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5 ways

to find a casual job

1. Tap into your networks

Talk to people you know. Can they fill you in on what their workplace is like? Do they know of any job opportunities coming up? Could they recommend you to their current employer? Do they know someone who is starting a business and needs workers? Are they aware of any other opportunities for paid work?

2. Go local

We've got two words for you: retail and hospitality. These two industries have been supplying casual jobs to students since the dawn of time, and they are one of your surest bets (although make sure to also investigate some of the lesser known and better paid options!)

Research individual shops and food outlets at major shopping centres that are close to where you live, or would be easy to travel to.

Start by looking online at shopping centre websites.

  • The ‘store directory’ is usually a good place to start.

  • Individual listings may or may not include links to company websites.

  • Find out about their services and products and check to see if they have an online application system they prefer people to use.

  • The website may have a ‘jobs’, ‘careers’, ‘vacancies’ or ‘join us’ tab that lists current work opportunities at all stores onsite.

  • Visit the shopping centre and have a look at stores or outlets where you can imagine  working. Get a sense of what they do and what kind of a workplace it might be before you apply for a job.

3. Approach employers in person with your resume

Small businesses generally expect people to approach them directly in person, via phone or through email. If you’re looking for a job in hospitality or retail, it’s best to directly approach employers in your local area. Take along your resume and be prepared to talk about your skills, experience and availability. It's a bit awks to start with, but you'll get into it. Keep an eye out for cafes and shops that have signs in their windows advertising for staff.


Plan your approach to make sure you are:

  • Well-presented

  • Appropriately dressed

  • Equipped with fresh print-outs of your resume

  • More likely to arrive at a convenient time (i.e. not at a busy time or at the end of the day).

4. Apply directly to large companies via their websites

Larger organisations who employ part-time and casual staff in a range of roles tend to use online application systems. Recruitment information can be tricky to find – if there’s no tab on the website for ‘careers’ ‘jobs’ or ‘employment’, look for an ‘about us’ tab on the site map. Sometimes opportunities even sit under a ‘news’ tab. Consider signing up to receive news and updates from company websites via email or other social media. This can be a great way to stay up to date with job vacancies and other developments (such a new outlet in your suburb).


  • Some larger companies own a number of brands that you may not have considered working for. For example, Woolworths’  other brands include Big W, BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Woolworths Mobile, Wine Market, Cellarmasters, Langton’s, Masters Home Improvement and Thomas Dux.

  • Some larger companies also use a centralised recruitment system. It’s  worth checking websites for other brands/outlets to see if they connect to a larger parent company which looks after everything to do with jobs and careers.

  • Think about what you can offer employers in terms of your existing knowledge and interests, especially if you have no prior experience of paid work. For instance, if you’re into fashion that interest could  be an asset working in a clothing shop that reflects your own personal style. If you’re good at problem solving and fixing or making things, maybe work in a hardware shop would suit you. Where can you see yourself fitting in? In other words, improve your chances of success by being strategic in your choices and considering what employers will be looking for.

Some starting points:

Clothing outlets

Cotton On Group

The Just Group

Coffee and food outlets

Hudson’s Coffee


Hungry Jacks



Department stores

David Jones




Hardware shops



Homeware shops









(By the way, this list focuses on large employers and doesn’t list all possibilities. Small businesses can provide excellent part time work opportunities too. Look for cafes, bookshops, leisure facilities, restaurants and other businesses close to home or uni.)

5. Search for jobs online



EthicalJobs specialises in social/community/not-for-profit sector jobs

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