Looking for work

Looking for work can be pretty tough. Find out things you can do to gain skills and experience that might just give you an extra advantage and try not to get too upset if you don’t get the first job you go for. Sometimes these things take time.

This can help if:

  • You’re looking for work
  • You keep getting rejected
  • You want to beef up your skills
  • You want to be more competitive

What employers look for

Different employers look for different things depending on the job. However, there are some key things that employers like to see in people applying for jobs:

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Ability to be a team player
  • Communication skills
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to learn

Ways to get work experience and skills

There are heaps of things you can do to make yourself a more appealing job candidate. Some of these will build experience and skills, and others will just be good for communication skills and team work.

Volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to get on-the-job experience, and it may also help you decide if that field is where you want to work. Some of the benefits are:

  • learning new skills
  • Increasing the number of references available to you
  • Gaining experience in the workplace

Check out some of the volunteer positions available around Australia. 

Stay motivated
The longer you are looking for work the harder it feels. Try to remember the skills you have are valuable. If possible think of the job hunt as a challenge and an opportunity to find out what you are interested in.

Talk to someone
If you’re not sure about your career or the field of work you want to do, get some advice. There’s usually a career advice service at schools and higher ed places (like TAFE and uni).

Search far and wide
There are lots of places you can look for work. Some of these include:

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Internet job sites
  • Centrelink
  • Higher education employment services

Approach organisations/people
As well as applying for jobs advertised, you could approach organisations or people you are interested in working with. It is not uncommon for places to have positions that haven’t yet been advertised. Approaching the organisation also lets people know you are enthusiastic.

Create your own work
You may want to create your own work. Think of what your goals are and the skills you have, then match them up with what is needed in your local area. You could do a small business course to help you to increase your skills.

What can I do now?

  • Update your CV with all your qualifications and experience.
  • Make sure you tailor your cover letter to the specific job you’re applying for.
  • Work on building up your confidence.
Last reviewed: 17 December, 2015
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