Searching and applying for jobs

Where to look for work

Whether you are at school or TAFE, or already working and considering a career change, there are many ways to find an employer. Successful candidates tend to cast their search net wide and try out a range of methods.

Australian apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age and offer opportunities to learn new skills, while being paid. To explore apprenticeship options across more than 500 trades visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Or check out:

Apprenticeships Victoria: The Victorian Government is providing up to 1500 apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities per year to help those finishing school or looking to re-skill.

Head Start: Head Start is a new model for apprenticeships and traineeships for school students, who receive on-the-job training while completing their VCE or VCAL at school.

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) are available to eligible secondary school students.

The Apprenticeship Employment Network: A Group Training Organisation (GTO) is an organisation that employs apprentices and trainees on behalf of employers.

Contact the employer association of the trade you are interested in and ask them for a list of employers looking for apprentices.

Nothing beats approaching potential employers directly. Even if you haven’t heard about a specific job or apprenticeship, you can let the employer know you are available if a vacancy comes up. Plus, not all jobs are advertised so you might find that you call at the right time!

Tap into your ‘network’ of family, friends, sporting teammates, former colleagues – even your local barista – and ask if they know of any job opportunities.

The internet can be a rich source of information about careers and job opportunities. For example, the Australian Job Search website is one of the largest online employment websites in Australia, averaging 53,000 vacancies each day.

Workforce Australia will become the front door for government employment and skills services, helping Australians to find and keep a job, change jobs or create their own job, connecting employers with job seekers, and a refreshed network of providers to deliver tailored case management

Applying for Jobs

You have been invited to attend an interview. Here are some tips on how to stand out from the pack and land that position.

The most important things on an employer’s mind when considering you as a potential employee are:

  • Can you do the job?
  • Are you motivated and enthusiastic?
  • Are you a quick learner?
  • Will you fit into the organisation?

You can also research the company or talk to people in similar jobs – prospective employers are impressed by someone who has taken the time to learn about their business and tailored their applications accordingly.

Interviews are strongly influenced by first appearances, so making a good impression is vital. It’s wise to find out what is expected of you in the job and to look the part. Wear something that makes you feel good, but make sure it’s smart and simple – you don’t want your outfit to overshadow what you say!

It is natural to feel nervous before a job interview. One way to overcome this, however, is to make sure you are prepared. Read through the company’s website and annual reports and check out any relevant articles in the business press. Type the company’s name into an internet search and see what comes up. Always find out where the interview is to be held, how to get there and how long it takes.

Employers will often want you to give examples of your experience to demonstrate that you have the skills and abilities they want. There are also standard questions used in interviews, such as:

  • Why would you like this job?
  • Why do you think you are suitable for this job?
  • What are your best qualities?
  • Tell me about a situation in which you have used your skills/initiative
  • Do you work well with others?
  • What are your thoughts about further study?
  • Why should we employ you?

Employers are more likely to be impressed with you as a future employee if you show an interest in the job and the organisation. You could consider asking any of the following:

  • Who would I be directly reporting to?
  • Can I move between different worksites?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement?
  • Do you offer training to employees?

You could also ask for more detailed information about some aspects of the job that interest you.

Your resume

A resume (also called a curriculum vitae or CV) is a vital part of your job application as it provides a potential employer with a ‘snapshot’ of who you are, your qualifications and your experience.

Below is a template that will help you get started.

Download template

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