Job searching: be prepared

Too often job seekers think ‘background research’ means some internet surfing the night before an interview, but there is much more to it. Doing your homework is essential to effective job hunting.


Information gathering

Background research is about gathering the latest facts and figures related to your future career. Being equipped with valuable information will improve your application, interview performance and career choices.



  • recent industry history and future direction
  • major industry players and how they compare
  • recruitment details of potential employers (e.g. how many graduates they hire, how they recruit etc.)
  • company culture and working environment
  • graduate job market growth areas
  • industry leaders and people you could contact for advice and mentoring
  • industry or professional events and conferences
  • career path options.



Part of the research process is finding the right information resources. Common sources include:

  • university careers services
  • internet jobs sites and search engines
  • newspapers (many have pages devoted to specific industries/sectors on particular days of the week)
  • reputable journals/magazines in your industry or profession
  • university lecturers, faculties and alumni offices
  • professional associations and industry bodies
  • your personal network
  • informational interviews.


Job hunting online

It’s likely you’ve already spent considerable time online during your job search – after all, you’ve already come here! The internet is a primary resource for jobseekers. Where else can you go for such a wealth of information at the click of a mouse? To maximse how the wonderful web can work for you, you need to use it wisely. Indiscriminate use of the web can actually hinder your job hunting efforts, so follow these tips.


Be sure to…

  • Check more than one job site and find out if there are any industry-specific sites relevant to your career goals.
  • Bookmark and check sites regularly.
  • Consider making use of email/SMS job notification facilities.
  • Be creative with keyword searches.
  • New sites are launched constantly, so keep your eyes and ears open for new jobseeking tools.


Online applications

Most large private and public sector organisations advertise positions on their websites and use online application forms as well. For more information on online applications, check out the “Your Application” section of this site.


Useful job search and career information sites


Whirlpool forums: (Check out the ‘Graduate Programs’ forum and chat with your peers to find out the latest on many employers around Australia.)


New Zealand:

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