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August 17, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Get a haircut ‘cos you’re not getting a job

Finding work is proving to be a constant battle for students in the economic recession.

A decline in the number of jobs being placed, and an increase in Student Job Search (SJS) users over the last twelve months shows that students are fighting a losing battle to find work.

SJS Marketing and Communications Manager Lorna McConnon said the constant struggle for supply to meet demand due to the economic recession makes finding a job that much harder for students.

“Jobs on the site since a year ago have declined 20 to 30 percent, whereas numbers of students enrolled has increased 30 percent,” McConnon said.

A student at Victoria University, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that her anxiety towards the instability of her current position—due to the recession—has made it imperative to look for a new job.

“My job is under constant threat due to low sales—because, in retail, the business always comes before the employee,” she said.

The student said that the job hunt has been unsuccessful thus far.

“I haven’t been looking as actively as I should be, but I know someone who has been looking for a while and [with] no luck.”

McConnon said that SJS is still placing some jobs.

“Nationwide, we have placed over 25 000 jobs over the last twelve months,” she said.

“There are fewer jobs out there than around a year ago. There is still work out there, but we are encouraging students to be as flexible as they can on type of work and hours for work.”

However, the student spoken to by Salient said that studying limits this flexibility, and that students lack the qualifications that jobs require.

“Students are affected by the recession, as earning enough to make ends meet is nearly impossible, especially because we cannot be flexible enough for a full-time—and sometimes even a part-time job, as well as lacking the work experience and skills for certain positions,” she said.

The student also complained that the types of jobs that students are able to get are the same ones that are being cut back.

“The only things available to students are hospitality and retail jobs and these are certainly being cut back as businesses just aren’t making enough money.”

McConnon recommended that students looking for work should prioritise updating their CVs and cover letters.

“These are the things that will help them get jobs,” she said.

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