Job Hunting in Australia
If your quest for a new chapter in your working life has led you to Australia, you’re a lucky soul indeed – this is a vibrant country, blessed with a thriving economy and beautiful beaches and weather that will allow a hugely promising balance between your personal and professional lives.
Of course, you’ll actually have to gain the right to work in the country and find a job before you can take advantage of this, which is where we can help. This guide will talk you through some of the key steps of sourcing work in the country.
Getting a work visa
Check out our dedicated guide to Australian working Visas for more information on what you may need in order to enter – and stay – in the country for more than three months. There are two core forms of working Visa for American nationals in Australia.
- A work and holiday visa will entitle you to enter the country for up to 12 months and work any number of casual or temporary jobs throughout that period. You can only apply for this once, but if you have worked for three solid months in a particular sector, you may be eligible for a Second Year Visa and extend your stay.
- If you’re looking for something more permanent, you’ll need to ensure that you experience is listed on the Skilled Occupation List and qualify for a skilled migrant visa. This can be sponsored by a potential employer, and applied for as an individual ahead of seeking work independently.
Jobs in Australia
If you have any experience in the realms of health and medicine, you will have an instant advantage when it comes to seeking work. Like many first world countries, Australia has an aging population that is enjoying a longer life expectancy than ever before, and that is putting pressure on publicly-funded hospitals. Physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists and even care workers for the elderly and infirm are all in high demand.
If you are an experienced teacher you may also find some joy, especially if you have a specialist subject and education – privately-funded education is becoming more and more popular in Australia, meaning that skilled teachers will always be welcome. Finance is also a hot industry in the country right now, but tread with a little caution there – some experts predict that the Australian banking industry is growing at an unsustainable rate, which could lead to the bubble bursting sooner rather than later.
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Anybody entering Australia on a Work and Holiday Visa will be relieved to know that casual and seasonal work in Australia is plentiful. Bar work is in constant supply, agricultural spots in the outback will always seek fit and healthy ranch hands, and tourism is currently rising high thanks to a weak Australian dollar encouraging an unprecedented level of visitors into the country.
Best cities for finding work
As with any new country, which city you should be looking at moving to depends on what you are looking for – both in terms of work, and how you’d like the rest of your life to shake out.
If you are experienced in the finance sector and other forms of big business, it’s hard to look beyond Sydney, biggest and busiest city in Australia – and the finance capital of the country. The sheer size of the crowds may not be to everybody’s taste though, so if you would prefer a more sedate lifestyle that still offers plenty of employment opportunities concentrate your search on Melbourne, a metropolis that is often voted one of the most livable cities in the world, or Brisbane, which boasts a strong economy and relaxed lifestyle that lends itself to a great work/life balance.
If you can find a job in Australia’s capital of Canberra you will be living in the city with the highest average wage, but many of the jobs here are government-based and thus tend to be handled by locals.
Tips for job hunting in Australia
Presenting your CV/resume
When drawing up your resume for an Australian employer, keep your selling points simple and prominent. Bullet points are your friend, and don’t waffle endlessly – talk about your skills and strengths in simple, easily digestible sentences that will impress at a glance (adding around three core achievements per role is ideal), and discuss your experience in greater details throughout your cover letter.
As with most territories, there is no need to include too much personal information – employers have no need to know your marital status, and many would prefer that you didn’t include a date of birth simply to avoid any accusations of age discrimination.
Australia is a huge country, with a great number of expat clubs and societies for immigrants from all nations. Listing them all here would take more bandwidth than we have to spare – simply pinpoint a location and take to Google for some insights.
LinkedIn is probably Australia’s most popular networking site, though if you are not familiar with Ning it may be worth looking into. Aussie employers will also vet the Facebook and Twitter profiles of any potential candidates though, so be careful as to what you post.
The culture of Australia is pretty laid back, and that often bleeds into the workplace – you may find that dress codes are largely informal. Despite this, try to avoid the temptation to dress too casually for your interview – turning up outside of business attire is akin to calling somebody you have just met a nickname that only their close friends use.
Lateness is also a massive no-go in Australia. It’s better to be thirty minutes early than one minute late, and no employer will think less of you if you arrive with plenty of time to spare. Other than this, simply be enthusiastic and try to keep your answers at least comparatively direct – Aussies are fairly blunt, and if you are not successfully answering a question within two minutes you will probably be considered to be talking in circles.
Useful websites and job portals
If you don’t have an existing job offer through an intercompany transfer, you’re going to have to find some work down under. Naturally, your first post of call should be the Internet – check out these websites as a starting point.