At some point in our lives, whether it’s coming out of school, or changing careers, most of us will spend some time searching for a job. It can be intimidating, and sometimes it can be a challenge to know where to start.
The Salvation Army Employment Plus is one of Australia’s largest government- funded employment services, and provides job seekers with access to specialised training, work experience and a range of support services.
You can find a range of resources on their website (www.employmentplus.com.au) that offer tips and advice on looking for a job, or you can register for their free services. Here is some of their basic advice on starting out:
1. Know yourself
Before you start, spend some time identifying what your skills and training are, and what areas you might want to improve. Sit down and make a list, and ask those around you to help if needed.
2. Be prepared
Have your resume ready to go so that when an opportunity comes up you can send it straight away. Think about people who could be your referees and ask them if they would provide a reference.
3. Narrow things down
It’s also important to identify what sort of jobs you are looking for. Taking into account your skills, interests, goals and experiences will allow you to decide where you start your search.
Decide the sort of job you want. Make a list of the kind of companies you might want to work for, and work out where they are likely to be advertised. Deciding if you want to work in the not-for-profit area or for-profit sector is one of your key decisions.
4. Treat your job search like a job
There is no set amount of time you should spend on your job search, but the more time you spend, the sooner you are likely to be successful. Most advice suggests that you should treat your job search like a full-time job in itself.
This has the additional advantage of keeping you busy and providing structure in your day—two important elements in helping to maintain emotional wellbeing and reduce the impact of stress during periods of unemployment.
5. Stay positive
It can take time finding a job, and can depend on factors outside of your control. If you miss out, it might have been due to there being lots of strong candidates. If it takes time to find something it may be due to a tough market or the wrong time of year. It’s important not to take rejection personally and understand that it might not be anything to do with you.
Focus on the factors you can control, whether it is preparing well for interviews or working on the way you present as a potential employee, so that you know you did everything you could possibly do to give yourself the best chance. By doing this you will be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that may be offered to you.