Job Hunting Methods

Whether you are looking for work experience, part time work or a graduate job, there are a range of ways to search for jobs.

Only about 20% of jobs are advertised – the other 80% are found by direct contact and networking.  So answering job advertisements is not enough!

There are many jobs advertised on numerous websites. Be aware that you are competing with a large number of other job applicants, so the chances of being successful are smaller than if you make direct contact with organisations you would like to work with. The fact that around 80 percent of jobs are not advertised suggests that in the majority of cases people find work by other methods.

See information sheets:

Job hunting methods 2018
The Words to Say when Job Hunting 2018

Approaching Organisations directly

Start by making a list of the organisations you would like to work for. Find out who they are by searching online with key words, in industry related magazines, professional/trade directories and by talking with people. Before making contact, make sure you have researched what they do and where they are located.

You can send your CV and cover letter to the person who hires the staff in the organisation, then follow up with a phone call a few days later to see if there may be any possible opportunities.

Script for approaching employers directly

You can also approach organisations in person, hoping to meet with the Manager or the person who hires the staff. If they are not available and you leave your CV & cover letter for them, make sure you ask for their name so that you can follow up with a phone call or another visit quite soon afterwards.


A large proportion of graduates successfully obtain work through friends or contacts. Let people know you are looking for work and the areas in which you are interested. Building up contacts in your field of interest through temporary, part-time, voluntary and holiday work is a useful approach.

Joining a professional organisation relevant to your qualification can expose you to new developments in the area and to people working in that area. Unitec’s academic staff are often helpful with industry contacts.

Informational Interviewing

This is a great way to gain first hand information from people working in the area you are interested in. The idea is that you interview people with questions that will help you gain more understanding of their work.

See the information sheet  Informational Interviewing

Employment agencies and personnel consultants

Generally, employment agencies are looking for people with a minimum of several years work experience in their field. There is a list of consultants on-line, with many specialising in certain industries. They find suitable candidates for positions employers  wish to fill. They may keep your CV on file if you have qualifications and skills that are in demand. See Links for a list of ten agencies.

In summary

Proactive job hunting takes time. A good deal of thought and planning is required and numerous avenues of employment must be explored.

It can be hard work visiting organisations, ringing one employer after another and putting on a smile and speaking to many different people especially when there is no result straight away. Only do this for short periods at a time to keep your energy levels up.

Having a support person or job hunting buddy can be really helpful. Ask a friend to contact you regularly to check how you are going and to be available for you to call them with regular updates on your progress. You are also welcome to have several one to one appointments with staff at the Career Centre to support you in your job hunting.

Remember…   The wider you spread your net, the greater the chance of success in your job hunting. It is certainly never too early to start.

Useful things you can do to get started! 

  • Attend a Job Search workshop to hear what works for other students and about the best ways to find work!
  • Chat to us! Make an individual appointment to discuss your job search situation more in depth.
  • Subscribe to receive alerts of new opportunities e.g.

Career Development Team website  for vacancies for Unitec students and graduates.

Student Job Search for part time and holiday work for current tertiary students

NxtStep – graduate jobs and internships in New Zealand