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Tis the season to look for work

‘Tis the season to look for work

Creative approach needed for job seeking in tough work climate

Career Services is encouraging young people looking for work these holidays to get creative in their approach to job seeking.

David Bradbury, Area Manager Central South for Career Services, says that young people finding it difficult to find their first full-time job, or holiday work between semesters, should utilise their personal networks to access the ‘informal job market’.

“There’s no doubt it’s a tough time to be leaving school; the number of graduate jobs has dropped by up to a half since last year, according to universities, and you might have been told you are overqualified for a position you thought was suitable,” says Mr Bradbury.

Mr Bradbury offers several tips on hunting for work in times when jobs are scarce.

“You can often create the best work opportunities using your own networks. Put together a list of all the people you know and let them know that you are job searching. Start with the people you’re closest to; family, friends and relatives, neighbours, previous employers and teachers.

“Next, identify your army of helpers - everyone you know whose business it is to know others – the personal trainer, the sports coach or the hairstylist. The more people you talk to, the further your network will extend, even to people you don’t know.”

Mr Bradbury says that many employers often prefer you to approach them directly rather than be overwhelmed with CVs.

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“Some of the best jobs are never advertised. There’s evidence that suggests that up to half the available jobs out there are found via the informal job market.”

For those students seeking short-term holiday and seasonal jobs, Mr Bradbury suggests thinking about the jobs that could help with chosen areas of study

“Don’t think of your summer work as just a casual job. Developing a good work record in your holiday work can lead to a permanent role within an organisation.”

Mr Bradbury suggests these ideas for getting holiday and seasonal work experience:

  • Grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and retail stores often hire extra workers in the lead-up to Christmas, and future jobs will require good customer service skills which you can develop now.

  • Beach communities and popular vacation spots also thrive during holiday times, making them good places to look for job vacancies.

  • Horticultural and agricultural industries are often busy during school holidays and may be able to offer you short-term, seasonal work.

If paid work continues to be unavailable, Mr Bradbury suggests finding some volunteer work that is fulfilling and relevant for continuing your skill development, building a work history and giving you references.

“You can volunteer to lead or help supervise in holiday programmes conducted by the local YWCA or YMCA or the City Council or District Council. Or, if you know of a farming family, volunteer to work on the farm in return for your board.”

Finally, Mr Bradbury says that no matter what kind of work you do, you should make sure your CV is up to date and that it includes non-work related activities.

For more information on job-seeking tools and services in tough times, visit the Career Services web site at


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