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Applying for Jobs


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Guidelines for Success

Applying for jobs can be time consuming and emotionally draining. Job seekers must avoid wasted hours trawling through job ads and compiling poorly matched applications. When applying for jobs, we recommend job seekers follow these seven guidelines.

1. Define Job Search Goals

Job search goals are often restricted by your need for immediate income. If you have recently lost employment, immediate income is vital to continue paying your bills and living expenses. By default, your most important job search goal will be to find employment as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you are currently employed, you have the luxury of more time to focus on goals including:

  • Career Advancement
  • Career Change
  • Schedule Change
  • Increased/Decreased Working Hours
  • Increased Salary
  • Geographical Relocation

Before you begin applying for jobs, write down your job search goals. Written goals will help you stay focused, reduce wasted time and maximise the effectiveness of your job search.

2. Job Search with Efficiency

Why spend hours reading irrelevant job advertisements when you can hone in on opportunities in your chosen field? Ensure your daily job search is quick and efficient by concentrating on industry specific job boards. These are an excellent resource for skilled professionals applying for jobs within a target industry.

Another efficiency tip is to select targeted keywords when searching online. All online job boards include a search function. Take a few minutes to carefully select search keywords. Good keywords will return high-quality results matching your job search goals.

3. Make a Pre-Application Phone Call

A large majority of job advertisements don’t display the salary package on offer. If one of your goals is increased income, make a precursory phone call to investigate the salary offer. If the package meets your needs, go ahead and compile your application. If not, you have just saved yourself a few wasted hours.

4. Prepare and Customize

Discovering an advertisement for your ideal job can be exciting and overwhelming. It is important you are well prepared in order to apply quickly. To facilitate a stress-free application process:


  • Have your résumé and draft cover-letter ready in advance
  • Customise your cover letter (and résumé if necessary) for each job application
  • Ask a friend to proof read each application before sending
  • Take care to follow directions given in the job ad

5. Apply and Follow Up

Once you have sent a job application, write a note in your diary to follow up by a certain date. When the date arrives, make a courtesy phone call to check that your application was received.

6. Be Ready

A successful job application usually results in a scheduled interview. Interviews are often requested at short notice, so don’t leave your preparation until the last minute. Follow our Job Interview page and be ready in advance.

Alternatively, if your job application is unsuccessful, you might receive a courtesy “thanks, but no thanks” letter or phone call. It’s important to be ready for this too. Whilst discouraging, don’t let rejection knock the wind out of your sails.

7. Keep Applying for Jobs

Consider sticking to a job search schedule. Allocate a set time each day to search and apply for jobs. To avoid missed opportunities, sign up for job board email notifications. These automatically let you know when new job ads are posted. Until you receive a formal job offer, stay positive and continue to search and apply for jobs.

Visit our Careers Resources section for articles related to your job search.

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