How to get a job at Woolworths and Coles: 9 easy tips

I think you’ll agree with me when I say it can be hard to get a job at Woolworths and Coles.

Why is it hard?

Because lots of people want what these supermarkets offer, namely:

So how do you maximise your chances of getting in? Here are our nine best tips:

  1. Try to get in as a Christmas casual. Woolworths and Coles are super busy at this time of year, and they need Christmas casuals to keep their supermarkets running smoothly. If you do a great job, you’ll hopefully be kept on in the new year. Make sure you apply well before Christmas, though (some folks recommend September as a great month to apply). If you turn up in December looking for a Christmas casual job at Coles or Woolworths, you’ll probably end up disappointed.

  2. Keep an eye out online for new Woolworths and Coles supermarkets opening near you. There’ll be lots of jobs available. But, just like in the tip above, you need to apply early. Brand new supermarkets put up job ads and interview candidates months before the grand opening.

  3. If you know someone who works at Woolworths or Coles, they could be your way in. Talk to them about jobs at their supermarket. The reason this is such a good strategy is that many supermarket managers hire based on recommendations, rather than picking people who walk in off the street.

  4. If you say you are available 247 (meaning 24 hours a day, seven days a week), you have a much better chance of getting that Coles or Woolworths job. Think of it from the perspective of a store manager: who would you hire? The person who can work whenever you need them, or the candidate who isn’t always available? If you think setting your availability to 247 sounds like a drag, you can try to change to your preferred hours once you get the job and some experience up your sleeve.

  5. Similarly, if you apply to a few different Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, you’ll probably have a better chance of getting the job, compared to applying to just the one supermarket near your place. If you think commuting far away sounds like not much fun, you can try applying for a transfer to a closer supermarket a few months later.

  6. If you’re 18 or older, consider applying for a job at Liquorland (owned by Coles) or Vintage Cellars (owned by Woolworths). The good thing about this strategy is that you won’t be competing for jobs with anyone aged 17 or younger, as they aren’t allowed to work with alcohol. And of course, less competition equals more chance of you getting that job. Once you’re in the Coles or Woolworths system, you can apply to transfer into one of their supermarkets.

  7. If you’re applying for the deli (or even if you think you might end up there), it’s worth reading up on food safety tips such as cross-contamination rules, the “temperature danger zone” in Australia, and so forth. Knowing your food safety basics will make you look better than other, less-informed candidates.

  8. Don’t get disheartened if you apply in February and don’t hear back. The second month of the year can be a slow time for hiring at Coles and Woolworths.

  9. Watch the job ads online, and be quick! Jobs can go quite quickly at Coles and Woolworths — it may be too late to apply two weeks after a job is posted. I recommend signing up for an email alert for the jobs you want. For example, check out Woolworths jobs in Sydney and put your email address in the box at the bottom.

Good luck! Getting that job at Coles or Woolworths can be hard, but so worth it!