There are basically four main ways to start looking for work:
1. Advertised jobs
Not all jobs out there are advertised. On the plus side, when you see an ad you know that the business definitely has a need to take someone on. On the downside you’ll be competing with everyone else who has seen the ad. It is however a good place to start!
Job Searching Online: Job websites such as;
SEEK (www.seek.com.au) allows you to create your own login account, and create searches of the types of jobs you are looking for and where they are located, and then emails you when these jobs are advertised. There is also information on how to create a great resume and information on volunteering opportunities.
Shop Front Advertisements: You may be required to submit a CV and an interview will be scheduled for a later date. Alternatively, you might be invited to make inquiries within the store. If this is the case, always ask to speak to the manager and be prepared for an on-the-spot interview. Make sure you are well dressed and prepared with questions and answers in case an on-the-spot interview takes place.
a. Target jobs that suit what you can offer. Don’t apply for jobs that ask for specific qualifications and experience you know you don’t have. You’re just setting yourself up for needless disappointment and wasting your own time.
b. Follow the instructions on how to apply for a job carefully as often this is the first test set by the employer to see how well you can do this, and a good impression is needed to get your application shortlisted for an interview.
c. Use lots of different sites – Don’t limit your searches to one job search site. The more sites you use, the more likely it is you’ll find a job (for links to some job search sites, check out the links at the bottom of this page).
d. Use job alerts – Set up some favourite searches to email you any new job vacancies that fit your areas of interest – see the tip below about creating a jobseeker profile for more.
e. Use a range of search terms – If you find a job you like the look of, check out the words used in that ad, then use those words for another search.
f. Apply as soon as you can – Most recruiters start shortlisting within a week of advertising a job. The sooner you apply, the better your chances are.
2. Employment agencies
Employment agencies (also called Recruitment agencies) are paid by businesses to find them employees. You can register with these agencies for free and if they have a job which matches your skills, they will tell you about it and can arrange the interviews. It is illegal for an employment agency to charge someone to find them a job. To find your local employment agency, try jobsearch.gov.au/serviceproviders
While employment agencies can make your job hunt easier, they are usually for people who have worked before and have specific skills or qualifications, so they could have trouble finding you a job if you’ve never worked before but you can still try!
a. Temp recruitment agencies: These agencies specialise in temporary work contracts, for a few days, weeks or months. Often companies will take a chance on a temp so it is a good way to get experience.
b. Full time recruitment agencies: Similar to temp agencies, but offer full time, permanent employment.
One of the best ways to find your first job is through a referral from someone you know like from your friends, carer and family. Explain what type of work you’re looking for, that you’re available for interviews and when you could start. It’s amazing how many jobs are out there once people know that you’re looking!
4. Go looking yourself
Walking around shops
Another great way to find a job is going to local businesses and asking them if they need anyone. Get together a resume (we discuss this in the section on Resumes) and walk in around shops. Remember that presentation is important, see our section on Dressing for Success.
Some larger chains such as supermarkets or fast food restaurants may have their own application form which they will give to you to fill in and bring back or they may direct you to their website to complete the form online.
The best way to do this is to get yourself prepared, think about what you will say, ensure you are well presented and have a number of copies of your resume (with your contact details on it) and then try to hit as many places as you can in one go! There will be rejections, because obviously not all the businesses you approach will be looking for more staff at the exact time you walk in. Just remember it’s nothing personal, it’s about the needs of the business. Be prepared for a few “no’s” and don’t let it faze you. In the end you only need one “yes”!
If you have access to a computer you can also look at websites of companies you would like to work for and click on their employment / careers / jobs section. It can sometimes be hidden in the ‘About Us’ section. Some you may even be able to put an application form in online.