Finding fulfilling work in regional NSW has its challenges, so anything that gives you an edge and makes you stand out from the crowd is an advantage. Often it’s the little things that count and make the difference when an employer is deciding if you’re the right fit for their business.

We work with people facing barriers to employment every day. Overcoming these barriers and supporting people into work is what we love to do – it’s what drives our staff and makes CHESS a great regional agency.

Our professional staff have a wealth of experience to share with local people looking for work. We cherry picked the very best so you can feel in control and confident in your job search.

Alicia Andrews

Alicia is our Manager of Disability Employment Services in Woolgoolga and is committed to supporting people experiencing physical and/or mental health challenges to achieve their personal goals.

Seek Advice from Experienced People

“My top piece of advice to local jobseekers is to understand that the job search process can be daunting and often stressful. Seek advice from experienced people around you and try to maintain a positive attitude, present yourself well and be courteous – you will be recognised for this! Also, be open to volunteer work – this will build great connections, references and may even lead to paid work! Starting and working your way into a position you really want is better than not starting at all.”

Matt Crawley

Matt is Site Manager at our Coffs Harbour agency. He brings a wealth of experience to CHESS having worked with multiple employment related programs for nearly a decade.

Keep Your Radar On

“Seeking employment can be a difficult and trying experience, especially in a tight labour market. However those who are able to remain focused on their goal and “keep their radar on” have the greatest chance of obtaining a role. Being prepared for contingencies is important and developing an attitude of preparation and adaptability will greatly aid in your search for employment, place yourself in the mix and keep in mind that, activity attracts activity.”

Cate Murphy

Cate is Site Manager of our Grafton agency, with a focus on DES Disability Employment Services. Together with her team she works with customers to overcome barriers and enter suitable and sustainable employment.

Attention to Detail and Respect are Key

“Potential employers like if you to listen attentively, and be respectful. Ensure you keep all correspondence smart and professional, including emails, phone and voicemail messages. Answer all calls as though it is an employer on the other end. If an employer rings you to offer an interview and they are confronted by a random or crude voicemail they will hang up and move onto the next applicant. It is more than luck that gets you a job – its attitude!”

Ben Whitaker

Ben is an Employment Consultant at our Coffs Harbour agency. A qualified yoga and meditation teacher Ben has a keen interest in youth, mental health and mindfulness.

Seek Ways to Keep your Resume Current

“My best tip for local jobseekers would be to keep your resume updated! Seek activities to do that will keep your resume current like a short course or volunteer work. Keep it as relevant as possible or choose pursuits that give you a transferable skill. Think outside the box – you never know what could be work related!”

Joanne Chapman

Joanne is an Employment Consultant at our Nambucca Heads agency and is dedicated to supporting people into sustainable, fulfilling employment.

Value Relationships

“My best piece of advice to jobseekers is to value relationships with employers, employees and trainers. Be someone others would want to know. Be someone that employers would want to hire. Exhibit good characteristics that show employers you can be dependable. Take interests in others and be an enjoyable person to be around. Be caring and kind. Employment will come to you when you do these things.”

Danielle Coleman

Danielle is our Youth Employment Coach for the new NSW Government Smart Skilled & Hired initiative. She is passionate about working with young people, helping facilitate change and allowing them to see the possibilities that are out there in our local area.

Think Outside the Box

“My advice for local jobseekers is to think outside the box when they approach their prospective employer. You need to stand out, but in a good way. Do your research on the business and see what the work environment will be like. If it’s a café go in and check out the general ‘feel’ it has and approach the application process with this in mind. Think about the skills and strengths you already have and how they can be utilised in this environment.”


We have a great variety of employment services for local people and local business. If you’re living with disadvantage, a school leaver or young person – we want to help you get a job! Contact us on the form below and one of our friendly consultants will be in touch:

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CHESS Marketing Manager Heather is passionate about bringing NGO's into the future through digital marketing and brand storytelling. A big fan-girl of fantasy fiction, Heather enjoys switching off from the virtual world with a good book and a hot cup of joe.