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Identifying Career and Employment Opportunities

How to identify potential career / employment areas and sources of vacancies.

It is strongly Recommend that you look at what is in The Job Search Assistance / Resource Centre - includes free unique job search information aimed to assist you to get that job of  your choice.

This section, Identifying Career and Employment Opportunities, is extremely useful for getting information on your industry, where the jobs are, and material to assist you to make a career choice by;

  • Taking control of your career by researching industries and companies that have employment or career opportunities in your skill area or occupation/trade.

  • Using this same research to decide on which skills you need to learn.

  • Gaining an insight into the labour market to identify potential employers / jobs.

  • Assisting you to develop an action plan to provide a framework for your career development or job search. See Action Plan

Why bother with employment market research and action plan to identify career / job opportunities?

  • Being proactive and in control leads to a higher level of confidence.

  • Control the job search process by targeting your job search efforts making your job search easier and more manageable.

  • Save you money and time - minimising overall job search time and reducing time spent unemployed.

  • You can find career or job opportunities in areas where there is less competition, increasing chances of being hired.

  • Increasing knowledge of your industry leads to better interview performance.

  • See what employer's want so you can address their needs more effectively to possibly gain an interview.  See Job Applications

By the time you have completed your employment market research, your approach, no matter what process you use to find career and job opportunities, will be far more effective.

Don't get bogged down in research.

  • Don't overdo the research at the expense of applying the knowledge.

  • Know when to stop and make sure your reading is relevant.

  • Decide how much time are you going to invest in your job search? 

  • Set goals with timeframes.

  • Write them down.

Get organised

Keep comprehensive records.


For more comprehensive information about developing a research plan  jump to  Develop an Action Plan


Conducting research  is not for everyone. There are many people who will not want to do research because it is not the way their brain works. They can work better without structure. if you are one of these people don't worry. Do not stress yourself out by this method, just take what you need or want.


Just a word of warning.

Before you start looking for career or employment opportunities, you might want to do a skills analysis. Prepare a précis of your unique skills, interests and values or take a test to re-affirm your career goals. Take the FREE online "Personal Career Analysis"


Before you start - Are you job ready?

See this article Are you job ready - What are your skills worth in the marketplace? Having a focus will help you conduct a more effective and efficient targeted job search. 



How to conduct employment market research


Use the internet to conduct research


Research Sources

All resources provide information on career or employment opportunities. The information has been gathered for the Australian job market.  However, other counties will have similar resources. If you are moving interstate, or making career decisions you must look at The Hudson Report.


The Hudson Report  (produced quarterly).
This comprehensive report provides labour / labor market statistics, employer recruitment expectations, employment trends and predictions of future labour / labor needs. It is broken up into each state.


The Hudson Report is also produced and published in various countries across the Asia Pacific region, with surveys also conducted throughout New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and China.


The Hudson Report is an excellent resource for looking for employment or career opportunities, especially if you are deciding what areas to study or what skills to learn, and for immigration research. If you are thinking of immigrating to Australia and unsure of which state to settle in this is very useful.


Utilise all government resources


Government Departments listed in this section have counterparts in all states, territories and countries such as The Department of Labor/Labour and Industry.  All other information is generic and unique to this site.The first stop is:-


The Job Guide

The next  source of career and employment related information is the Job Guide published by the Australian Federal Government (Australia). You can use the publication to see how many industries there are that use people with your skills/job classification.  For example, the Job Guide states that Call Centre Operators “work in a diverse range of industries such as banking, insurance, tourism, government agencies, utilities and telecommunication industries”. 


The Job Guide identifies the skills and education level needed for the job as well as career and employment opportunities.  It also provides you with some Industry Associations where you can do further research (all have web sites) and also shows related jobs.  For example, a related job for a Call Centre Operator is a Telemarketer.  Further, it will advise you if there are any certified training courses available. 

You can also find job descriptions and training requirements for every job classification. If your job or preferred career is not listed in the Job Guide you will need to do further research. The following information is just a guide.  It doesn’t mention trade journals which are an excellent source of information.  Most people will know of these resources if they belong to an occupation that produces industry journals. The Job Guide can be found online HERE

Department of Treasury and Finance

Provide monthly labour / labor force statistics under latest publications in the menu on the right hand side of the home page. They also provide wages/ salary information. These publications are useful for potential immigrants or anyone thinking of moving to WA. Also they provide information on Graduate career opportunities as most government websites do.


Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (Federal) Australia.

The most valuable employment market research for Australia, is the PDF file Australian Jobs 2008 (Updated yearly). On this revamped site there are several excellent resources. "Labour Market Analysis". is updated quarterly. You will find information on the labour market in your area and other interesting publications.


Here you will get information on every topic of interest to the jobseeker. This includes occupations, industry and most importantly "where the jobs will be" in the future.  It is particularly good for job seekers looking for a new career or employment opportunities, career direction or for students planning their career, especially in regional areas.


All Australian Government Websites
Links to Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local Government websites.


The Department of Education and Training in Western Australia

This site another excellent resource for any other career or job information in Western Australia.  They also have a Job Guide, although it is related about how to find jobs and provides job search information.


Each state/territory/country will have their own resources.  I know people rarely access this valuable data. I have used it training for many years with a great deal of success. There are many categories to look at. See Jobs and Careers


See other State Education and Training Departments


Jobs in Local Government

Australian Local Government Association

This is an excellent source of information If you are looking for career opportunities in local government. It provides details of all Councils, along with details of State and Territory Associations and Commonwealth, State and Territory Local Government Departments. Select the ‘Links’ tab from the home page.


The Australian Local Government Job Directory  is a weekly publication distributed Australia wide.  Local Government officers all over Australia see the Directory every week - apart from its obvious career-related function, the Directory is also used by people in Local Government as a networking tool to keep in touch with what's happening in the industry on a weekly basis.


Jobs in State and Federal and Government /Agencies

The Government departments have websites that provide labour/labor market information, government projects and employment trends plus links to other sites. Once again an excellent resource for career and employment opportunities.


Federal Government job site provides jobs and career information in all Departments or go to the Government Gazette home page and search for employment opportunities. (May be performing maintenance on weekends)


State Public Service    Jobs WA. See all the jobs available in the public service, the job requirements and salary. You can also sign up and be advised if a job comes up in your area registering with "email me jobs".  You can also use this site to see what qualification and experience is required to work in the State Public Service and how to apply. It also provides application information. You can also find information on jobs for Indigenous Australians in the Australian Public Service and graduate links. Closed jobs are still listed.


Other valuable information is the latest information about the Public Service Test, for career opportunities in the public service and clerical entry level 1 information.


West Australian Government Agency Site

You will be surprised at the number of government agencies. The site contains direct links to each agency.   Government Agencies 


Industry Groups


Australian Industry Group
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is Australia’s leading industry organisation representing ten thousand employers in manufacturing, construction, automotive, telecommunications, IT, transport, labour hire and other industries. A.I. Group’s members operate businesses of all sizes throughout Australia and represent a broad and expanding range of sectors. (source: Deacon University)

Employers / Industry Associations

Employer Association may be able to assist you with career opportunities and targeting information if you ask in the right manner. You need to ask if they can provide you with information about your industry at this present time. They may know who is recruiting and who isn’t, which industries are downsizing and others that are growing, which is valuable employment information.  Some companies do not recruit for 10 years because their workplace is so stable – so why not eliminate them if you can.  Employer Associations can be found under some of the links under unions.


Employer / Recruiter Websites

It is imperative you find out as much about your industry as possible. It is the norm these days for large sized businesses to have a recruitment section or information regarding career opportunities within their organisation on their website.  Do a "Google search".  You can even find job descriptions which are very useful to see if your skills match their requirements. .A large majority of employers have graduate recruitment information. They will usually give you information about company values and what qualities they are looking for in their employees, so you can tailor you cold calling letter to their organisational culture.

Use the Google search box to look for job opportunities or careers. If looking for an engineering graduate programme put in  Engineer+ graduate+ recruitment; for recruitment in HRM try recruitment+ human resource management +New South Wales;  graduate recruitment+finance + Western Australia; or just  job vacancies + Banking+ entry level + your state.  Experiment with different searches.  


     Use Key words only - upper or lower case and separate with and Add sign +

Custom Search


Listed Companies

For larger listed companies (companies listed on the Stock Exchange) you can get a report though the Stock Exchange

If you are a high flyer and want to pursue career opportunities in the top companies try Fortune 500 for the top 500 companies worldwide.

The Small Business Development Corporation  (SMBDC) (WA)

SMDC has a book titled Directory of Australian Associations, which you can view.  This will take some time.  It is updated every three months and is not in your local library. Your state, Territory or country will have the equivalent.


Chamber of Commerce

Your local Chamber of Commerce may be able to help you with information about companies in your area. 


Business Enterprise Centres.

If you can’t get into the city many regional centres have a Business Enterprise Centre.  Although their mandate is to assist small business, the business advisors are usually very helpful and may be able to give you some advice. Most centres have a computer you can use.  However, please note that each centre may operate differently.


Gold Mines in Western Australia



Newspapers – read them with an career or employment goal in mind. 


Read all sections - Finance, Professional Appointments and Situations Vacant


Collect any information that tells you about a company. Use it to cold call. For example, if you see a mining company is recruiting a Project Officer you can investigate what is happening in that company.  Is there a new contract coming up? If so, when will they be recruiting, and how?.  Have they subcontracted out?  If they have, who are they and how can you contact them?  Look at the growth companies. Wait until they have completed recruitment for their current job before you contact them.


Also have a look at the "Tenders Section". Find out what tenders have been let by government and private companies for sub contractors. You can ring them at a reasonable time and see who won the tenders. They may be looking for staff.


Also note vacancies placed by employment agencies/search firms and see what their specialist areas are.  See cold calling


Phone books


Yellow Pages

There is more to using the yellow pages than you may imagine.

For example, if you are a carpenter and are looking for companies to cold canvass that use carpenters where, would you look?

  • Think about the type of businesses that use carpenters. 

  • Brainstorm, write a list and then see if you can find the types of companies listed in the yellow pages.

Note the page numbers.  For example would a kitchen renovation company use a carpenter?  No, they use cabinet makers.  Builders use carpenters for formwork and in new homes for construction. You may find builders under Builders, or New Home Construction or a number of other entries.  However, carpenters are also used on bridges, dams, power stations and civil engineering construction and cross over all industries.   

  • Build a list of industries and then go through the yellow pages thoroughly to find possible employers. 

  • Think laterally and if you are not sure ring a company and they will be able to tell you what is the norm in the industry and may give you a lead.

If you have a Commerce Degree, for example, where in the yellow pages will you look for possible employment or career opportunities.  Firstly, you would have identified your employment strengths and may want to target companies who have positions in the following categories, for example.

  • Portfolio Management

  • Investment Advisor

  • Equity Dealer

  • Superannuation Consultancy

Using the yellow pages is not as simple as ABC and it will take you time to identify possible employers.  However once you have done this exercise you are halfway to developing a targeting or action plan.

Universities/Colleges - Alumni Association websites


Always a good source for graduate career opportunities. Most universities keep in contact with former graduates via Alumni memberships and publish details of their career progression. These members would not share this information if they were not prepared to act as a contact/mentor within an industry. So utilise them as you would any other person within your network (see Networking).


Please remember that in Australia all companies with graduate programmes commence recruitment  for final year graduates early in the new year - March - June, sometimes as late as July.  Be prepared and have a good resume ready.




Unions - A Great Source of Hidden” Employment Opportunities.  Not so relevant now in this industrial relations climate, but still worth a try.  By investigating which industry union covers your job classification, you can find a lot of information not usually sourced.   Some awards will give you information about the "respondents  to the awards" (employers), which will give you a list of companies to target. For example, a graphic artist, has  two different Federal Awards and if you can find out which unions covers these awards under Parties to the agreement/award you may be able to find out the Respondents to the agreement/award. (Employers)

This exercise can really open up you job search area. It will assist you to target companies that employ graphic artists, that are not clearly identified in the yellow pages under "graphic art".

Note, you may be covered by a State or Federal awards. So check both.

How to check the awards

The easiest way to find out the respondents is the check the actual award.  This can be done on-line by visiting the index link in the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission website  Go to the awards link and you will see an alphabetical listing. Select the award from your list and the respondents (employers) are usually shown at the back or near the back of the awards. This is useful.  Note. You may miss the link it is over under the "Search Box"


As a trial, try searching for clerks (Commercial Social and Professional…)  Because clerks can be found across industries it will give you a start on some companies to contact.  Remember, they may longer exist.  Cleaner’s awards are also interesting examples to use to see how this tool can assist you to find employers, although some awards don’t show the respondents. Note that this is not the full lit of respondents; you will need to look at Workplace Agreements and Enterprise Agreement as well as Employer/Employee Agreements. However this will be for the committed researcher.



Agencies dealing with specialised recruitment


Australia, UK and USA


Diversity Working
Do you have special needs? These people specialise in this field.
Largest diversity job search engine for minority professionals and workers.






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On this page

How to conduct employment market research

Why conducting research is advisable.

Employment Agencies dealing with specialised recruitment


Job Search Assistance / Resource Centre Index
Employment and Career Opportunities
How to Look For Work
Recruitment Methods
Develop an Action Plan
Job Application  Letters
Job Application Letter - Using Marketing Techniques
How to Write a Business Letter
Application Letter - Advertised Job
Sample Job Application Letters
Business Networking
Tips on How To Cold Call
Job Interview : Tips
Interview Process : Questions and Answers
Job Search Resources
Job Search Articles
Writing Selection Criteria
Career Development Resources
Career Development Articles
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