Job Hunting Grafton DES Team

We sat down with Terri Klaassen, Recruitment Partner at our Grafton site, to chat to her about what employers are looking for when hiring, how jobseekers can put their best foot forward and her best advice on

job hunting

during pandemic.

Morning Terri! Could you please tell us a little bit about your role at CHESS Connect and what you do within the Clarence community?

I’m a Recruitment Partner at CHESS Connect, so my main role is to help our clients obtain employment. Also, once employment is secured I provide post placement support for around 6 months to ensure that our jobseekers have the best possible chance of maintaining their employment.

I assist job seekers to set employment goals, build their resume, learn job search and interview techniques as well as contacting local employers on their behalf to help them find work.

You mentioned resume building – why is a professional resume important when looking for work?

Resumes are an important tool for job seekers, as it’s a way to showcase their top skills and qualities. It can show a potential employer if your skills and qualities align with their business needs and the job role. If you take the time to craft a thoughtful resume for the role you’re applying for it gives the employer an insight into how you would approach your work if they hired you.

It’s important to tailor your resume to suit each role you’re applying for. Generally employers will look at the top centre of the first page, so remember to put your key skills and experience where they are most likely to be seen!

In your experience, what are local employers looking for when hiring?

Employers are looking for candidates with the skills and attributes that are going to complement the role and someone who will be a positive member of their team. When hiring, employers also want to see evidence of your past successes. So if an employer is advertising for a role in customer service for example, jobseekers should emphasise a time in their past where they’ve provided great customer experience.

The pandemic has affected everyone in its own way, and it’s been especially tough for local business and jobseekers. What’s you’re #1 tip for local people looking for work?

I think my number 1 top tip, especially for jobseekers in the Grafton and Clarence region is to go beyond job listings. Don’t just rely on what is advertised in your area. Be prepared, get dressed for interview each day, have copies of your resume and go cold calling. And don’t worry about the rejections, return to the same employer each month to see if things have changed. If anything, the employer will see that you’re serious about securing work, that you’re persistent, motivated and will remember these fine qualities if and when a position does become available in their business.

Our Disability Employment Services are delivered in partnership with our Network Partner CoAct


We can help you prepare for, find and maintain employment in your local area.

You could be eligible for extra support in your job search through DES (Disability Employment Services) .

If you live with a health condition, injury, illness, disability or disadvantage that is keeping you from finding employment, we can help!

Enquire today and one of our friendly staff will contact you to discuss eligibility.

Enquire Now

  • Our employment supports are designed to provide extra support to local people who experience barriers when looking for work. These include people living with disadvantage, injury, a health condition, disability or mental ill-health, including depression and anxiety.

    If you are unsure about your eligibility you can still enquire and a friendly team member will contact you for a confidential chat. You do not have to declare any type of disability or condition in our enquiry form if you don't wish to.

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About Heather
CHESS Connect Marketing Manager Heather is passionate about driving growth and engagement through brand storytelling. A big fan-girl of fantasy fiction, Heather loves reading, writing and the occasional Netflix binge.