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Looking for a job


When you start to look for a job you first need to write a resume. A resume (also known as a ‘curriculum vitae’ or CV), provides a summary of your qualifications, skills and experience so that a potential employer knows something about your background and achievements before they interview you.  It’s a good idea to write your resume before you start job hunting and then keep it up-to-date with all the new skills and experience you gain with each job.

If you haven’t worked before and are coming straight from school, you should include in your resume any skills, experiences or achievements that outline you as a person and highlight the positive things you can bring to a potential employer. You should include any:


  • school or community awards you have received
  • involvement in activities such as the school band, footy team or choir
  • work experience you have completed while at school
  • any membership of a club, association or community organisation.


( [University of Sydney Careers Centre]


After detailing your work experience, skills, education and contact details in your resume, you also need to include your referees. A referee is a person who may provide details of your character, education, employment history and suitability for the job to a prospective employer. Referees are usually required as part of an application for a job. It’s a good idea to include referees in your resume, even if you haven’t worked before. You can ask teachers or another person who has dealt with you, perhaps the coach of your sports team, or the conductor of your school choir to provide a reference for you.  You should always advise your referees that you are looking for work so they are prepared to answer questions about you from a potential employer. Often employers prefer to contact referees via telephone.

Job description

Many organisations who advertise jobs offer to send out a job description to prospective employees to give them a better idea of the purpose of the job, the type of work that is required and what it involves. When you want to apply for a job you can call first and ask to be sent a job description if one is available.

Job interview

After seeing your resume, an employer may contact you and ask you to come in for an interview. The interview gives both yourself and the employer a chance to discuss your skills and suitability for the job.

If you are offered an interview:

  • dress smartly, be neat and clean, don’t chew gum or smoke
  • be on time 
  • be polite: smile, say thank you, shake hands, don’t swear
  • use the proper names of the person you are speaking with (eg Mr Brown, Mrs Black or the person’s first name if they have said you can use their first name)
  • make direct eye contact with the interviewer and don’t look at the ground
  • try to be relaxed, speak clearly and positively, ask questions about the job that you have prepared beforehand
  • listen carefully and answer the questions asked
  • turn off your mobile phone, so you are not interrupted
  • have copies of your resume available. [Young People at Work homepage] [University of New South Wales Careers Education] [University of Sydney Careers Centre]



Copyright © 2011 Money Stuff

An initiative from NSW Fair Trading


Last Updated: 26 November 2012

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This information must not be relied upon as legal advice. For more information about this topic, refer to the appropriate legislation.

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