Updated September 2, 2011

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Steps to getting a job

1. Ask yourself

What am I good at, what am I passionate about, what are my skills and talents? It’s important to be honest with yourself. There are jobs that match you, waiting to be found. Do the career quiz to find out what types of work suit you most.

2. Research a Career

Career information can be obtained from career information centres, career/school counsellors, Unis and TAFE, career expos, libraries and from the following websites:
The Good Universities Guides
Job Outlook

3. Job Searching

The more effort you put into job searching, the more likely you are to get something out of it. Use a variety of approaches when job searching. Here are some of them:

a. Australian Job Search Internet Site - Jobsearch is an online employment service for both employers and jobseekers. Through this site you can lodge your résumé on the internet and search vacancies lodged by employers. Other sites that list job vacancies in Australia include:
My Career
Careers Online
Career One
Australian Public Service Jobs
Department of Defence

Jobs Guide
Australian Apprenticeships                                                                    
To find an approximate salary for a job that you are interested in visit My Career                

b. Job Services Australia - Job Services Australia is a national network of organisations dedicated to helping job seekers to find and sustain employment.

Job Services Australia provide:

  • a job matching service which matches the right jobseeker with the right vacancies, including apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • advice on job searching, interview techniques, career options, employment programs and giving feedback on job interviews they have arranged.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) - assistance for unemployed people to help them establish their own business. You must be 18 or older and receiving income support to be eligible.

To find out where Job Service Agencies are in your local area phone:    13 62 68 or go to Australian Job Search . Employment agencies can also be found in the yellow pages or career section of the newspaper.

c. Newspapers - for South Australia, vacancies are advertised in The Advertiser with the most vacancies being listed in the Saturday and Wednesday editions.

d. School/University/TAFE Career Advisory Services    

e. Centrelink - Centrelink Offices have Australian Job Search touch screens, which advertise vacancies locally and throughout Australia. Call 13 28 50 for Centrelink employment assistance or go to Centrelink

f. Direct Approach to Employers
- Telephone, write, or call in person to organisations you would like to work for and ask if there are any suitable vacancies. Remember to be clear about what you are going to say before you arrive or call.

g. Notices - Check the notices placed in shop windows, on community noticeboards, on signs at the front entrance to a business, near on-site projects and outside factory gates.

h. New Apprenticeship Centres
- Call 1800 673 097 or go to Australian Apprenticeships for more information on the apprenticeship options for job seekers.

i. Harvest Trail - Outlines where and when seasonal work such as fruit picking is available in Australia. For more information ring the National Harvest Labour Information Services on 1800 063 332 or visit Jobsearch

j. Friends & Relatives - Tell everyone what type of job you’re looking for - there’s a chance family and friends will have a lead.

k. Radio – Some radio stations broadcast local job vacancies. Find out when these job spots are on and listen in.

Assistance For People With a Disability:
There is a range of employment services for people with disabilities including:
Interwork Ph: 1800 851 262
Community Bridging Services Inc Ph: (08) 8207 1210
CRS Australia Ph: 1800 277 277

Job Access Ph: 1800 464 800

Centrelink and your local health service may also be able to inform you of what assistance is available and whether you qualify to receive job search assistance or any other additional support.

  • National Surveys show that almost 70% of all job vacancies are filled by word of mouth referrals. Use your contacts; let everyone know you’re looking for work. Don’t give up or be discouraged by rejection. Learn from each experience.
  • Registering with more than one employment agency gives you a greater chance of being referred to a job.

4. Contacting Employers

Ways of contacting prospective employers include enquiring in person, telephoning or sending a letter of enquiry. Things to remember when contacting potential employers are:

  • Get organised first and work out what you want to say.
  • “Sell” yourself as the best person for that job so that you convince them to interview you.
  • Prepare a list of questions about the job.
  • Have a pen and paper ready so you can take notes.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Speak confidently, even if you don’t feel confident.
  • If you directly approach an employer remember to dress neatly and be prepared to leave copies of your résumé, references, certificates, school reports and birth certificate.
  • If there are no current job vacancies ask to leave your résumé.

Key Competencies: are the personal abilities that enable a person to effectively apply their technical skills in the work place. Employers are often most interested whether prospective employees possess the following important key competencies including:

  • Planning and Organising
  • Working With Others
  • Solving Problems
  • Communicating Ideas and Information
  • Collecting, Analysing and Organising Information
  • Using Technology
  • Using Mathematical Ideas and Techniques

Remember to include the key competencies in phone calls, covering letters, job applications and at any interviews. It is important to be able to show any potential employer that you possess the key competencies. Sell yourself on these points and provide evidence to demonstrate eg certificates, committee minutes, media releases etc.

5. Writing A Job Application

The usual way of writing job applications is to do it in 2 or 3 parts. The first part is a short letter, called the cover letter. The second part is a summary of your personal details called the résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) and the third part, which is not always required, is the Job Description / Job and Person Specification.

  • Cover Letter: The Cover letter gives your reasons for applying for the job, highlights your skills, outlines work you have done which makes you suitable for the job, indicates how you will benefit the company and importantly convinces the employer to ask you for an interview.
  • Résumé: A résumé is a summary of who you are and what you have achieved. Your résumé should include your contact details such as name, address, telephone number and email address, your study and work history, your skills and any work experiences you have had and the contact details of 2 referees who can talk about your skills (remember to get their permission first and let them know when you are going for jobs!).
    Internet sites that can help with resumes are:
    Job Access
  • Address The Job Description / Job and Person Specification: the information contained in the job description is unique to the role. It will provide you with an overview of the tasks to be undertaken and the outputs expected of the person in the role. It is important that you address the description by outlining your experiences etc against the selection criteria, so that the selection panel can clearly see how you would be able to successfully achieve these tasks and outputs.
RÉsumÉ Hints
  • Keep your résumé simple
  • Have someone check your résumé before you send it to make sure there are no spelling, grammatical or typing errors
  • Use good quality A4 paper
  • Don’t put too much information on one page
  • Use simple layout, headings and basic fonts such as Arial or Tahoma
  • Do not lie, include negative reasons for leaving previous employment, focus on any barriers to getting the job or make your résumé too long (1- 2 pages preferable)


6. The Interview

Preparing For The Interview

  • Research the organisation, its products and services and the position you are going for.
  • Think about questions that might be asked and what you might say
  • Practise interviews with friends and family
  • Re-read your application letter, job advertisement and résumé
  • Prepare questions that you want to ask the interviewer
  • Wear neat, clean and appropriate clothing
  • Plan to be at least 10 minutes early to familiarise yourself with the surroundings
  • Prepare examples which demonstrate your sekills and abilities

At The Interview

  • Turn off your mobile phone, don’t smoke and don’t chew gum
  • Take your job application folder to the interview
  • Be positive, confident, calm and polite and remember to speak clearly.
  • Listen and give yourself time to answer questions - take a few deep breaths
  • If you don’t understand a question, politely ask the interviewer to rephrase or explain the question
  • Shake hands with all interviewers either at the beginning or the end of the interview (depending on when appropriate)

Questions employers might ask

  • Why have you applied for this job?
  • Why would you like this job?
  • What experience have you had?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?
  • Do you work well in a team?
  • Why are you suitable for the job?
  • Do you have any career plans?
  • Why do you think we should employ you?
  • What have you got to offer us?
  • What do you know about this organisation?

For examples of questions that may be asked in an interview, try the Seek Interview Wizard.

After The Interview

  • Thank the interviewers for their time and re-state your interest in the position.
  • Ask for some feedback on your interview performance, as this will help you next time.
  • Shake hands with all interviewers

Seek has a interview guide job wizard

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Questions and Feedback

Lower Eyre Health Services
Tel 08 8688 2629 or email ask@gettingout.info