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The Personal Qualities of a Quality Person: Applying for Low-Skilled Jobs

One thing Working Holiday Makers don’t have to worry about is being asked that most clichéd of job interview questions: Where do you see yourself in five years? Vowing long-term dedication to a company and committing to help them become an industry leader while demonstrating that you embody their core values, would seem a little weak when you need to follow that up with “but only for the next few months”.

Which is why casual work like hospitality, retail and fruit picking is such a good fit for 417 visa-holders. While many short-term and seasonal jobs are seen as low-skilled, you can’t afford to be blasé in applying for them. Employers are still looking for specific personal qualities, which in the absence of specific skills and qualifications, will assume a far higher priority in job applications.

In resumes, cover letters or interviews for seasonal and short-term positions, make sure you demonstrate (or at least mention) that you possess the following qualities:



This is rule #1. Employers aren’t as concerned about whether you’ll be able to learn a job as much as whether you’ll be there to learn the job. Being reliable isn’t something that should be complicated – all it is, is showing up. On time. All the time.



Being confident in applying for jobs doesn’t mean being arrogant, it just means being yourself. When meeting employers, there’s no need to put on an act, just be relaxed. Often, being comfortable enough to admit a lack of experience or some apprehension about aspects of the job will be seen as an admirable quality by an employer. ‘Confidence’ is also a word that looks good in print. Try to work it into resumes and cover letters: instead of “I’m experienced in software X”, try “I’m confident with software X”.



This is one of those slightly vague concepts that’s hard to demonstrate but still looks and sounds impressive in job applications. Even for the most simple, menial jobs, employers like the idea that you’d be willing and able to take on a variety of menial tasks.



While there’s always a degree of embellishment in job applications, outright lying is not recommended. Saying you have experience when you don’t, or promising you’ll be around for six months when you plan to be at Uluru next month, are the sorts of things that will be exposed sooner rather than later. Employers appreciate honesty, and they don’t appreciate being disrespected and lied to.


If these qualities are communicated to an employer on your initial contact, you’re a good part of the way to securing the job. Remember, most employers have had enough bad experiences with casual staff to not employ ‘just anyone’. Above all else, they want to be able to trust you: trust you to be there, to be able to do the job and to be open and honest with them.

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