Looking for a job is like a job in itself. Most jobs are advertised online, but there are many other ways to find a new job too. This page contains advice on where to look for a job, how to contact employers directly, and how programs like jobactive can help you to find a new job.
Where do I look for work?
There are a number of places to look for a job. These range from advertised positions on the internet or newspapers to contacting employers directly.
Write down the web address and closing date for any suitable job listings you’d like to apply for. This will make it easy to find the job again and give you a reminder about the application deadline.
Some websites have a job matching/job alert service that you can use to receive notification when new jobs are advertised. Check the instructions on how to apply and follow them carefully.
Before you apply, you should make sure your resume is up-to-date and as good as it can be. Have a look at the “Applying for a position” page for more information on how to update your resume, write a cover letter, tips on being interviewed and many other topics.
In the sections below, you’ll find information on the different places and ways you might find your next job.
Job advertising websites
Job advertising websites are useful for searching for jobs in a particular location, industry or role. If you don’t have access to the internet at home, your local library will usually have computers that you can use. Your friends, neighbours or family members may let you use their computer, too.
Some reputable job advertising websites include:
Company websites and social media
Company websites will usually have a separate jobs page. Look out for pages called something like:
- Join the team;
- Working for us;
- Careers; or
- Current vacancies.
It is becoming more common for job vacancies to be advertised on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too. You can use social media to join groups specifically used to advertise vacancies, check the pages of employers you’d like to work for to find vacancies, and even contact them directly.
Employment agencies are also a good place to look for employment. They are in regularly contact with employers about job openings, and employers place vacancies directly with agencies. Some positions are only available through employment agencies.
To find a job through an agency, you will need to register with them. This usually includes attending an interview and filling in a registration form. Depending on the job, the agency may ask you to do complete a skills test. You will need to provide proof of any qualifications you have to the agency.
Remember, you can register with more than one agency. Some agencies even offer training so you can upgrade your skills increase your chances of getting a new job, so it’s a good idea to shop around.
Labour hire and temporary agencies
Some employers use labour hire to trial workers before offering them permanent employment. The labour hire agency you sign up with becomes your employer, assigning you to different available jobs.
The hidden job market
The hidden job is looking jobs that are available but aren't advertised. To find these jobs you can ask people in your personal network or contact employers directly.
Your personal network
Your personal network consists of people you know: your family, friends, neighbours, local community, previous employers and co-workers, or people you socialise with.
Letting others know you are looking for work means they will keep you in mind if a position comes up.
Be as specific as possible. Talk to your network about your skills and what type of position you are looking for. This helps them to identify jobs that would suit you.
Your network may be able to put connect you with possible employers if they know about upcoming jobs.
They may also be able to put you in touch with others who can help. Services like LinkedIn can also help you to keep in touch with your network.
You can contact employers who you are interested in working for directly. Ask if they have any jobs available - you can do this via phone, email or in person.
It’s a good idea to do some research first so you know about the business and the jobs that may interest you. Prepare your “sales pitch” - what you are going to say about yourself and why you want to work for them.
Make sure you speak with the right person. For larger companies, this will be someone in the Human Resources (HR) Department. For smaller businesses, it might be a manager or the owner. If in doubt, ask to speak to the person who looks after recruitment.
Choose the best time to call or drop into a workplace. If mornings are their busy time, try later in the day. Be prepared if the owner/manager is too busy to talk. Ask when would be a better time to contact them.
Stay positive but be realistic. Not all employers will be interested in what you have to offer. Try not to take rejection personally and take away as much information from the experience as you can. For example, does the employer prefer to use labour hire companies to fill vacancies? If so, find out who they are.
If you decide to contact a business by email, make sure your email address is professional and includes your name. The content of your email needs to be polite and use appropriate titles such as Mr, Mrs or Dr. It should be concise and explain what type of role you are looking for, and why you would be suitable.
Attach a clear, short résumé. For more information on résumés, refer to “Applying for a position” page. On that page, you’ll also find information writing a cover letter, being interviewed and many other topics.
It may be useful to write down what you want to say before you ring an employer. Make the call from a quiet place free of distractions and background noise. Take care to be polite with everyone you speak to, talk clearly and with confidence.
Remember: contacting employers by phone or in-person could turn into an on-the-spot interview if it turns out they have a vacancy, so be ready to answer interview-style questions confidently.
Dress well - first impressions count. Think carefully about whether a suit or smart casual would be more appropriate.
Take copies of your résumé with you so you can leave a copy with them. Remember: contacting employers by phone or in-person could turn into an on-the-spot interview if it turns out they have a vacancy, so be ready to answer interview-style questions confidently.
Workforce Australia is the Australian Government’s employment service to improve job outcomes and meet the needs of both job seekers and employers. It is delivered by providers located around Australia.
If you have lost your job, you may be eligible to receive help from a Workforce Australia provider who can help you to find and secure a new job in many ways, including:
- help looking for work
- writing a résumé and preparing for interviews
- referrals to jobs in your local area
- training that is suited to the skills that local employers need
- case management so that you are ready to take up and keep a job
- providing access to resources including the internet, printers and newspapers to help you in your job search.
The jobactive website is also a valuable resources for jobseekers. It includes useful articles on how to find a job, and will give you access to jobSearch. JobSearch is a free online jobs website where you can search and apply for jobs, and find your local jobactive provider.
A Workforce Australia factsheet, Help for workers who have recently lost their jobs, contains information on jobactive eligibility and many other support services available to you.
For more information on jobactive, call the Employment Services Information Line on 13 62 68.