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Going to Market

Going to Market

Work is out there. Some is easy to find... but you may not want that work. Some is harder to find... you may have to go looking!


Lots of work is advertised where everyone can see. And around 80% of work is not advertised. Like sailing around an iceberg, you need to look at both the obvious and hidden work markets in your search.

These are the obvious places to look for work:

  • Seek
  • Trade Me Jobs
  • All recruitment company websites
  • Company websites
  • Job alerts on major job boards such as SEEK. Set-up your profile and they will send you a daily job alert of new listings that satisfy your criteria. To sign up for OCG Job Alerts, click here.
Newspaper advertisements:
  • Which newspapers have jobs advertised eg: NZ Herald, Dominion Post, Sunday Star Times, etc
  • Which are the best days of the week for jobs?
  • Check these newspapers too - Local community papers, employment/career section in the Weekend newspapers
Recruitment Consultancies:
  • You'll need to register at employment agencies. This means phoning, sending your resume and going to an interview if selected. If they know of work for you, they will send you to an employer later. Often they have temporary, contract or part time work too.
  • There are many consultancies out there. Some specialise in one particular industry or discipline, others are more generalist.
  • Consultancies are paid by the employer - not you. So if you are asked to pay, this should be a huge alarm bell (in fact, it's illegal!)
  • A good place to identify the consultancies that may be most useful to you is to have a look on the main job boards to see who is advertising roles that you are interested in. Then research their website to see if there is any benefit in registering with them.
  • As a rule of thumb, pick several consultancies but don't spray your resume all over town. This is a little like selling your house. If you multi-list, you give everyone the opportunity, but no-one the responsibility to sell you. The same applies for your career, although ultimately you are responsible for your job search.
  • Jot down the name of a few consultancies who may look for the sort of work you are interested in. You could use the telephone directory/internet to get more information.
Other Obvious Markets:
  • Trade Magazines - many businesses have their own magazine. Some of those magazines advertise work available. Find out what magazines may be useful for you to look through. Ask for help at the library or from someone who works in that business.
  • Company notice boards, factory walls. Ask your friends to look on the notice boards at their work too.
  • Just by walking or driving around, you may find companies looking for people.
Radio and Television:
  • Sometimes companies will advertise this way. Keep your eyes and ears open for these opportunities.

    Advertising is often a last resort. The obvious work market is where the general public go to find work. You compete with everyone else for this work. So you need to look at the hidden work market too.

  • Networking is using your family, friends and workmates to help you uncover the work. It's not asking for jobs, but asking for help and information about the company - who you know, what they know, how they know, and so on.
  • Networking works when you phone or visit, ask your network of friends and/or workmates for information about the work you're looking for. Ask them for phone numbers of 2 people who may help.
Go direct to employers:
  • You can phone or visit places that have not advertised to see if they have work available.
  • Good workers are often quite hard to find, so you could be doing your targets companies a favour by letting them know you are available.
  • Remember to prepare a script of what you will say about yourself, know what you want, keep going to get the right person, be open to new ideas, asking by phone
  • Don't be scared to pick up the phone and ask if a company has work available. It's probably the quickest way to find out and harder for them to say NO to you on the phone than it is to send you a rejection email.
  • Use the telephone directory to find the companies.
  • Take time to prepare yourself mentally to make the calls.
  • Don't be distracted - use a quiet room.
  • Keep asking until you get the right person.
  • Remember to send in your resume when they ask for it and follow-up when you say you will.
Asking by mail:
  • Direct approaches out of the blue often work, but you may have to write to lots of people.
  • Try telephoning first.
  • Keep a copy of everything you send so you can follow-up.
  • Send your latest resume or fact sheet, a great covering letter and details of how they can contact you. Make sure your email address and voicemail message are commercially appropriate and that they create a professional image of you.
  • Follow up three days later to make sure they got your material.
Asking in person:
  • Depending on the type and level of work you are seeking, it may be appropriate to go door-to-door, building-to-building or down the street choosing places you'd like to work.
  • Or walk in to your target companies and ask for work.
  • Look as though you are keen to work. Your personal presentation and conduct are as important as they would be in an interview.
  • Ask if they have work coming up.
  • See if you can find out who the decision maker is in the area of the organisation that you would like to work in. Ask if they are available or try to make a time to call them.
  • Ask if they know where there is work available.
  • Leave your phone number, at least, with them.
Self advertisements:
  • Some people advertise themselves for work.
  • You may consider doing this, to let more people know you are available.
  • For many types of work, the local newspaper is better than the bigger newspapers.
  • Can you think of anywhere to put a sign or an advertisement saying you are looking for work? Perhaps the notice board outside your supermarket?
  • You will uncover work.
  • Keep going, even when you get knock backs.
  • Don't take it personally when you are rejected.
By now you should have a list of:
  • Target companies to approach
  • Obvious places to look for work
  • People who may be able to help you, and
  • Employment agencies to call
That's plenty to get you going!
Finding a Job - Where do I start?