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Getting a job for the first time or looking to leaving where you work to find a new job can be exciting as well as daunting. Being prepared will also help you feel confident and set you up for success from
Day 1.

Tips for finding a job

Make sure you have an up-to-date resume. Your resume should be 1 page and include the following details:

  • Name and contact details
  • When you are available for work
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Work Experience (if relevant)
  • Achievements and Awards
  • Activities (Volunteering, Hobbies, Interests)
  • References (if you haven’t worked before, include name and contact details of a teacher,
  • coach, or character reference)
  • There are templates for preparing resumes through Microsoft Office documents and online.

Finding your first job:
Most young people find their first jobs in retail and hospitality. This is a great introduction to the world of work because you learn customer service skills, time management, managing stock, interacting with co-workers and basic transactions.

Look local: Look around your neighbourhood for cafes, shops, bakeries, pharmacies, local tourist attraction or anywhere else you have seen young people working.

Approach small businesses by asking to speak with the manager. Enquire if they are hiring any casual staff at the moment and no matter what the answer, leave your resume and ask them to consider speaking to you should an opportunity come up. If you don’t hear back, that’s okay! They might not be hiring, need special skills or have other staff they are already committed to.

For larger shops or retail chains, online applications are the norm. You apply online and then if you make their shortlist will be required to attend individual or group interviews.

Ask friends and family for help: Let your friends and family know you are looking for casual work and ask them to keep an eye out for any opportunities that might be suitable for you. Often this results in word-of-mouth recommendations or people seeing an opportunity that they will let you know about. Make sure you follow up and let them know the outcome!

Tips for the interview:

Prepare for questions you might get asked during the interview like:

  • Tell us about yourself?
  • What are your interests and what are you good at?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • When are you available?
  • Can you give us an example of when you used your organisational (or other) skills?

You can prepare by downloading some typical interview questions and get a friend or family member to practice with you. This is called a ‘mock’ interview and it will help you handle the real situation much better! Remember to dress neatly to make a good impression.

Remember to be yourself and stay confident. Smile and answer questions honestly and briefly.

If you are worried about your hand difference, practice what you might respond if asked. It is natural for an employer to want to know you have the capability to do the job you are applying for. Even if your condition has no bearing on your ability to do the job, it’s up to you to show employers that you are the best person for the job. Try to think about the job requirements and how you will approach the job or what adjustments (if any) might be needed.

Consider being open about your hand difference. If you volunteer the information at interview, the employer may see you as a confident person. You can describe how you have handled challenges in the past and say something like ‘nothing will keep me from doing my best in this job.’

Helpful websites:


myfuture is Australia’s national online career information and exploration service that assists career planning, career pathways and work transitions. myfuture provides information and support for career development for individuals, and for those who support or influence career choices. To get started, visit the myfuture website.

Your rights and obligations:

Fortunately, there are some great resources available to help you understand your rights and obligations. The Australian Government FairWork website has lots of great information especially for young workers and students.

Transition to Work

Transition to Work is a new service to support young people aged 15-21 on their journey to employment. The service will provide intensive pre-employment support to improve the work-readiness of young people and help them into work (including apprenticeships and traineeships) or education.

To find your local Transition to Work provider, visit the Find a Provider page on the jobactive website or view a list of successful Transition to Work service providers