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Applying for work

Creating job opportunities

There are plenty of things you can do to help you build a network, obtain references and build experiences and skills. Use these job search strategies if you are just starting to look for work, you are returning to work and if you are changing career. Here are a few suggestions for informal job search strategies:

Become a volunteer. There are many organisations seeking assistance from volunteers. Being a volunteer expands your networks, gives you valuable experiences and helps you to gain new skills. To find a service you can volunteer with try google.com.au and simply search for 'Volunteers Australia' and you will see the vast array of websites that result. You could also approach your local community centre for some contacts.

Attend some courses. Any opportunity to build your social skills and communication skills, or develop your technical skills will be beneficial to you. These courses can be anything from formal certified college courses, to informal personal development courses run in your local community centre.

Self-employment. If you are considering self-employment, talk to your nearest Business Enterprise Centre, the Small Business Development Corporation, and anyone you know who is successfully self-employed.

Surf the internet looking for resources. There are mind-boggling amounts of information that can be helpful to you, from all over the world. Everything from building resumes to course information, to information about jobs to self-employment - you name it, it's all there.

Work experience. This helps you get into the pattern of getting to work and operating in the work culture, particularly if you have been out of work for some time or have not had a job before. It gives you a chance to try out that job as well as getting to know what is involved 'behind the scenes'. You are also getting to know the employer and work mates, while at the same time they are getting to know you. You are gaining valuable experience that will all add to your skills base and will look good on your resume.

Get a job. It is always easier to get a job when you've already got one. Many employers would rather take on a person who is already working than a person who hasn't worked for some time. Look at one job as being a stepping-stone to another. Set your sights on the work that you really want and if you don't have any success, do something else while you keep an eye out for the one you are really after.

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