Job Searching

Job searching

Now you know where you’re headed and you know how to get there. Once you’ve completed the required qualifications, licenses and other requirements, it’s time to start job searching.

Below are some platforms, places and people that can help you find a job.


is one of the best ways to seek job opportunities

Posters in shop windows

are common in hospitality and retail

Employment agencies

help to find jobs for people


is a a platform used for professional networking where you can search for jobs and post your CV on your profile


have job ad sections

Social media (e.g. Instagram)

is another way companies advertise positions

In person

Going directly to businesses to sell yourself can put you a step above the rest

Applying for a job: Resume

When applying for a job, there are two key documents you’ll provide:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter

What’s a Resume, and Why Is It Important?

One of the first steps to finding a new job is to create or update your resume. A resume is a one- to two-page document that summarises your work experience and qualifications. Most companies require job candidates to submit a resume as part of the application process.

Employers may sift through dozens—or even hundreds—of applications for a single job opening. It’s not uncommon for an employer to review your resume for a mere five to six seconds before deciding whether to “keep” or “cut” your application.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your resume makes the right impression, and is professional, polished, and compelling.

A Marketing Tool

Your resume should position or tailor information about your to suit the unique job and company to which they’re applying.

So, think of your resume as a carefully crafted pitch. What do you have to offer? What makes you stand out? And what relevant skills, education, or work accomplishments do you have to support your claims?

Keep your answers to these questions in mind as you move through the following sections:

  1. What content should I include in my resume?
  2. How do I style and format my resume?
  3. How do I edit my resume effectively?

1. What content should I include in my resume?

Your first question for creating a resume might be, “What goes into a resume?” Or, “What information should my resume include?”

Resumes are typically broken down into different topics or sections. For example, your resume might include a section that highlights your education, a section that summarises your work experience, or a section that lists your specialised skills.

Mandatory Resume Sections

Select the + buttons below to explore the sections that every resume should cover.

Every resume should include your name and contact information. Make it easy for employers to follow up with you by including your telephone number and professional email address. You might also add your home city or address.

Most job postings include an educational requirement. In this case, you’ll want to highlight your education so that employers can quickly see you meet that requirement. Here are some key points you might cover in this section:

  • Name of the school, TAFE or university you attended
  • Certificates, diplomas or degrees you have earned
  • Dates attended or date of graduation
  • Awards, honours, licenses, or certifications received
  • Participation, including any leadership roles, in clubs, extracurricular activities, and organisations

Most importantly, every resume should include a section that highlights your employment history or work experience. You might add internships here as well. Describe your employment history with the following information:

  • Name of the company
  • Dates employed
  • Job title
  • Description of relevant job responsibilities
  • Measurable or key accomplishments

You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever held. Focus on the work experience that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for and clearly demonstrates transferable skills.

You might also decide to add a section to your resume that lists specialised skills or technical abilities. For example, you might include your skills with particular computer systems and applications, frameworks, languages, or lab work.

2. How should I format or style my resume?

5 Rules for Resume Formatting

Now that you have a basic idea of what information to include in your resume, the next question is, “What are some best practices to style or format that information?”

Select the + buttons below to learn five rules for resume formatting.

The first rule is to give your resume an effective structure. In other words, you need to put the right information in the right order. Here’s how you can do that:

Organise your resume sections in a logical order. For example, you might start with your contact information and personal statement before diving into the details of your education, work experience, and then work samples.

List your employment history in reverse chronological order. Reverse chronological order means that your most recent experience should appear first, and your least recent experience should appear last.
Keep the most relevant, impressive, or important information at the top. As a general rule of thumb, try to put your most relevant or impressive information at the top of your resume or the beginning of a relevant section.

The second rule is to make your resume easy for employers to scan and find information quickly. If an employer only has six seconds to review your resume, then you want to help them quickly find the qualifications they seek. Here’s what you can do:

  • Use section titles. Make sure that each section on your resume has a clear title that tells the employer what information is listed there.
  • Use bullet points. Bullet points are a great way to organize information and make it easy to read. For example, try using bullet points to list your job responsibilities, accomplishments, or skills.
  • Use white space and line breaks. Pay attention to your resume’s white space and line breaks. If there’s too much white space, it may look like you ran out of things to say. If there aren’t enough line breaks, it may be difficult to process information. Be intentional about when and where you use white space and line breaks.
  • Use text emphasis. You might emphasise section titles or draw an employer’s eye to other key information using bolding, upper case, underlining, or italics.
  • Use font size. Finally, you might also use a larger font size to emphasise section titles or critical information.

Tip! Make your name and contact information stand out from the rest of your resume.

Start each bullet point or sentence on your resume with an action verb in the past tense. For example:

  • Instead of saying, “I lead orientations with new students,” you might say, “Led new student orientations.”
  • Or, instead of saying, “Responsible for conducting product walk-through webinars,” you might say, “Presented product walk-through webinars.”

Tip! Use a variety of different action verbs, such as produced, coordinated, managed, analysed, and developed. Avoid repeating the same action verb multiple times.

The fourth rule is to omit unnecessary words or information. Keep your resume punchy and get to the point. You can do this by following these tips:

  • Use sentence fragments instead of complete sentences.
  • Don’t use the first person: “I.”
  • Eliminate unnecessary words such as “a” and “the.”
  • Omit details that aren’t directly relevant to the skills, qualifications, and needs of the job you’re applying for.

It’s also important to check your resume for consistency in your formatting and punctuation. For example:

  • If you put a period at the end of one bullet point, then you should add a period to the end of every bullet point.
  • If you capitalise one section title, then you should capitalise all section titles.
  • Make sure your spacing and margins are consistent.

3. How do I edit my resume effectively?

Proofread Your Resume

Finally, always proofread your resume for mistakes and look for opportunities to make it more polished and easier to read. Small details can make or break your chances of getting an interview. So, here are some details to look out for:

  • Review your resume for spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes.
  • Limit your resume to one to two pages. Don’t add work experience from more than 10 to 15 years ago.
  • Make sure your margins are an appropriate size (roughly ½ inch to 1 inch wide on all sides.)
  • Choose a font that’s professional and easy to read.
  • Avoid using industry jargon or acronyms that a prospective employer won’t understand.
  • Write specific descriptions of your job responsibilities that give employers a clear and vivid picture of your daily work. Avoid empty words and generic statements.
  • Keep bullet points and descriptions short and succinct.

Is This Necessary? Could I Make the Connection Clearer?

Perhaps the most important tip for editing your resume is to make sure that the document clearly aligns with the open position and tells a coherent story. Review every line of your resume and ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” or “Could I make the connection clearer?” Every detail and description you include in your resume should reflect the specific needs and qualifications listed in the job posting. If there’s information that isn’t relevant or tailored to the particular position you’re applying for, then either cut it or update it accordingly.

Borrow keywords used in the job posting.
One way to make it easy for employers to quickly see how your experience and skills apply to the position is to borrow keywords from the job posting. For example, if the job posting asks for candidates who have strong communication skills, then incorporate “communication” in your resume’s language.

Resume Template

Select the file below to download the resume template you can use to write your resume.

Activity: Resume

Complete the activity below to check your understanding.


Applying for a job: Cover letter

What is a cover letter, and why is it important?

Your cover letter shouldn’t simply regurgitate the same information that an employer can glean from your resume. Instead, it should expound on that information and connect the dots between your experience and the job qualifications. It’s an opportunity to:

  • Make connections and explain why your background and experiences make you a good fit for the job.
  • Convey subjective information—such as your values, motivations, and what appeals to you about the job or company.
  • Let your personality and style shine through.

Both your cover letter and resume are designed to showcase your qualifications and convince an employer that you’re the best candidate for the job. However, while a resume sticks to the facts, a cover letter gives meaning to them. A cover letter is also an opportunity to let your personality, values, and motivations shine through.

The Basics

Now that you understand the purpose of a cover letter, and how it’s distinct from your resume, let’s cover a few basics:

  • Your cover letter should be roughly three to four paragraphs—and no longer than a page—in length.
  • Assume that an employer will read your cover letter and resume in conjunction.
  • While you shouldn’t use the first person or complete sentences on your resume, you should use the first person and complete sentences when writing your cover letter.
  • Be sure to vary the start of your sentences—don’t begin every sentence with “I.”

Watch the video below to learn how to write a cover letter.

Select the + buttons below to learn more about how to write a cover letter.

Before you even begin writing your cover letter, start by finding your focus. Ask yourself, “What are the top three selling points I want an employer to take away?”

While you may have more than three reasons that you believe you’re the best candidate for the job, less is often more on your cover letter. There’s limited real estate. So, it’s better to make three, well-developed, and memorable arguments than it is to make a dozen weak and forgettable claims.

At the top of your cover letter, you’ll need to add your name and contact information before writing a salutation. Depending on the position and industry, you may need to use a business letter format to present this information

It’s always ideal to address your cover letter to the person who will be reviewing applications, directly. Look online to see if you can find the hiring manager’s name, and write, “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. [insert name].”

However, if you can’t find a name, you could use another appropriate cover letter salutation such as:

  • To the [insert department name] Hiring Manager
  • To the [insert department name] Hiring Team
  • Greetings

The first paragraph of your cover letter is your introduction or hook. It’s the first thing an employer will read—and it can quickly set the right or wrong expectations for everything that follows. Your goal is to catch an employer’s attention—and convince them to keep reading.

Leading your cover letter with a canned or generic expression of interest will likely come across as dull, ordinary, or uninspired. Instead, try leading with an accomplishment, a personal story, your unique skills, or an explanation of where your connection to the employer’s industry or brand started. You might even find a way to inject humour to show a bit of your personality.

The introduction can be anything that introduces yourself and states your interest in the position in an engaging but relevant way.

After introducing yourself, you’ll want to transition quickly to the body of your cover letter. That is where you’ll make your value proposition, which covers the unique skills and values you can bring to the job.

Highlight the top three selling points you’ve identified in the first step. Here are a few tips to make your value proposition more compelling:

  • Show—don’t tell. Explain how specific accomplishments or work experiences match the job requirements. Avoid making generic claims, such as, “I’m a hard worker.” or “I have a proven track record.” Instead, give specific or measurable examples.
  • Draw your employer’s eye. Consider using bullet points and bolding to separate each selling point and draw an employer’s attention. This portion of your cover letter is the most important, so make it stand out or easy to find.
  • Use simple and straightforward language. Include keywords from the job posting requirements to help employers easily see how your experience or skills apply to the role. Also, avoid using jargon or empty adjectives.

Your first paragraph is your introduction, your second (and maybe third) paragraph is your body—and now, your last paragraph is your conclusion. In the conclusion of the cover letter, provide a summary and call to action.

Summarise and reinforce why you’re a good match for the role and what unique skills or values you have to offer the team. End your conclusion by thanking the employer for their consideration, and making a clear request or call to action. For example, you might ask to continue the conversation over a phone call, interview, or a cup of coffee.

Finally, end your cover letter with a closing and signature. Appropriate closings for a cover letter might include:

  • Sincerely
  • Best/kind wishes
  • Best/kind regards
  • Thank you
  • Looking forward to hearing from you

Final Tips

Your cover letter has room to add your individual style or personal flair. However, there are still some best practices that everyone should follow. These include:

  • Triple-check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. Some employers may automatically throw out your application if your cover letter is littered with typos and grammar or punctuation mistakes.
  • Stay on topic—and don’t ramble. If you try to say too much, your cover letter won’t communicate a coherent and memorable takeaway. Also, avoid excessively long or run-on sentences.
  • Customise your cover letter to the position. Yes, that means if you’re applying to five jobs, you will need to write five, unique cover letters customised to each respective position.
  • Talk about what you can offer the job—instead of what the job can offer you. Sure, employers like to know why the job appeals to you or why you’re passionate about your work—but that shouldn’t take over your entire cover letter. Don’t spend too much time on your cover letter gushing about why the job is ideal for you. Remember, your goal is to communicate why you’d be ideal for the job.

Cover Letter Template

Select the file below to download the cover letter template you can use to write a cover letter.

Activity: Cover Letter

Complete the activity below to check your understanding.


Job interviews

Interview Etiquette

So, you’ve been selected for a job interview. Congratulations! You’ve made it past the first—or perhaps even second—round of cuts. That’s no easy feat.

However, don’t start celebrating quite yet. While there are fewer candidates to contend with, there’s still plenty of work to do to put your best self forward, show an employer what you can offer, and land the job of your dreams. That starts with understanding basic interview etiquette.

Here’s a list of general best practices to keep in mind as you approach the job interview:

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Never arrive late.
  • Turn your cell phone or other distractions off.
  • Dress professionally and appropriately. Take cues from the company’s brand and team for how formal or casual you should dress. Practice impeccable personal hygiene.
  • Be friendly and respectful to everyone you come in contact with—regardless if it’s the interviewer, receptionist, or the person standing next to you in the elevator.
  • Make eye contact, smile, and give a firm (but not crushing!) handshake when introducing yourself.
  • Sit or stand up straight and display positive body language. Make eye contact and smile throughout the interview. Don’t slouch, cross your arms, fidget, or fiddle with your clothing or hair.
  • Speak clearly and confidently. Don’t mumble or speak too fast or quietly.
  • Prepare a few questions of your own to ask at the end of the interview. Conclude the interview by thanking the other person for meeting with you.

Watch the video below to see an example of a bad presentation and notice how Ranjit incorporates feedback to improve his presentation skills.

In this video, learn four steps to prepare for a job interview effectively.

Video Summary

Select the + buttons below to review the four steps to prepare for a job interview effectively.

You should have already studied the job description and researched the company when you wrote your resume and completed the job application.

However, since then, time has passed. So, it’s worthwhile reviewing your notes again. Make sure that you have a fresh and thorough understanding of:

  • The company’s mission, values, and business products or services
  • Who key members on the team are and what they do
  • The job description and responsibilities
  • The job qualifications

Also, review your resume one more time. It’s easy to forget the details—especially if you have a lot of experience or lengthy employment history.

The second step to prepare for a job interview is to know your “why.” Almost every interviewer will ask you some version of the following questions:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What interests you about this specific role or company?
  • Why are you leaving your current position?

Be prepared to articulate your motivations succinctly. Always have an answer for why you want the role, why you’re connected to the company, and why you’re leaving your current role and organisation.

Tip: Always speak positively. Never bash or otherwise speak negatively about your former team, boss, or company. For example, even if you’re quitting your job because your boss is a micromanager, you should never reveal that in the interview. Instead, you might say, “I’m interested in taking on a role with more responsibility and ownership.”

There’s no way to know the exact questions you’ll be asked—or precisely what you’re going to say—in a job interview. That’s why one of the best ways to prepare is to create a “story bank.” Here’s what we mean by that.

Reflect on your recent work experiences, projects, and accomplishments. What stands out? What situations or stories are most memorable or compelling to you?

Jot these ideas down or mentally tuck them away in your “story bank,” which you can draw from later when you need to give specific examples or reinforce your message during the job interview. The items in your “story bank” might come from:

  • Work accomplishments, projects, or activities
  • Moments when you overcame a conflict, problem, or difficult situation at work
  • Volunteer work or internship experiences
  • Ideas you contributed at work
  • Your experience leading or helping others at work

When you’ve prepared a story bank, you won’t feel the need to memorise interview responses. Instead, you can feel confident that you have specific examples of your achievements and work experiences at the ready, which you can adapt to fit whatever question may come your way.

Finally, the last way to prepare for a job interview is to rehearse common interview questions.

Again, this isn’t about trying to memorise potential interview responses in advance. Instead, it’s about getting comfortable with talking about your experiences and drawing from your “story bank” on the spot.

Try practicing with a friend, or speaking aloud if practicing by yourself. You might even take notes when questions solicit new insights or remind you of different work projects, situations, and experiences.

Examples of Common Interview Questions

Speaking of rehearsing common interview questions, here’s a list to get you started.

Select the + buttons below to review each question and practice how you might respond aloud.

“Do you have any questions you’d like to ask me?”
If an interviewer asks you this question, then your answer should always be, “Yes.” Come prepared with a few thoughtful and tailored questions that show you’ve done your research on the company and care about making sure the job is the right fit.

Activity: Scenario

Complete the scenario below to check your understanding.


Send a thank-you email within 48 hours after the interview. 
A thank-you note doesn’t have to be long or complicated. You might simply tell the interviewer(s) that you enjoyed meeting with them—and note a few specific details of the conversation or process that excited you, or reinforced why you believe you’d be a good fit for the position.

Activity: Interview Practice

Download the Interview Guide below.

Respond to each question in three sentences or less.

Next, practise by completing a mock interview with a trusted friend/family member. Provide them with the questions to ask. Seek their feedback to identify what you did well and how you could improve.

Interview guide

Select the file below to download the Interview Guide.

Interview Guide

Mastering the first Week like a pro

So, what does it take to make a great first impression? These five strategies can help you thrive in your first week and beyond:

  1. Say hello to your coworkers. Be friendly to build meaningful connections from day one.
  2. Set yourself up for success. Prepare yourself and your workspace to work efficiently. Choose clothing appropriate for the work you’ll be doing and the atmosphere of the workplace – when in doubt, check with your hiring manager before your first day.
  3. Learn from others. Increase your growth potential by asking smart questions and absorbing new information. Ask for help, take notes, show initiative and offer to help when you can.
  4. Learn the culture. Figure out your new company’s unique practices to ensure workplace harmony. To understand the company culture, ask questions and pay attention to the way people on your team do things—especially seasoned employees and high performers.
  5. Understand your manager’s expectations. Finish your week with a check-in to gain performance insights.

Nobody’s perfect. Everyone slips up—and that’s OK. You can’t be expected to know everything on day one. It takes time to settle into a new job. So approach this week as an exciting challenge and chance to demonstrate your best qualities. 

Activity: Scenario

Complete the questions below to check your understanding.

It’s Celeste’s second day at her new job. She needs some advice.
Can you help her navigate these situations with her teammates?



Where to now


Select this button to learn about self-employment.



Select this button to continue to Networking.