Your job search

Looking for a new job can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve been out of the job market for a while. There are now so many places and ways to look for work that it can be difficult to know where to start. Taking the time to plan your approach and making sure you’re well prepared will help ensure you don’t waste any time and succeed in finding a job that is right for you sooner rather than later.

Preparing to job-search

It’s vital to make a plan to help narrow your search and make the most effective use of your time:

  • Identify target roles based on your skills, career plans and previous experience.
  • Identify the kind of companies and employers you’re interested in and know where and how they are most likely to advertise their vacancies.
  • Always be ready! Retailers, for example, will often have a sign in their window advertising a position.
  • Decide how much time you will spend on different types of job searching, but be prepared to be flexible.

It’s also really important that when an opening comes up, you’re ready, with the right tools at hand, to make the strongest application you possibly can.

  • Spend some time thinking about your skills, training and previous experience and how you’ll market yourself to a potential employer, whether you’re responding to a job advertisement or making a cold approach. Sometimes we overlook skills we use everyday – driving is a really good example – so try enlisting a friend’s help to brainstorm your skills. During periods of unemployment, stress and anxiety can make it difficult to see the positive things in yourself, so friends and family members may also be helpful when it comes to listing your strengths and the qualities that will make you stand out to an employer.
  • Update your resume and carry a copy with you, you never know when you might come across an opportunity

Where to look for job opportunities

As a job seeker, you have both advertised and non-advertised job markets that you may need to tap into for your search.

When looking for job opportunities, your main sources of information are likely to be:

  • Employment Plus – check if you're eligible to receive support from us.
  • The internet and common job search engines that allow you to narrow the search down to your industry and locality, i.e. Seek, LinkedIn, AllJobs, Career One and JobSearch (which collates all Australian online vacancy listings).
  • Community noticeboards.
  • Newspaper advertisements.
  • Windows of shops, restaurants and other businesses in your local area.

Other job opportunities can be found through…
Although it’s important to search for, and respond to, advertised job opportunities, other job opportunities can also be found in your local area.

You can access other job opportunities, by:

  • Approaching businesses either in person or by telephone.
  • Using your network, as many people find jobs through word of mouth. Just make sure that people know you are looking for work and they might think of you when a position comes up.
  • Working with labour hire/recruitment agencies.
  • Becoming active on LinkedIn, and following companies that you are interested in.

There is no set amount of time that you should spend on your job search, but the more time you spend, the sooner you are likely to be successful.

Hints and tips

There is no set amount of time that you should spend on your job search, but the more time you spend, the more quickly you are likely to be successful. Most advice suggests that you should treat your job search like a full-time job in itself. This has the additional advantage of keeping you busy and providing structure in your day – two important elements in helping to maintain emotional well-being and reduce the impact of stress during periods of unemployment.

Job searching can be a stressful and sometimes demoralising experience. It’s important to try and remain positive by:

  • Managing your expectations and knowing, from the outset, that your job search will take time and there will be disappointments along the way.
  • Not taking rejection personally. You may have been one of a number of strong candidates, the role may only have been advertised externally for compliance purposes etc.
  • Keeping the focus on elements of your job search that are within your control rather than getting caught up worrying about things that you can’t affect.

Key points

  • Spend time researching and planning before you start to make sure your efforts are as targeted as possible and that your time will be used effectively.
  • Know where to look for jobs and cast your net wide by pursuing a range of avenues in your job search and prioritising those that are most appropriate to your industry.
  • Try to keep your job search structured, stick to a routine if you can and stay positive.

Need help with you job search?

For more information head into your local Employment Plus office.