Mariah Louise Ferre, Moe Work and Learning Centre

There are many resources out there to help you find work and manage your working life. We have put together some of these resources for you here.

Get ready

Understand the local market

Every region has a different economic structure and therefore different employment opportunities. Understanding the local market will help you to identify the most suitable options for you.

  • What are the main vacancies in your local region?
  • What type of skills are local employers looking for?
  • What is the best way to look for a job in your region? Networking, job ads in newspapers, online job sites, recruitment agencies, etc.

Understand your skills

Before you try to convince an employer that you are the right person for the job, take time to identify the skills you have to offer.

The skills you’ve gained from your previous job or training experience will be valuable for your next move. In addition, if you are do any voluntary work or are involved in any community organisations, think about additional skills you can include in your CV.

The skills you have acquired will help you even if you want to start working in a different industry. For example, if you worked in the retail industry you will no doubt have good communication, customer service and team-working skills. These skills are required in other industries such as food services, support services and/or recreation services, among others.

Discuss your strengths, interests and job opportunities with your advisor according to your profile.

Prepare your resume

A resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) provides an employer with a summary of your skills and experience.

When you are writing or updating your resume make sure you cover the key elements:

  • Name and contact details (phone number, email address)
  • Relevant qualifications or training
  • Work experience/employment history
  • Community involvement/volunteering
  • Referees: Think of three or four people you could ask to be a referee. Make contact with them prior to providing their details to make sure they are happy to outline your skills and abilities to potential employers.
  • An outline of your skills tailored to the employer’s needs
  • Any further information that will help to market you such as extracurricular activities, professional memberships, languages, etc.

A resume is usually presented in one of two formats:

Chronological resume: A chronological order of your work history, education and other activities. Your work history is presented in date order, with the most recent job first. This works well if you are applying for similar jobs or in the same industry.

Functional resume: Provides a focus on your major skills, achievements and personal strengths, not just those used on the job. This format can be helpful for someone changing career path.

Prepare your cover letter

When you apply for a job, you will need to include a cover letter. This is a one-page document briefly explaining why you are the right person for the job.

Your cover letter should act as your introduction to an employer and provide details on your skills and experience. Remember a cover letter is the first impression the employer will have of you.

Don’t forget to:

  • prepare a different cover letter for every application
  • proof read the letter before sending
  • ask someone to check that you haven’t omitted anything
  • ensure your cover letter is appropriate for the job advertisement.

Get the word out

Let your relatives, friends, colleagues, customers, retailers etc., know that you’re looking for work. Ask them if they know of any work opportunities with their employer/s or with employers of their family and friends. The more people who know you’re looking for work, the more chances you have of finding it.

Tips for your job search

  • Don’t talk about your previous employer/s in a negative manner. Talk in your cover letters and interviews about the skills and experience you developed while in previous employment.
  • Make a list of the people you know, in particular those that are working in the same or similar field to you. If you are going to change careers, make a point of getting to know people in the new industry you wish to enter.
  • Ask questions about potential employers, for example: How does the company work? Does it have clearly defined teams, or does everyone pitch in together on a project/job? Is the workplace hierarchical or does it promote development/ownership of procedures and planning from staff?
  • Put together a couple of paragraphs on your skills and experience. Practice how you will relay this to potential employers in interviews or in cover letters. By talking about this information with your friends and relatives, you will be more comfortable when communicating your strengths to an employer.

Get prepared for interviews

For a successful interview, you need to know yourself, your skills and abilities, and be able to select the most valid skills that will meet the needs of an individual employer.

How to prepare for an interview:

  • Research the company you are applying to. Look at its website or call and ask if they have information available.
  • If you know someone who works there, talk to them about the organisation.
  • Research the job. If the job advertisement lists a contact person, call and discuss the role and duties.
  • Prepare answers for the most common questions asked by employers. Avoid yes or no answers to a question.
  • Interviewers will often ask you behavioural questions. They will describe you a scenario and ask you how you would respond.
  • Practise for the interview with a family member or a friend, until you are comfortable responding to the possible questions.
  • Make sure you know where the interview is to be held and that you know how you are going to get there with plenty of time. If you are travelling by car, make sure that you can park nearby and that you have coins for metre parking, if free parking is not available.
  • Do not be late to an interview
  • First impression counts!

Some common interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Have you ever done this kind of work before?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • When could you start work here?
  • What level of salary are you looking for?
  • Why are you the best person for the job?
  • How is your health and how often were you absent from work in your last job?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What is your greatest weakness? (Example: I may take a bit longer to complete a task, this ensures that it is accurate and completed well, although when required I can still work to tight periods.)
  • What would your last employer say about you and your work performance?
  • Can you work under pressure or tight deadlines?
  • What are your long-range goals, where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What type of machines or equipment / software packages have you used?

Some example behavioural interview questions you may be asked:

  • A co-worker is slacking off and letting you carry more of the workload. What would you do?
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
  • What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it.

Interview tips:

  • At the interview, shake hands when you meet the interviewer and make eye contact.
  • Dress for success! Research the company and identify if casual outfit or business attire suits better to the company values.
  • If you have more than one interviewer asking questions, make sure you include the other interviewers with eye contact and positive body language when you answer.
  • Always be positive in what you say and the way you say it.

Get ideas

Create a personal profile and explore tips and strategies for your career.

Job Jumpstart
Tips and ideas about careers and jobs.

Youth Central
Explore the Victorian Government's hub for young people aged 12–25.

Career Toolkit
Access the Victorian Government's career toolkit.

Get help

Money Help
Valuable advice on returning to work and managing your finances.

Connects jobseekers with services generally available to those receiving income support payments such as Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment and to those who have mutual obligation requirements.

Headspace is a national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.

Disability Employment Services

Jobs Victoria Partners
Find a Jobs Victoria Partner in your area, for support and opportunities that are tailored to you.

Get connected – job search websites

Victoria is Hiring
With major new road and rail projects, as well as investment in health and education, the Victorian Government is creating job opportunities for tradies, teachers, nurses, paramedics and more. All of the infrastructure projects now underway, and the opportunities for work, are linked from this page.

Victorian Skills Gateway Occupations Explorer
Search occupations by industry, region, and availability of jobs, and find out what training you need to get there.

Careers Vic
Job opportunities within the Victoria public sector.

Health Vic
Jobs with Government-funded health services.

Australian JobSearch
Search for jobs or apprenticeships by keyword, postcode, location, and occupation.
Search Australia-wide for jobs, register and upload your resume.

Search for jobs advertised by employers and employment agencies.

Career One
Search for jobs advertised by employers and employment agencies.

National job board website, simple search options.

Create a jobseeker profile, follow companies you are interested in, join support groups in your area of interest, and network with employers and other jobseekers.

Get some training

Jobs Victoria has five Work and Learning Centres in Victoria that can assist with training, job hunting and advice. Find your local Work and Learning Centre here

TAFE Skills and Jobs Centres

Get an apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Support

Department of Education and Training (DET)

Australian Apprenticeships Training Information Service / free call 1800 338 022.

Australian Apprenticeship Pathways

Search for an Australian Apprenticeships Centre

Get in touch with us

Contact us here to ask a question or seek further assistance