How to search for jobs

Get tips on how to successfully search for jobs.

Figure out your skills

You need to be honest with yourself about what you know and what you can do. Knowing what skills you have and lining them up with your interests can help you figure out what jobs could be a good fit.

Find out about jobs

If you need some job ideas you can use our job profiles to research jobs that interest you. Check out the entry requirements so you know what skills to develop.

Prepare your CV

Prepare your CV and cover letter so they match the jobs you’re applying for and list only relevant, recent job experience. Employers want to see your transferable skills, the skills that are useful in many jobs and workplaces, so make sure you can identify them. Use our CV pages and free online tool, CV Builder, to create a professional CV ready to send to employers.

Keep a record of jobs you apply for and any research that could be useful for interviews or developing your CV and cover letters.

Clean up your online presence

Social media is a vital part of the job search process. If you make it to the interview stage most employers will have looked you up online. Before you start your job search make sure your digital footprint – all of the places you can be found online – is squeaky clean.

Approach employers for an informal interview

Many jobs aren’t advertised, so speaking to an employer in person is a great way to get yourself known and to learn about job opportunities before they’re advertised.

If you're interested in a particular role at an organisation you could research them online and ask for an informal interview. During the interview you can find out what they look for in potential employees and what skills you need to get the job. You can also find out whether the job or organisation is the right place for you.

If you can't get an informal interview you could send your CV with a cover letter explaining what roles you're interested in and how you’re qualified to do them.

Be ready for interviews

Do your research on potential employers and spend some time practising answering interview questions.

Think of the questions you might be asked. Have a trusted friend or family member roleplay an interview with you. Roleplaying your answers is helpful as it makes you be clear and to the point.

Find job vacancies

Search online and traditional sources

Most job vacancies are listed online, but more traditional methods of job searching are still good. Search job vacancy websites and job listings on recruitment agency and social network sites.

  • Look on employers’ websites and social media.
  • Register with a recruitment agency or use online job vacancy sites.
  • Check daily and local newspapers.
  • Read professional and industry journals.
  • Put up a notice on community or supermarket noticeboards – especially for local or short-term jobs.
  • Attend career expos to find out more about particular companies and apply for vacancies while you’re there.

Use your networks

One of the best ways to get a job is through networking, so talk to everyone you know, including:

  • family and friends
  • previous employers and colleagues
  • local business people.

Look for part-time work, holiday or seasonal jobs

Taking on part-time work, working more than one job, or taking on short-term roles like holiday or seasonal work can develop a good work record. They can also lead to more work or help you get a job you really want.

Try contacting the following organisations to get holiday and seasonal work experience:

  • horticultural and agricultural industries
  • retailers and the hospitality industry  
  • regional councils and other organisations that hold holiday events.

Try doing volunteer work

Volunteer work may lead to paid work by helping you develop your skills, build a work history, make networks, and get references. You can find volunteer work online or through course providers.

Updated 12 Sep 2019