Job Hunting Techniques

Have a strategy - you simply can't fly blind when it comes to your career. Decide upon the job you want by researching industries, trades and professions that best suit your interests, talents and personality. Our Explore Careers section has more than 350 occupations to browse!


Look good on paper (or online!)

It's the person (ie. the recruiter or hiring manager) who gets you the job, but it's your application that gets you the interview. Prepare a professional looking resume and cover letter that can be emailed, printed or mailed. Use our Resume Builder app to make this process really easy!

Searching for roles

Many jobs are filled before they are advertised. So it makes sense to use a range of different job searching techniques to increase your chances of gaining employment.

One technique that can be used is to contact the employers directly. Some employers rely on job seekers approaching them to save them time and money in advertising and recruitment. Contacting employers directly shows that you are proactive and committed. These are qualities highly regarded by employers.


Approaching employers Face-to-Face

One way to approach employers is to "cold canvass". This means approaching an employer at their workplace about the possibility of working for them. This approach applies even if the employer hasn`t advertised a job vacancy. The advantage of this approach is that you can target employers you want to work for, and the location you would like to work in and also where your skills match the work they do.

You may have to approach a large number of employers before you find someone who has work readily available. Remember that if an employer doesn't have a vacancy immediately, they may be interested in employing you in the future. You should leave a copy of your resume and cover letter with them and follow up at a later date. Your persistence may pay off.

What to wear when approaching an employer: (see dress for success)

School uniforms can be appropriate only if they are in good condition and look tidy!

Phoning an Employer

Another way to actively seek work is to do what is called "cold calling". This means phoning a business that has not advertised a job to see if there are any jobs available.

There are a number of things you can do before, during and after the phone call to make it a successful experience.

  • It is important to be clear in your mind about the purpose of the phone call.
  • Before making the call, find out as much as you can about the business you are calling.
  • It is useful to make notes about the questions you will ask or the information you need to give. It is important to note the skills and personal qualities that would make you a valuable employee for their particular business.
  • At the start of the call, be sure to say clearly both your name and the name of the person you would like to speak to. If you do not know the name of a particular person, ask to speak to the manager or the person responsible for staffing or recruitment.
  • Be prepared to reach an answering machine. Before the call, think about what you will say if that happens. It is good to have thought of a short message about your reason for calling and the number you will leave if you want them to call you back.
  • When speaking to the right person, be clear about what you have to say.


Things to talk about when cold calling an employer

Explain why you have chosen to call that particular business. This will show what you already know about the business. Then follow with how your own skills, qualities and experience are suited to that type of business.

It is good to take notes while the person is talking. It is all right to ask them politely to slow down or to repeat something you have missed.

When you have finished the discussion, it is useful to give a short summary of what you understand has happened and been discussed. This makes sure that you and the other person are clear about what has been said.

When you get off the phone, make any notes about the conversation, especially the date and time of things you need to do, while they are fresh in your mind.

When speaking to the right person, be clear about what you have to say.

Group Training Organisations

Group Training Organisations (GTO's) employ apprentices and trainees and hire them out to different businesses on a short or long-term basis.

This approach enables smaller businesses to take on apprentices and trainees, even though in some cases they cannot provide apprentices and trainees with the broad range of skills needed to complete their training.

GTO's place apprentices and trainees with a range of small and large host businesses who provide on-the-job training. 

For a list of GTO's in your area, visit Group Training Australia.

Build up your professional network

Collect business cards as you meet people and thank each person you meet individually or even send thank you letters. Remember to proof read each and every communication you send, as typos even at this stage can cost you a job.

Why hire me?

Recruiters and hiring managers get hundreds of e-mails from job seekers every day. When you're looking for a job, no matter what form of communication you use, you only have 30 to 60 seconds to really grab someone's attention. You need to get to the point: why should they hire you?

Take a look at the importance of presentation:

The Importance of Presentation

Be persistent

Are you going to sit around and wait for a company to call you back? Never give up too soon. The best time to call a potential contact is before 9am and after 5pm - when assistants have gone home and hiring managers answer their own phones.

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