The current job market is challenging

These are extraordinary times – with Australia in our first recession in nearly 3 decades, we are currently experiencing the highest level of unemployment since 1998, at 7.4 per cent[1] and the numbers are only expected to go up when the ABS next release their figures. Job vacancies are much lower than the same corresponding period 12 months ago, and a lot of uncertainty to come with  future opportunities.

There were 16,852 new jobs advertised online across Australia as of 10 August 2020, which was decrease of 11% when compared to the previous week, which stood at 15,132 new jobs according to the DESE[2]. Although there had been some positive indications through June and early July, expectations of increased staffing levels have again eased in recent weeks, as business confidence across Australia has been adversely impacted due to the different states’ virus containment and more distinct signs of a multi-speed economy emerge.

But employers are still looking for people!

However, while media headlines are filled with businesses standing down staff due to coronavirus, while some organisations are making roles redundant, and JobKeeper support has been extended, many other employers are in urgent need of workers.

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have increased demand for workers: Healthcare and Medical, Information and Communication Technology, Trades and Services, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics and Mining, Resources and Energy.

It’s a competitive market

“Despite the challenging market conditions, rest assured that there are still job vacancies and employers are still hiring.” Shawn Taylor, General Manager Career Management Services has stated.  “Having been in the industry in similar downturns with the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and dot com crash, the key to navigating your career through this environment is to be targeted in approach and prepared to ensure that you stand out positively in a crowded market”.

With fewer job vacancies and higher volumes of applicants for the roles being advertised, it’s an extremely competitive environment. Facing into this challenge, it is best to know where to look and how to be the most effective with your efforts. While it may be tempting to think more is better, taking a scatter gun approach and applying for any roles being advertised, is not recommended. Instead take time to understand your strengths, what transferable skills and what makes you unique. Ask yourself, “What value can I bring to an organisation? What is my poker hand?”

Where should I begin?

  • Can you articulate your strengths?
  • What is your point of difference?
  • Know where the opportunities are (research is key)
  • Identify what roles/organisations you are going to target
  • Ensure your resume is targeted and reflects your personal brand
  • If you’re applying for jobs, preparation is key – be prepared to be screened
  • Confidence is key!


Don’t leave opportunities to chance


During this current climate, make sure you’re well prepared so you can approach the market with confidence. Know where the immediate opportunities are and which jobs are in demand. Ensure you set up relevant job alerts to stay informed. Career Management Services’ have made it easy for job seekers with their Who’s Hiring Now site. This one stop site enables you to quickly access a collated list of up to date, current vacancies, where you can easily find opportunities to suit your background.

If you are looking for an employability edge and some professional assistance to make the job search process easy, then speak to an industry professional. Our experienced consultants can help you to optimise job opportunities to suit your experience. They’ll support you to navigate this challenging market and give you a competitive advantage. Call today on 1300 588 088


There is nothing wrong with change, if it is the right direction.

Winston Churchill


Jo Kwok

Executive Consultant – Strategy, People and Partnerships

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics figures as of June 2020

[2] Australian Government, Department of Education, Skills and Employment