Step 1 – Know what you offer, learn how to identify suitable jobs and plan your Job Search

Know what you offer 

Before you start applying for jobs, it’s a good idea to research the jobs that interest you and prepare your Casual Job Tracker so that you can easily keep track of all the different positions you apply for. This will help you know what to say when you receive phone interviews!

Here are some quick tips to help you identify suitable jobs:

  • When you search for jobs online using sites such as Seek, Indeed or Jora, select the Casual or Contract option and filter your results to the last 7 days. This means that you’ll see the companies with the most urgent need.
  • Remember, casual roles offer temporary or as-needed employment. You may only receive a few shifts/days’ work per week. Contract roles offer work for a fixed term  e.g. 3 months but you are not usually entitled to benefits that permanent staff receive.
  • Make sure to look for jobs where you already have some previous experience or that do not require any experience. For example, if you have previously worked in a retail shop you can look for a retail sales assistant job or, if you’ve worked in a restaurant then you can look for a kitchen hand job or wait staff (waitress/waiter) position.
  • When you look at job ads for jobs that interest you or that are similar to what you’ve done in the past, read the position description carefully. In the section where it describes the Duties or Responsibilities, look at the tasks and if you’ve done these, add them to your own CV or Cover Letter.
  • If you notice that there’s a skill/requirement that you’re missing for any of the jobs you want to apply for, research how you can develop or learn this and how much time and/or money it will require. You can always enrol in a FREE online course!
  • Getting a Casual/Contract position can be a great way to get your foot in the door at some big Australian companies. If you’re looking for a more professional job instead of doing low-paid casual work, remember that once you find a casual/contract role and do a good job, you’ll meet people working within the company who will quickly realise how much more you have to offer. Then, if there are more professional job opportunities they may suggest you apply because they know you already and trust you. You will then need to prepare a Professional CV which is different to your Casual CV.


Know how to present yourself and feel prepared

  • When you go out to look for a casual job or, when you attend an interview make sure to always appear clean and professional.
  • Make sure you dress wearing appropriate clothes for the type of job you’ve applied for.
  • Speak using a strong and clear voice and always practice common sentences and questions. For example, if you see a job advertised in the window of a shop or restaurant, you can go inside and say:
    • “Is the Manager here? I’m interested in applying for the position that’s available.”
    • “Can I give you a copy of my CV? I’d like to apply for the Sales Assistant/Waiter position.”

It’s always important to prepare so you show that you can communicate well!

After you’ve given your CV to anyone, either face to face or applied for a job online, you will need to be prepared to receive phone calls or emails from employers. This means you need to:

  • Record a clear voicemail message and, always remember, that anytime you receive a call it could be a job opportunity.
    • “Hi, this is (Your Name). Please leave a message and I’ll call you back as soon as I can. Thanks!”
  • Make sure to answer your phone and if you’re busy and someone sends you a voice or a text message, always respond as quickly as you can. Never leave it more than 24 hours.
  • When you speak to an employer or recruiter on the phone, make sure to speak clearly and respond fully to the questions that they ask. If you miss a call from an employer or recruiter and they leave a message, you can call back and say:
    • “Hi, this is (Your Name). You left me a message about the job. I wanted to get back to you as quickly as possible.”

Here are some tips to help you find a Casual Job quickly:

  1. Only apply for jobs where you have all or most of the required qualifications, skills and experience included in the position description.
  2. Present the best version of yourself in your CV and Cover Letter (if required) by using accurate and professional English and show how you meet the requirements of the position description.
  3. After you’ve applied for any job, always be prepared to receive a phone interview or a phone call/email to invite you to a face-to-face interview or a trial shift. If you want the job, be available and respond quickly!