Job Searching Tips for School Leavers from our CEO

You have just graduated from High School – congratulations! But now it is time for you to begin looking for work, whether it’s full-time, part-time or casual, our CEO has put together some advice for you which may help you on your journey ahead.

Going from a student to a job seeker can be a big change. Maybe you worked part time during high school, but now it is time for you to figure out where to now. Do you continue working in this job? Do you search for a more rewarding job? Are you about to work for the first time even?

Here is my advice:

Consider what career pathway you are interested in pursuing

  • Are you interested in a trade qualification? Look into whether a traineeship or apprenticeship is for you. These types of work allow you to earn an income while undertaking a qualification.  
  • Do you want to study? Then perhaps a part time or casual job is best suited for you
  • Unsure of what pathway you want to undertake? This is fine, not everyone will know what pathway they want to take. But finding a job in the meantime is important

There is assistance for school leavers from Federal and State Government, community organisations like Jobs Queensland and Registered Training Organisations to name a few that are here to help you.

Once you have established your preferred areas of employment it becomes much easier to focus on your end goal.

Your resume

Yes, you will need to have a resume prepared – this is the first thing an employer will see when you apply for their vacancy. You may have gained some skills at School or skills from casual work, these should be listed on your Resume.  

There are also other personal attributes you may possess which are extremely important to list as well, such as being able to work as part of a team, problem solving skills, the ability to adapt to change, positive attitude, a friendly personality, etc. Employers look out for these attributes as they need people in their organisation that have these, and they will likely choose someone with these skills over someone who does not have them. Do not forget to always double check for spelling mistakes!

For tips on how to write successful job application, head to Tips on Writing a Successful Resume

Job hunting

When job searching it is important to set up a routine, try not to stray into bad habits such as staying up all night gaming or watching T.V. and avoid sleeping in. Searching for a job is a full-time job, so set up a calendar and develop a job search diary outlining your job search strategy. This could include canvassing people you know, establishing networks such as LinkedIn, check out job boards such as ours and remember some larger organisations have their own Human Resource page on their websites.

Everyone is different about how they will search for jobs; however, it is important to follow these key steps to motivate yourself for the hunt

  1. Create a to-do list and be specific with your tasks. Make them smaller and more manageable
  2. Look up your career role models, where they are, how they got there. Even ask them questions. This could be on LinkedIn, from High School or your past jobs
  3. Seek constructive criticism from your friends and family. Honest feedback is important for growing
  4. Write down your career goals and the steps it will take to get there
  5. And lastly, take a day off if you are feeling burnt out. Start again tomorrow.


The next step in the job search process is the job interview so make sure that the personal attributes listed on your resume are then demonstrated in the interview.

Once you start applying for jobs, interviews will start happening and, it is important to be prepared. I have personally interviewed hundreds of people over the 30 years I have been in the employment industry, and I can say that whilst you may have all the skills and qualifications required for the job if you cannot communicate or if you come across negative, your chances at gaining that job are low. 

Just remember once you get a foot in the door to an interview the rest is up to you and how you perform. Performing mock interviews with friends can also help. 

Finally, try to always have a positive attitude, be keen to learn and seek feedback, be clear when communicating and be motivated to succeed. Good luck!

Jamie Burke
CEO – Jobs Queensland

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