Jobs not so immune after all

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Don't look now: there are some signs that the US sub-prime mortgage malaise has spread to the Australian market for financial services jobs.

Private equity firms and corporate advisers were hit hard with a 9% fall in job advertisements during September, according to the Olivier Internet Job Index.

The index also showed ads on the Internet for banking jobs fell by 10.5% in September.

Report author Bob Olivier, a director at the Olivier Recruitment Group, says: "Banks are getting more cautious, and you can add to that the RAMS Home Loans situation."

Despite the shaky outlook, Olivier advises against jumping ship as accounting and legal ads were also down, by 4.32% and 3.6% respectively. "I don't think people need to over-react. The US [investment] houses have a habit of growing at a staggering pace but then being over-zealous on the cutbacks too. Stick it out if you can. It might be a temporary phase and markets may return to the normal shortages."

For candidates determined to sit tight, Olivier says a number of critical elements can put you ahead of the pack. "Ensure you can show achievements in your current and prior roles and demonstrate personal and career development throughout your career - which involves a mix of internal promotion and career moves."

He adds: "Complement practical skills development with external study, whether that be a short course, a Masters, or a recognised global qualification."

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