Job search strategies

Developing a job search strategy will increase your chances of successfully locating suitable employment opportunities. There are a range of methods you can use as part of your strategy to access both unadvertised hidden and advertised employment opportunities.

Using multiple job search methods is generally more effective than using only one or two. The internet should not be your only means of searching for jobs. Directly approaching employers (speculative applications), talking to people, asking questions, and being able to quickly and easily describe who you are (your interests, skills, experience) and what you’re looking for is important. Conduct Information interviews and don’t be afraid to network!

Learn more about job search strategies by downloading The Job Search Process handout.

8 keys to a successful job search:

  1. Establish a plan: aim to send out a certain number of applications per week.
  2. Stay organised: allow sufficient time for the job search and keep records of all your applications and related job advertisements.
  3. Research your target industry and identify your preferred employers within that industry. Sources of information include industry publications, professional associations, the university library's resource guide for researching organisations and industries, organisations' websites and annual reports, as well as information from the press using databases such as Factiva.
  4. Prepare a professional resume that clearly demonstrates your capabilities and the value you would bring to an employer. Make sure you tailor your resume to each role you apply for.
  5. Tailor your cover letter for each role you apply for, ensure you briefly address all the key selection criteria and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
  6. Build and foster relationships with key people in your target industry and/or employing organisation. Don't forget, 80% of jobs are found through word of mouth.
  7. Be open to opportunities and think laterally about how you can use and promote your skills.
  8. Stay confident: engage in activities that will keep your energy levels high as well as maintain your focus on the job search.