How to get a job in Australia: 5 Top tips for job seekers from overseas
Dreaming of working Down Under? We have just what you need – killer tips on how to get a job in Australia.
These tips cannot guarantee you a job, but follow them and you’ll be much closer to getting a ‘You’re hired’ phone call.
We’re going to break it down for you into five sections:
- Get assessed
- Research Australia’s job market
- Go in with a plan
- Adapt your CV
- Prepare for the interview
Getting assessed should always be your first step. Let us explain why…
1. Get assessed
This might be stating the obvious, but you must have a visa to legally work in Australia as an immigrant. That’s why you must get your skills, qualifications and experience assessed to see if you qualify for one of Australia’s work visas.
A comprehensive assessment will not only reveal if you qualify to work in Australia, but also which visa you qualify for as well as highlight the best way forward.
For peace of mind, work with a licensed immigration agent registered with MARA, Australia’s Migration Agent Registration Authority. That’s the best way to see to it that you’re getting advice that you can trust.
When you work with a MARA registered agent, you’ll also have greater recourse if you’re unhappy with the service you’re getting.
2. Research Australia’s job market
Becoming familiar with Australia’s job market might seem like a lot of work, but it’s not really.
Australia’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment has an Employment Research and Statistic section on their website that has all the information you need.
What you’ll find in this section is the Department’s research into skills shortage areas, recruitment experiences, labour and skills needs and industry and employment trends. The research is presented in a number of reports and publications that are freely available.
This is all good and well, we hear you say, but why should you research the job market?
It’s simple really – when you research the job market, you’ll get a good idea of which industry sectors you should you aim for and how the market is doing as a whole.
By keeping an eye on the market, you’ll be able to identify opportunities and develop your knowledge about your specific industry. This strategy puts you streets ahead of other job seekers not doing the same!
3. Go in with a plan
This is no ordinary job search. You want to find a job in another country on a different continent!
You must have a plan for your job search. Leave things to chance and you’re probably never going to work in Australia.
Here’s an example of how your plan could look:
Make a list of employers for who you’d like to work
You can start focusing the actual search part of the process by identifying Australian companies for who you’d like to work.
Once you have a list, keep an eye on their vacancies. Some companies even allow you to upload your CV to their website.
It’s also a good idea to reach out to HR managers if you can find contact details. With the right attitude, you’ll get noticed!
Sign up for job alerts
Looking for a job is a job in itself. Sign up for job alerts to make it easier. In doing so, jobs come to you instead of you having to spend hours scanning career websites.
These are some of Australia’s most prominent career websites to start with:
Set up a comprehensive LinkedIn profile
Don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet? Set one up immediately. Just make sure that you follow LinkedIn’s advice for a great profile:
- Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn. In a nutshell that’s using a recent photo where you’re looking professional yet friendly and approachable.
- Add a background photo.
- Make your headline more than just a job title. Use it to describe your role, to tell people why you do what you and to share what makes you tick.
- Turn your summary into your story. LinkedIn’s advice is to use your summary, found at the top of your profile page, to bring to life why your skills matter and explain how these skills can benefit others.
- Declare war on buzzwords like ‘expert’ and ‘passionate’.
- Grow your network. In other words, connect with other people on LinkedIn.
- List your relevant skills.
- Spotlight the services you offer.
- Get endorsements. LinkedIn enables members to get endorsements for their skills from their network. A great to get endorsements is to give endorsements!
- Take a skills assessment. LinkedIn’s skills assessment is an online test that enables you to demonstrate the level of your skills. After taking the assessment, you’ll get to display a Verified Skills badge on your profile.
- Request recommendations. Think of LinkedIn recommendations as testimonials. You can ask any of your connections that you’ve worked with add a recommendation to profile. These recommendations will tell future employers more about the type of person, worker and employee you are.
- Showcase your passion for learning. LinkedIn enables you to add completed courses to your profile.
- Share media and marketing collateral. This can be e-books, white papers, studies and just about any other material that shows people what you’re passionate about.
- Get credit for your thought-leadership with Publications. If you’ve ever been an author on a publication, you can share this using LinkedIn’s Publications.
- Follow industry influencers, share content and add comments. Engaging on LinkedIn is important if you want to get noticed.
- Publish long-form content – and use it to start conversations.
Contact friends, family and colleagues that can assist with your job search
Let your friends, family and colleagues know that you’re looking for opportunities in Australia.
Your immediate circle could be a gold mine of knowledge and contacts! Someone could know a recruiter in Australia or have a friend in Australia in your industry.
If you do find any leads, ask for an introduction. Most people will have no qualms about introducing one good friend to another.
Don’t feel bad about asking for an introduction – it might get you a job in Australia!
4. Adapt your CV and cover letter
It’s important to get your CV right or you run the risk of it landing in the bin before anyone’s read it.
With ‘right’ we mean setting up and writing your CV for the Australian job market.
For instance, in your country you might start your CV with education but in Australia a summary of your key strengths come first. The language might also differ. Remember that Australia uses British English, not American.
To get your CV in tip-top shape, you can use these two articles as reference:
5. Prepare for the interview
We’re going to go ahead and imagine the perfect scenario – your efforts have paid off and you’ve secured an interview.
You can make a memorable impression by doing the following:
- Understand your visa and the immigration process: Many employers will ask about your immigration status or what’s needed for them to employ you.
- Be prepared to go to Australia: It’s unlikely that the first interview will be face-to-face, but you must be prepared to go to Australia for an interview if asked. It may count against you if you’re not willing.
- Research: Ensure you know everything there is to know about the company, the Australian work culture, the position and the industry. You’re bound to get questions about all of these.
- Have copies of your visas, references, qualifications and professional registrations handy.
It also helps knowing what Australian employers are looking for. According to the Australian Government’s Job Jumpstart, Australian employers favour job seekers who exhibit all of the following traits:
- Accountability – accepting responsibility for your own actions
- Honesty – being trustworthy, fair and sincere
- Respect – taking into account other people’s feelings, wishes or rights
- Work ethic – being diligent and committed to the business
Australian employers are also looking for candidates who can prove that they are:
- Adaptable – being open to new ideas and proactively changing the way you work to suit new situations
- Business-minded – understanding that every worker is responsible for the success of a business
- Self-aware – understand your strengths and recognise the areas in which you can improve
- Resilient – bounce back when things don’t go as planned
Finally, these are the top skills Australian employers want from their employees:
- Problem solving – you are able to find solutions to a range of issues and challenges
- Technical skills – these are specific to a role and may require formal qualifications.
Now you know how to get a job in Australia!
It really comes down to knowing if you qualify, doing your homework and getting your name (and CV) out there. You won’t get a job in Australia if you sit back and expect the job offers to come to you.
The work will be worth it – you could find yourself in Australia sooner than you can imagine!