Jeff Smith of I-Scream shows off his Australia Day inspired vanilla flavoured Opera House, with lamingtons, Caramello Koalas and a green and gold thickshake.
Jeff Smith of I-Scream shows off his Australia Day inspired vanilla flavoured Opera House, with lamingtons, Caramello Koalas and a green and gold thickshake. Adam Hourigan

10 useful tips for Clarence Valley job hunters

WHY is it some young people can have multiple part-time jobs yet others struggle to get a start?

The reasons are many but one that I think is critical is how to get that first start.

When I first arrived in Grafton 28 years ago, I was out of work for eight months. It's a crappy feeling being out of work... I grew a beard and started wearing old clothes and slopped around town in thongs. I was on a downhill slide fast. Next thing I knew I was baking fruit cake of an afternoon while watching Thomas the Tank Engine.

Finally a job offer, then within a month I had three part-time jobs. Goodbye fruit cake.

Many years later, after numerous jobs I finally ventured into my own business based on an ice cream retro café style. Now being on the other side of the counter, I have boxes of resumes accumulated over nine years.

Most were only glanced at once and then 'filed' and have never seen the light of day since. Why? Even when we are on the lookout for new team members most job hunters just don't sell themselves well.

It's highly competitive out there so you have to stand out. Some common mistakes:

Pick your time. Don't rock into a café at lunchtime or an ice cream shop after school comes out and expect to be the centre of attention. Is the position seasonal? Don't apply after the Christmas shopping rush.

Wear shoes. Is this just a Grafton thing?

Don't be slurping on a product from another store. Bad look all round; if for no other reason than the fact you prefer to spend your money at a competitor's business.

Leave your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/mum behind. Be brave and go solo or don't go at all. You don't need your creepy friend staring at you from the street as you impress the hell out of the manager. It's distracting for everyone.

Be a customer... or if you can't, do some homework about the business you are applying to. Check them out on Facebook or their website.

Have a photo on your resume. I get dozens of resumes and unless it's got a photo I won't know a Kaisha from a Kaillene... so both resumes end up getting 'filed'.

If you get a start make the job your priority. Start this Saturday morning? No problem! Work nights? Yes! Don't explain all the reasons why you can't work before you have even started.

When a manager asks "why do you want to work here?" Don't answer that you need money. We all need money, that's why we're all here. Be a little more creative.

Blow my mind with an offer. I have never had anyone say to me "to prove my confidence that I am the right person for this business I will work one day for free as a trial". You have nothing to lose. The best outcome is you get a job. The worst you can expect is you now have one day's work experience at that business (which may be invaluable to a competing business!).

Follow up. In nine years I can count on one hand the number of second visits by job hunters. It need only be as simple as "did you have a chance to look over my resume?"

So there's a few observations on how to break through the clutter and get a start. Be Persistent. Smile.

Power Point is dedicated to sharing the thoughts and views of The Daily Examiner's Power 30. As influential people in the Clarence Valley, by definition their voices matter. When they speak, people listen. This week's Power Point comes from I Scream owner and Jacaranda Festival president, Jeff Smith, who was No.16 in the 2018 Power 30.