Getting Automotive Job Ready

Are you looking for an apprenticeship but don’t know where to start? Here are our top tips to best prepare yourself & make a great first impression to potential employers!

1. Do your research

The automotive industry industry is full of exciting and prosperous career pathways waiting for you to explore. From maintenance and repair, to design, development, sales, and customer service, each role offers unique opportunities to grow and excel. Embarking on an apprenticeship requires your time, energy, and focus; so, do your research to discover which sector is right for you. MTA Queensland’s Automotive Careers Guide showcases some of the different pathways available and what each role involves.

It is also important to understand your rights and entitlements as an Australian apprentice, and the role of Group Training Organisations. Visit the Your Career website to learn more.

2. Prepare your resumé

Resumés are an essential part of applying for traineeships, apprenticeships, and professional job roles throughout your entire working career. Even if you’re a high school student without much professional work experience, creating an effective resumé is all about presenting yourself in the best possible way. Here are some tips to help you with your high school resumé:

  • Start with a career objective – A career objective is a short statement that summarises your career goals and how they align with the employer’s needs. It should be placed at the very top of your resumé, as it is the first thing that hiring managers read while assessing your application.
  • Emphasise your education & extracurricular activities – If you have achieved impressive academic results or completed challenging coursework, be sure to list this information. Including extracurricular activities and sporting achievements is also valuable as it showcases your interests, dedication, and commitment.
  • Highlight any experience – Any volunteer or paid work is valuable to include on high school resumés. Whether you’ve worked as a babysitter, umpire, or volunteer, provide all experiences that demonstrate your reliability and capacity to participate in a team.
  • Showcase your skills – Your skills can be a great way to demonstrate your suitability to the role. Employers don’t expect you to have a lot of experience as a high school student, so showing your good work ethic and attitude can go a long way.
Don’t forget- If you have a driver’s license or plan to attain one, it’s essential to mention it on your resume.

Common mistakes to avoid

  • avoid using a colourful, busy design and stick to a clean, simple layout with a standard font that is easy to read.
  • use action words in your bullet points such as “managed,” “created,” and “organised”.
  • Proofread your resume and eliminate any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors
  • Don’t forget to include your contact details!

3. Begin the job hunt

When searching for jobs, you can find direct employment or contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider to help with the process.

If searching directly, it is recommended to research around 10 businesses in your local area that you would like to work at, aligned with your career objective (e.g. passenger car dealership, truck dealership, service & repair workshop, tyre retail business).

Prioritise your list, contacting each by phone (this is a timely process, do not overload yourself by trying to contact all at once) and asking to speak with the owner or workshop manager. If they are unavailable, ask when a good time is to call back.

Once you have made verbal contact, identify yourself and state your reason for calling (e.g. looking to commence an apprenticeship). It is important to not get discouraged if an employer says they are not hiring / looking for an apprentice. Keep trying! If they are interested, ask when a suitable time would be to drop your resumé in.

First impressions count - When dropping off your resume, it is important to dress neatly and appropriately. Wearing your formal school uniform, or smart, business attire is usually a good choice. This can include a nice blouse/button-down shirt, slacks/long pants (not jeans), and closed-toe shoes. Avoid wearing anything too casual or too formal. It’s also a good idea to make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free, and to present yourself in a well-groomed manner, with neat hair, minimal jewellery, and neutral nail polish.

4. Next steps

Congratulations, you’ve handed in your first resumé! Repeat the process for the remaining businesses on your list. Remember, it takes time to process and review a resumé, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back immediately. You may wish to conduct a follow up call if you haven’t heard back in 5-10 business days. Even if you are unsuccessful, this call provides a valuable opportunity for feedback.

Should you be successful, the next step is to prepare for an interview! Check out MTA Queensland’s “Getting Automotive Job Ready” micro-credential, which covers good working habits and safe working practices for those looking to enter the automotive workforce.