Are you trying to find a job in Australia? Whether you want to live in Australia temporarily to study, travel or move permanently, one of the first concerns is finding a job. Here I put together some information and tips based on my experience to create a complete guide on how to find work in Australia and what resources you can use.
The 8 things to do before looking for work in Australia
The search for a job in Australia starts before leaving. Let’s be clear, finding a job in Australia from abroad is very difficult, if not impossible, but there are some steps you can take before leaving to learn more about the Australian work industry and prepare yourself.
1. Make some research on your job position
Some positions and skills are in great demand in Australia. I suggest you understand better the opportunities for your profession and also find out which city would be more suitable for you. If you are qualified it could be relatively easy if you are willing to work in some more remote area where you might have less competition, although there are fewer job opportunities. There is might no need to underline that Sydney and Melbourne are the two metropolises with more job opportunities, but it depends a lot on the nature of work you are looking for.
2. Apply for a visa
It may seem obvious but to work legally in Australia you will need a visa, so avoid to go to Australia on a tourist visa and start looking for a job because you won’t even be considered (by the way it’s also illegal). The most popular visas that allow you to work in Australia are the Working Holiday Visa and the Student Visa, which have different conditions. For some jobs, you can aim for a sponsorship or a skilled independent visa. If this is your goal, take a look at the official skilled occupation lists.
3. Prepare and customize your resume and cover letter
Even if you simply want to find a job as a waiter or a babysitter, it is important to prepare a CV suitable for Australian standards. On the web look for “Australian resume samples” to help you create your one. To explain it briefly, Australians prefer an essential curriculum, with a maximum of one or two pages, with general information on education and the work experience. Do not assume that Australian employers know the company you have worked for in your country or know exactly what position you covered because sometimes the name of the job can vary from a country to another. So briefly explain your tasks and responsibilities. Also, customize the Cv based on the job you are looking for, focusing on what makes you a great choice for that particular position and the benefits you could bring to the company.
4. Be techno-savvy
It happened to me once when I applied to work for a big company, to be asked to do a brief phone call first followed by a video interview through an app. This type of interviews is becoming more common especially if you are applying for big companies that use apps or online chatting to make the first selection. So be ready to create an account on all the main platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts, update your LinkedIn profile and your website if you have one.
5. Get ready to take a step back
Even if you are a manager, a teacher, etc. your first job in Australia is unlikely to be in the same position. Accept the fact that you may need to take a step back to gain experience in the Australian work industry.
6. Make a list of what you will need
That means to open a bank account after the arrival to be able to accredit the salary and think about everything you will need once on site. For example an Australian SIM and the TFN (Tax File Number) which is what you will need to pay taxes. Also think about the certificates you might need, for example, if you want to work in bars and restaurants, try to get the RSA (compulsory to work in any place that serves alcohol) as soon as possible. If you aspire to work in a cafe, I strongly recommend taking a short course as soon as you arrive in Australia to learn Australian latte art.
7. Take a look at job search websites
Related to the first point mentioned in this list, to better understand the job opportunities and the most requested professional profiles, do some research on websites like SEEK and others that I will point out later. In this way, you will get an idea of the Australian work industry and you can start creating a profile to be able to apply to job offers.
8. Study English!
I will never stop repeating it, and probably the knowledge of English should be the first point of this list, but it is essential to have a good knowledge of English to work in Australia. It seems obvious, however, some people arrive with insufficient knowledge, so try to study and practise as much as you can. Even if you won’t have to deal directly with customers, you may have foreign/Australian colleagues with whom you have to communicate. If you don’t have at least a good grasp of English and your dream is to move permanently to Australia I give you a piece of heartfelt advice: give yourself time to learn English in your country or in any close speaking-English country to practice the language first.
What jobs are easier to find in Australia?
Both the Working Holiday Visa and the Student Visa allow you to work in any sector, but unless you are highly qualified at the beginning it will be easier to go for temporary/casual work in the tourism and hospitality industry. Also jobs as sales assistants, babysitters, cleaning, construction, etc. are quite simple to find.
Although it is not impossible, it is difficult to find a job in an office or other long-term jobs unless you have a very good knowledge of English, Australian qualifications and/or many years of experience. This is also due to certain conditions required by these two visas: the Working Holiday Visa does not allow you to work for more than 6 months for the same company, while the Student Visa requires you to work only 20 hours a week during the school terms and 40 hours, during the holidays and school breaks.
Au pair in Australia and work-exchange program
For girls who like to look after children and spend time with them, one opportunity is to find a job in Australia as an au pair in a family. With this kind of programme, you will be living with an Australian family, so you can get more in touch with the local culture. Responsibilities will sometimes include cleaning, driving kids to schools, and prepare the food for them, depending on the family. In exchange, you will have food, a private room and weekly pay. There are several agencies that can help you find a host family including:
Although there are groups and ads on the internet it is always better to rely on agencies that make a selection of families and offer a higher level of safety and assistance in case of issues.
For those who like to work in a dynamic and young environment, there are several hostels all around the country that offer free accommodation in exchange for help in multiple tasks, from reception to cleaning. It could be a convenient alternative at the beginning while you are looking for a paid job.
How to find a job in Australia: sites, apps, and recruitment agencies
One of the most common ways to find a job in Australia is through popular employment websites. Some are more famous and/or specialized than others, however, I tried to put together the main ones:
- www.jobnet.com.au (specialized in IT jobs);
- www.jobsearch.gov.au (this government website is the largest and most complete, with daily additions);
- www.au.jora.com and www.joralocal.com.au (the latter is very useful as it allows you to look for work near your location/address).
Even if I suggest you take a look at all or most of these websites, keep in mind that each one is different from others: Seek and Adzuna, for example, boast a greater number of ads for qualified professions or admin positions, while Gumtree, Indeed and Jora are mainly dedicated to temporary jobs in catering, sales, retail, and hospitality.
Recruitment Agencies in Australia
If you have experience and/or qualifications in a specific field, you may want to keep pursuing your career. In this case, in addition to applying through the websites I mentioned before, I suggest you consider the assistance of one of the recruitment agencies in the city you are living in. These agencies are specialised in connecting people with the right jobs, and employers with the right people. They can also help you create a more appropriate CV and prepare you for a job interview. There are many agencies in all Australia, but the largest and most well-known are Randstad, Adecco , and Hays.
When is better to apply in person for a job in Australia
If you want to find a temporary job in Australia in hospitality or tourism, the best way is to apply in person.
Many places, indeed, do not advertise on employment websites but rely on word of mouth or publish posts on facebook groups. Often they also display a “staff wanted” notice on the main door of the cafè/restaurant. So I suggest you get some copies of your resume and go “door to door” trying to talk with the manager of the place.
If you have a professional qualification recognized in Australia
If you have a professional qualification, I suggest you ask the advice from the relevant Australian official organization to have your work experience and qualifications recognized. Belonging to a specific association can be mandatory for being able to work in your field in Australia. This is the case, for example, of a translator/interpreter: in Australia, you need to obtain the NAATI certification which can be done with a test or an accredited course.
One last tip to find a job in Australia: the importance of “networking”
In Australia networking is a key strategy to find work and a popular way of establishing business and professional connections.
So I suggest you start to “spread the word“: inform your friends, classmates, and anyone you meet that you’re looking for a job.
If you are already in Australia, post on Facebook groups or join your own expat community living in the country or in a specific city. Talk to cultural associations and expand your network. This not only will help you take the first step in the new environment but also to find a job easily.