How to Search for Work

Here are some tips to make searching for work easier.

There are many effective approaches, so use a variety of strategies to increase your job opportunities.

Explore the links on the right-hand side to help you as you go through these sections, and check out the A-Z Resources for further support.


Make connections

Keep networking

Word of mouth, referral networking, talking with family and friends

Talking to people about your search for work can expand your network and open up job opportunities in an industry that you are interested in.

Many jobs are not advertised  – and are obtained through personal, study or work connections.

Having a good work ethic and reputation can also lead to other job opportunities and referrals through friends, family or colleagues.


Join a club or association

You might like to consider joining a club or an association to connect to a network of like-minded people.

This again opens up possible opportunities to find work, gain experience or simply find out some more information about a particular industry or job that you are interested in.


Community involvement

You will find that councils and other organisations form community groups to support people in their local area.

These might include environmental groups, support groups, cultural groups, sporting groups, disability support groups, youth groups, men’s groups, and faith and religious groups.

These are another great way to become part of a community, to network and to create possible future job opportunities.



Volunteering is a great way to access different networks of people that could lead to future employment opportunities.

You can also gain valuable skills and build up references for your resume to assist with applying for work.

Some opportunities might include:

• Administrative or office work
• Visiting aged or elderly people at home or in hospital
• Adult literacy tutoring
• Gardening/environmental work
• Assisting people with a disability
• Assisting with therapy programs
• Meals on Wheels and Books on Wheels
• Childcare or youth work
• Opportunity-shop work
• Working as a member of a board or committee
• Community transport.

Search your local council website for information on volunteering opportunities or use the links to the right.

For further links, check out the A-Z Resources.

Be direct

Take a direct approach

Cold calling

Cold calling is a good way to approach employers that you would like to work for or businesses in the industry that you would like to work in.

It requires you to call businesses directly to inquire about opportunities and express your interest in working with them.

While organisations may not have an appropriate job at the time of calling, many organisations will agree to keep your resume on file should an opportunity arise in the future.


Company website careers & vacancy sections – Job boards

Company websites and local council websites usually have a careers, employment, or vacancy section where they advertise job opportunities.

These are usually updated regularly so make sure to check back every now and then.


Direct application to a company

Why not visit organisations in your area to inquire about job vacancies?

Make sure to bring a copy of your resume and a relevant cover letter with you.

Explore more options


A traineeship is a great way to learn on the job, gain a qualification and get paid at the same time.

Traineeships are usually not as long as apprenticeships and the conditions are a little different.

The following conditions apply to traineeships:

• An employer agrees to employ and support you for the term of the traineeship, and you agree to follow instruction and attend structured training
• If the business is sold, the new employer does not have to keep you on as a trainee
• Either party may cancel the contract by signing a cancellation form or letter stating the date of cancellation. Mutual agreement is not required.



An apprenticeship is a great way to get hands-on practical skills while you are studying and working.

It is a longer commitment than a traineeship and has strict conditions between the employer and the employee.

The duration of an apprenticeship is 3-4 years depending on the industry area.

The following conditions apply to apprenticeships:
• An employer agrees to employ you for the term of the apprenticeship and to support you in your training for that period of time, and you agree to follow instruction and attend off-the-job and/or workplace-based training
• If your employer sells the business during your apprenticeship, the new employer must continue with the training contract
• Once the probationary period of the training contract has passed, all parties must agree in order for the contract to be cancelled.

The duration of an apprenticeship will increase if you are doing the apprenticeship part-time or as a school-based apprenticeship.

For more information on these approaches to work, check out the A-Z Resources.



Self-employment is when you create your own work and your income comes from the service or product that you provide.

You may operate a family-run business, or perhaps you have decided to turn a hobby or passion into a new business.

Self-employment can be hard work but it also provides great rewards and flexibility.

There is support available to help you if you are self-employed or thinking of starting your own business.

Check out some of the links listed on this page for further information on self-employment.