The Job Hunt

Posted by Studentbox user
on 14/07/2016 at in  Going to uni

After you finish school, one of the first things on your mind may be “how do I get a job for the summer to start earning some sweet, sweet cash?”

Here’s the thing: if you leave it until you’ve finished school and exams to start looking, chances are that a lot of the positions will have already been filled by similarly cash poor school leavers. So, the best thing to do is to get in early, and get ahead of the pack!

Things to remember:

  • If you can’t apply before exams, you might still have a chance to get work, so don’t give up!
  • After the initial rush for jobs, new spots may open as people realise they do not wish to continue
  • Some industries (for example retail) may increase staff over Christmas and New Year, while others will reduce staff as it is their ‘quiet period’. In January as they reopen, there may be people on leave so it’s a good time to apply!

It's best not to leave applying to jobs until you're in the middle of exams...

The first step is actually finding a job to apply for. Now, believe me, back in year 10 when I was looking for a job, I was pretty reluctant to have my first job be in a fast food restaurant. The idea of being around oily hot food all day and serving customers who were probably pretty impatient and hungry, while getting paid a tiny amount, wasn’t very attractive to me. But I did it anyway, and it wasn’t that bad. Here’s my point: if you want your first job to be in a high paying, exclusive, clothes boutique, you may need to be a bit more realistic.

Where do you go to find a job?

  • A lot of stores will have an online careers tab you can visit to fill out an application. It can be a repetitive task, so my recommendation is to put on some good music while you’re filling them out so that you don’t procrastinate as much ;)
  • Another option is job-hunting websites like, where you can set preferences and locations to narrow down the range of jobs displayed.
  • Walk around your local shopping centre and take a look for any ‘positions vacant’ signs. These are usually placed at the bottom of the window out the front of the store. Make a note of them, and you can either take along resumes to give out as you see them, or hand them in to the store later.
  • Talk to your friends and family, and let them know you’re looking for a job over the summer – they might know someone who wants a young employee to train up, and it’s always nice to have someone you know at a new job!
  • Even if stores don’t have any positions vacant when you’re searching, it’s worth dropping off a resume to places you’re interested in (cold calling)

Note: Don’t feel bad if you don’t hear back straightaway, or if you get rejected a few times. At the end of the day, if you drop a resume off to the places you want and never hear anything back, all you have lost is some time and a few pieces of paper. Finding a job can be a long, difficult process, but if you persevere, you’ll be rewarded.

What do you need to have prepared for the job hunt?

  • A resume or CV (curriculum vitae): the main document, summarising your experience and details, interests and referees.
  • A cover letter (optional): a short, one page document, introducing yourself to the manager and outlining your interest in the job, and why you think they should hire you.
  • Eagerness and enthusiasm to learn! Even without prior work experience, showing that you’ve done your research into the company can go a long way.
  • Examples of how you’ve shown certain skills (teamwork, leadership, initiative) through things like community work, volunteering, and school activities/sports

Releated discussions:

Content courtesy of previous Studentbox members


  • admin
    Studentbox User
    I'll just like to add that searching for jobs on your respective university unihub/careerhub is a great way to find casual jobs and internships. While still competitive, the pool of competitors is much less.
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