to the next stage."
Ms Cole was entitled to two job applications under the package she bought, however she did not use the second.
In response, 1300 Resume owner Monique Thompson acknowledged that there had been errors in the documents but said they could have been fixed "in five minutes".
She said that job outcomes were not guaranteed and that Ms Cole had a new professional resumé for future applications but was refusing to use it.
"I feel she is trying to be nasty and make a profit out of her experience which is unethical and wrong," she wrote.
Ms Thompson told The Age that she had worked in the resumé-writing industry for more than 20 years and that her company had many repeat customers and referrals.
"I'm a proud person and I'm really good at what I do and it makes you feel like crap," she said. "Something like this has never happened before."
Ms Cole filed a string of emails, text messages and job application documents to VCAT supporting her claim. She is planning to take the matter to a higher court if the refund is not paid.
"I'm doing this out of principle," she said.
In awarding Ms Cole a partial refund of $450 plus her application fee of $62.70, VCAT member Danica Buljan agreed that 1300 Resumes had failed under Australian consumer law to provide services with "due care and skill".
Ms Buljan wrote in her reasons that Ms Cole had received a corrected CV, "albeit later than she originally requested", and that 1300 Resume was "entitled to some recompense for the services it has provided to her."
Young people to be poorer than their parents
I wrote this story for the Adelaide Advertiser in 2015 on generational inequality. As a resume writer, I get to work with lots of people and this story came from the stories my younger clients told me. It's one of the most serious issues facing Australian society.
“ONE generation rises, another falls. It’s an article of faith that younger generations will inherit a more prosperous economy from their forebears. Young people have watched as generations before them were showered with one-off seniors’ payments, indexed pensions in line with average male earnings, tax exemptions on family homes and superannuation tax breaks, while house prices skyrocketed.
Healthcare per person would climb from $2830 today to $6460 per person in 2055 (in today’s dollars). The Government’s proposal would see a ‘‘moderate surplus’’ of around 0.5 per cent of GDP in 2054-55 and net debt would be paid off by 2031-32.
According to the IGR, the Government is spending $100 million a day more than it collects, and is borrowing to meet the shortfall. The political spin behind the IGR is to get the Senate to pass the economic austerity measures and for older people to remain in employment.
There was very little mention about young people or older Australians in the 50-plus group who can’t get a job due to age prejudice. There are about 175,000 Australians over 50 looking for work through Job Services Australia.
From the mid-1980s to 2011, the Boomers rode the greatest wave in Australia’s economic history. Roughly 5.8 million Australians over 55 now hold 58 per cent of domestic wealth.
Many readers will say, “That’s life’’. Some generations were born at the right time, in the right place. Young people, though, are having trouble finding a job, let alone entering the property market."
Unethical private recruiters are hurting employer brands: Smart Company
This is a story I wrote for Smart Company last year. It made no friends amongst recruiters but their lack of professional practice and ethics means that employers are now creating recruitment departments inside their organisations. They fear that abhorrent practices by some private recruiters are damaging their brands.
I run national online resume writing business and for the last two years, after being deluged by client horror stories of recruiter behaviour, we have been advising clients to go around private recruitment agencies and where possible, apply directly to the company.
"The calculus of despair": how recruiters condemn older workers to unemployment
As a resume writer, I take great care in creating first class resumes and cover letters. I know how good they are because I used to be a recruiter and I have worked at the most senior levels of journalism. It breaks my heart when clients don't get jobs simply because they were over 45 years of age.
Entrenched prejudice in the recruitment industry is piling older workers onto the unemployment queue, many of them permanently, writes Malcolm King.
Think of age prejudice like this. A stylishly dressed young woman tells the men and women over 45 years of age, to get up and move to the back of the bus.
Can South Australia, a state conceived in the 19th century and now shackled to a regressive political orthodoxy and failing economy, survive in the 21st century? Yes, but only if two serious defects are remedied, writes Malcolm King, an Adelaide resume writer.
My InDaily stories in the last two years have sought to answer this question by exposing some of the state’s hidden social and economic dynamics. I’ve unpicked the ABS unemployment methodology and found an economy riddled with underemployment, as thousands of men from the working and middle classes bleed out of the workforce.
The stories looked at how casualisation keeps the working poor, poor; how high commercial rents in a deflationary retail environment kill small business; why aged prejudice – against the young and old – is a knife in the back of our keenest and most experienced job seekers.
I examined how the exodus of young people since the late 1970s compounds a trenchant orthodoxy, as self-interest ossifies along generational lines. This creates serious ‘knock-on’ effects, as ‘third class brains’ in the remnant managerial class try, and repeatedly fail, to tackle complex first world problems.
There have been positives too: Sanjeev Gupta bought the Whyalla Steelworks, saving thousands of jobs. The iron ore price recently bucked the downward trend and copper has been on the rise since October last year. That may be good news for mining jobs in 2019/20.
Elon Musk’s giant lithium-ion battery in the state’s mid-north is up and running. There are plans to build a 150MW solar thermal power plant near Port Augusta and a $450 million wind farm project on the Eyre Peninsula. Energy is vitally important but the real story is jobs.
It was said that every family in England at the end of World War One, had either suffered the loss of a loved one or knew of a family that had. In SA, the hope-deadening hand of unemployment and underemployment touches all working and middle-class families or they know of families where it has.
Consider the claims by the State Government that Project X will create 1000 jobs or Project Y will create 500 jobs. These are called ‘generator numbers’ where full-time, part-time and casual jobs are rolled into one figure over the life of the project and then multiplied by a factor of five or 10. The figures are false.
Last December pollster Roy Morgan, who uses door-to-door surveys, pegged SA’s unemployment rate at 10.9 per cent and underemployment at 9.1 per cent. The ABS, which counts one hour of work per week as employment, had it at 5.9 per cent. The ABS methodology is valid but presents a false picture.
The state’s employment and unemployment problems can be summed up with two statistics from the ABS. From January 1997 to 2007 about 107,200 jobs were created in SA. From January 2007 to 2017, 62,800 jobs were created. Those 45,000 jobs have disappeared as large companies moved interstate, went offshore or closed down.
The government and ALP fellow-travellers deny these numbers and they’re not the only ones. Business reports from Deloitte, NAB, Bank SA and university think tanks all state the local economy is showing ‘green shoots’ and ‘climbing out into the light’.
Yet State Domestic Demand is sliding, 102,000 South Australians a year are queuing for food at Foodbank SA, more than 35,000 people cannot pay their electricity bills last year and white collar retrenchment is on the rise.
There must be disclaimers where there are financial relationships between the reporting organisation and the SA government. There’s no room for appeasers in the war against unemployment and poverty.
I wrote this story for the Sydney Morning Herald. I used to work at RMIT as a senior lecturer in the professional writing programs. I was interested in how far creativity could be pushed in the creation of literature. It doesn't have much to do with resume writing but did you know there are programs out now which can write resume resumes which fool the most seasoned recruiters? The rise of Artificial Intelligence has just begun.
"A hallmark of civilisation has been the drive to create unique stories that explore the human condition. Now robots are learning to write fiction. Is nothing sacred?
No computer has yet written the Great Australian Novel because they have some of the same handicaps that afflict human writers. Writing is hard. Although computers can work unhindered by free will, alcohol or divorce, such advantages are outweighed by a lack of life experience or emotions.
Tension between the generations is not new. The young overthrow the ideas of their elders and recast them as their own, writes resume writer, Malcolm King.
“Intergenerational tension, based on inequities and access to economic opportunities, is an entirely different and far more serious matter.
We need to start an intergenerational war chest for future generations to fund infrastructure and human capital projects of their choosing. There are about 5.8 million mature age people aged 55 and over in the population. Around 2 million of them are working fulltime (1.3 million) and part time (700,000).
Of the 3.8 million not in the labour force, 2.2 million currently access the aged pension. We can expect another one million boomers to draw on the age or disability pension over the next 20 years.
The so called 'generation Y' and those born after them will be taxed to build infrastructure projects and support the ageing boomers while saving for a home and paying off HECS debt. Where's the fairness in that?”
The untold story: SA's hidden jobless and underemployed
As a professional resume writer working in business services, I know the official unemployment statistics for South Australia hides a bigger problem – massive under employment and people who have dropped out of the workforce. My story which appeared in InDaily in Adelaide, is about them.
The Maori’s navigated vast stretches of the Pacific by memorising star positions and keeping their canoes at specific angles to the waves. We navigate the economy by using statistics.
Last year there were doubts whether the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) employment and unemployment data were reliable estimates of the labour market. While Treasury and the Reserve Bank still use ABS data, they also turned to private sector measures, such as the ANZ Bank’s job ads and the National Australia Bank’s business conditions survey, to gauge the strength of the labour market.
Part of the reason was that back in July 2014, the ABS changed the ‘actively looking for work’ criteria. It dropped two criteria: registering for Centrelink as a job seeker and checking noticeboards for jobs. The two new criteria were: attending a job interview and starting your own business. The ABS thought the two it dropped and the two it added would offset each other —but this hasn’t been tested. What are the effects? We don’t know.
There are more significant problems with the ABS definition of being unemployed. The monthly Labour Force figures are created from a survey of about 26,000 households across Australia. It follows international conventions, created in the 1980s, which defined the unemployed as those people aged 15 years and over who are not employed during the reference week of the survey and “had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week.”
So according to the definition, if you worked one hour per week in Adelaide, you were ‘employed’. If you worked one hour per week for one week during the survey week and were then fired, you were also employed. It’s absurd to suggest that working one hour per week means that an individual is ‘employed’, but in a statistical sense, the definition is accurate. Instead of attacking the problem of unemployment, the problem was defined away.
I’m a resume writer with a background in organisational systems (weird, I know). This story of mine was published in InDaily. About half of my clients are under 30 years of age and many are heading interstate to look for work. I thought that was worth writing about.
From 1976 to 2014 around 18-30,000 South Australians left the state each year. Many were professional couples in their 20s and 30s and university graduates.
It’s a rite of passage to leave home in search of new challenges, or to escape unemployment. But how has this ongoing exodus of young people effected the state’s artistic and political culture? What happens to innovation and organisational capability?
Expatriates are partly to blame for some of Adelaide’s economic misfortunes. Through no fault of their own, they took with them 40 years of earning and spending power. Billions of dollars left the state by train, plane and automobile.
South Australia could have tolerated the flight of human capital for three or four years but not 40. It has fundamentally changed the socio-economic make-up of the state.
From 1976-1996, the bulk of people who replaced the expatriates were unskilled or semi-skilled migrants. While the urban Vietnamese who fled the communists were a boon to the economy, in general terms, migrants didn’t have the capacity to generate capital – at least not for some years. The last 15-20 years has seen a rise in skilled migrants. Many stayed in SA although over the last few years more have moved interstate.
This is a destiny issue for the state. Back in 2000 the University of Adelaide’s Bringing Them Back Home report summed up the dilemma. “The proportion of persons with degree and diploma qualifications in the migration stream leaving South Australia is considerably higher than the proportions in the South Australian population. In terms of migrant income, more persons with relatively high income leave the State than arrive.”
Fifteen years later, nothing has changed. Youth flight and the ageing of the population has become a self-fulfilling downward spiral. As the local economy contracts, more young people leave and take with them solutions to counter the spiral.
I’d just written my 2000 resume and an increasing number of young people had contacted me about getting out of Adelaide. They wanted work in Sydney and Melbourne. This story which was published in Opinion Online in 2016. It is aimed at the adventurous young people.
It took me more than 25 years after the great Sturt player Tony 'Doc' Clarkson pulled me bawling in the world, to realise that if I was going to be a writer and journalist, then I'd have to leave Adelaide. It's a familiar story in South Australia.
I headed to Melbourne and overseas and returned more than 20 years later to help my wife look after her ageing parents. I found Adelaide a fearful and parochial city, completely at odds with a modern city of the Commonwealth. This story is for Adelaide's young people.
Your questions about the future were mine 30 years ago. I was a labourer and forklift driver in the early 1980s. Since leaving Adelaide, I have worked as a journalist, academic and employment adviser in Melbourne and Canberra.
Should you stay in Adelaide or go? Working or studying interstate or overseas isn't for everybody. You leave your friends and family but in doing so, you get new skills and capabilities that others can only dream of.
This makes you 'dangerous' because when you return – if you return – you've acquired national or international standards, making you more qualified than those doing the hiring. Adelaide will need your experience in the years to come and here is why.
The following statistics are 'spin free'. The Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under utilisation of labour rate adds the number of unemployed and the under employed people.
In SA, that's about 17.9 per cent (trend) or 156,000 people of the 815,000 people in the state's labour force. This figure is rising. The number of hidden unemployed – those who have given up looking for work - is around 30,000 people, mostly males. This is an economic disaster unparalleled in the state's history.
For 30 years Liberal and Labor governments in SA did nothing to educate the public on why and how the economy needed to change. Every government lie, every contorted truth, is being visited upon a confused and increasingly angry citizenry, who have found a flimsy shelter in parochialism.
This story was written when a resume writing client came to Republic Resumes and complained about how she had been ripped off by her employer. It first appeared earlier this year in InDaily, where I am a contributing writer.
Extraordinary evidence is emerging from the banking royal commission, confirming what many already know, that some banks and financial institutions have gone to great lengths to rip off their customers.
There are also growing reports that some small businesses are stealing the wages of young employees and migrants and paying them less than ten dollars an hour. This breakdown in trust is unparalleled in Australian economic history. Youth wage theft and corporate greed differs only in scale.
Young workers comprise 16 per cent of the workforce but account for 25 per cent (27,000) of requests for help from the Fair Work Ombudsman. In 2016, just under half of the litigations involved young people. If Fair Work was properly resourced, prosecutions would double.
While many South Australian businesses pay their workers fairly and legally, during the past 20 years some employers, including in the trades, hospitality and agricultural industries, have ‘redistributed’ young workers’ pay into their own pockets.
Contrary to what employer groups say, most wage thefts are committed with forethought and by design.
In February this year, the SA Employment Tribunal awarded six Adelaide electrical tradesmen $55,145 in back pay and superannuation, after it found their employers had underpaid them. It fined the company $120,000.
Another local business was fined $73,425. It had underpaid seven employees for a decade. A recent Senate inquiry heard that some 7-Eleven franchises had forced recent migrant workers to pay back wages, even though there were no over payments.
Desperate young people are using labour hire companies to find work. They receive text messages the day before they are required to work, sometimes for just one shift. They can’t bargain for better conditions or gain security of employment to get a car or home loan.
I started Republic Resumes up many years ago. Back then, I saw people face-to-face. Now I work fully online as a resume and cover letter writer, focusing on the Adelaide and Canberra job markets. This story originally appeared in Opinion Online but was also rewritten for other media.
Around 700,000 Australians are in a formal teleworking arrangement with their employer. Many are women, sole traders and Boomers.
The benefits of teleworking to South Australian and ACT employers and employees are not in dispute. A 2013 Melbourne University study found that teleworkers got more done and had less distractions than office workers. Companies with teleworkers experienced lower staff turnover.
Even so, in Adelaide there's an enduring assumption that being present equals commitment. This may be true for staff who need supervision or those working in line manufacturing or 'on the tools' – but commitment and attendance are two different things.
Some businesses frown on teleworking, stating that personal collaboration is more conducive to creating 'magical moments' – those serendipitous meetings of staff who solve problems standing around the water cooler. This is an HR fantasy.
Geographically distant online teams are the norm for many corporations in Europe and the US and they will be here too.
The great bonus for self-directed staff working from home is focus. This is what the best employers want – the ability of staff to draw upon their deepest capabilities to solve complex problems and produce high order work.
Another benefit is traffic reduction. More than 200,000 vehicles enter and leave Adelaide every day. A recent Australian Infrastructure Audit said that without new investment in infrastructure, "car travel times are expected to increase by at least 20 per cent in the most congested corridors".
The RAA predicted that drivers on the most congested routes might spend up to an extra 50 hours a year in their cars. What a colossal waste of petrol, money and time. If one in 10 Adelaide workers teleworked two or three days a week, traffic speed would increase dramatically and traffic snarls would vanish.
Instead of the state and federal governments spending billions of dollars on SA roads over the next 20 years, that money could be spent on long-term job creation. We'll need it as the state drifts in to mass unemployment.