How to get a job

Looking for work can be pretty tough. Learn about ways you can get skills and experience to make finding work easier.

This can help if:

  • you’re looking for work

  • you can’t find a job

  • you want tips for getting work.

Girl at desk with laptop

What do employers look for?

The specific things an employer is looking for will vary depending on the job, but there are some general qualities that you should try to demonstrate. You could include these things in your CV, or talk about them in an interview:

  • Experience: Even if you’ve never had a job, talk about ways you’ve helped out around the house or extracurricular things you’ve done at school.

  • Professionalism: This doesn’t mean wearing a suit and using big words. It means being considerate, staying focused and demonstrating a good work ethic.

  • Skills: Make sure you list the skills you have separately from any previous jobs or experience.

  • Ability to be a team player: Most jobs will require you to work with other people. Show your employer that you can do this.

  • Communication skills: Be clear, concise and consistent with your communication. Always proofread anything you put in writing, to pick up spelling and grammatical errors.

  • Enthusiasm and willingness to learn: Be a keen bean!

Tips for getting prepared for work

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 teamwork.

Get your CV up to scratch: Do some research on what makes a good CV and make sure yours is up to date. It’s a great idea to get someone you trust to proofread your CV before you submit it.

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

  • new skills

  • additional references

  • experience in the workplace.

Check out some of the volunteer positions available around Australia.

Stay motivated: The longer you spend looking for work, the harder it is to stay positive. Try to remember that your skills are valuable. If possible, think of the job hunt as a challenge, and as an opportunity to find out what you’re interested in.

Talk to someone: If you’re not sure about your preferred career or the field you want to work in, get some advice. Schools and higher-ed places such as TAFE and uni usually have career advice services.

Search far and wide


  • internet job sites

  • Centrelink

  • higher-education employment services

  • organisations/people.

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

Good luck!

What can I do now?

  • Tailor your cover letters to the organisation or business you’re applying to.

  • Learn about building confidence.