Career Transition

Mapping out your job search strategy!

By: Jon Hazelton - Bravo Careers; Haley Zilberberg - Digital Bridge

Whether you’re looking for a new job because you want to take a step in your career or because of a redundancy, it’s important to create a job search plan to maximise your efforts. Depending on where you live, lots of jobs could be added every day in your area on job listing websites. Your time is important, therefore the best way to start job search activities is to put some structure into the process.


What goes into a job search plan?

There are some key factors in a good job search plan or strategy. Here are some things you’ll want to consider as you get started and support your job search.


  1. Treat you job search like a job, give it your attention and time. Each application should be tailored for the job ad, most roles have different requirements, does your CV and cover letter speak to the reader and tell them why you are right for the role? 
  2. Schedule time for your job search activities and create a healthy habit in doing so. Applying for jobs takes time, but try not to spend all day searching, allow two hours a day to conduct search, research and applying.
  3. Keep track and monitor your applications. Theres nothing worse applying for 20 jobs and when you get a call you can’t remember which role it is for. Job hack – save the job ad’s as a pdf or screen shot so you can refer back to them. 
  4. Assess which job search platform is best for your career goals and trajectory. There are a lot of different platforms for job advertisements. Focus on the website which has the most similar listing to your chosen area/career of interest. 
  5. Use the job search filtering options and functions and to your benefit. You can filter by job title, location, salary range, work type, company, industry classification, plus you are able to on most sites set up email notifications for new listings to help you with your search.
  6. Be mindful of the date the job advertisement was posted. Most websites allow job ads to stay on their sites for 30 days, refine your search to job ads listed for the last 14 days – it is more likely that these roles are still in the active recruitment phase. 
  7. Do a search and review of your online presence. Do you need to change the privacy setting on some of your social media accounts or update your profile on platforms such as LinkedIn? Employers most likely will look you up on search engines. Do a quick audit of yourself and make sure your publicly available information is up to date and supportive of your job search. 
  8. Be ready to reply to employers and recruiters who contact you once you start to apply for roles as the initial screening processes can happen quickly. This is a big one! Only answer your phone when you can talk, not at the supermarket checkout or while distracted on another tasks. First impressions count.


Some job search websites in Australia

If you’ve applied for a job in the last couple of years, you’ll be familiar with some of the most well-known websites for jobseekers. This list isn’t exhaustive, but some key websites are, Indeed, Seek, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Jora, CareerOne. In addition to these many organisations, government departments, and councils manage the recruitment process directly and have their own dedicated websites as example apsjobs.gov.au


Think outside the box

Sometimes in our efforts when searching for a particular job title the results can be baffling and very broad. Example, if you are searching ‘mechanical engineer’ – jobs with either of those two keywords will appear in your results. You can then refine further by industry classification, but what can also be useful is keyword search for your technical or transferable skills. Examples, SAP, programming languages like ‘python’, risk management, budgeting, scheduling, manager, or supervisor.

Create a list of possible keywords to help filter your search results. This can really help in finding a job you’ll thrive in and potentially in a workplace you wouldn’t have considered in your initial job search.


Be specific in your response and application

Job postings can get hundreds of applications. Mentioned previously, it’s important that you make your application stand out. Don’t send the same stock standard CV and cover letter every time you apply for a role. Take the time to respond to key selection criteria, desirable criteria, and writing a cover letter that will make the recruiter want to know more about you. Lead with why you are right for the role!


Recruiters, job agencies, labour hire firms and career consultants

If you are getting a bit stuck with your job search endeavors, look up local recruitment firms, career consultants, or job agencies. Be curious about what service and support they can offer in your job search activities. 


Conduct research on your local market information for your job search

While job searching take note of which companies are advertising a lot, this is generally an indication of growth. Other useful sources for searching on economic growth are, nationally the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website, or your local council area economic forecast reports. This will give you information on the industry sectors that are most prominent in your area, plus predictions on growth. 


Finally, but not to be forgotten – networking!!

Most people generally hate the idea of networking. Eww – the thought of promoting oneself can make our hair frizz. The argument thought, whilst job searching you need to be your best advocate, plus get others on board in support of your endeavors.




Interesting sidenote

Anecdotal feedback from HR processionals and recruitment consultants when applying for roles it’s good to send across your application response either at 9am or at 3pm. The reason for this is the person monitoring the applicant replies is likely to be in front of their computers at this time. However, applying for jobs it is a fast-moving beast, if you see a job that is a match, go for it at any time of day. 


Bravo!  Please like, share, comment – is there a strategy or tip you have found useful? 



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