How to land a job in Australia?

Over the past number of years, I have gathered a significant amount of insight on what WORKS best to land a job in Australia. It is my sincerest hope that these notes would guide you and that you too will be successful in landing a job in Australia.

The Right Direction

I recently spoke to a PhD candidate and had quite a light bulb moment and confirmation of what I have said so often in the past. To put our conversation in a nutshell – employers start from the TOP down when they look for employees, which means that they speak to PEOPLE. Employers will often, in the first instance, recruit within their company. Should they not locate the ideal candidate, they will ask their staff to recommend a suitable candidate. Job hunters often take the BOTTOM-UP approach; they search the internet for jobs – job forums, job websites and more. You guessed it….they are missing their target….the employers. You need to apply the same logic. Start from the top down – start with PEOPLE. Connect with as many people possible. One little tip – tell at least ten people a day that you are looking for a job. See below my paragraph about networking for further advice.

Consider your Skills

I have been noticing some trends, since finding a jobs group in 2012. One of the most significant trends is – that those with a trade or a certificate appear to find a job a lot easier, than those with a degree. You could increase your employment chances by obtaining a (TAFE) certificate, tickets or (blue, white) cards. It would also be advisable that you do any conversion studies before you arrive in Australia. It will help if you ask for advice and references, as there are many options; online, part-time, and full-time.

Go Shopping

Yes, go for a walk down the shopping mall, and chances are you will find a “vacant position/looking for” notice on a shop window. Walk in bravely and offer your resume. Make sure to speak to the person in charge – the decision-maker.

Put up a hand

Volunteer in your community – there are extensive opportunities available to volunteer. Go online to to find the opportunities closest to you. Your children’s school, SES, library notice boards and local council offices would also be sources of volunteering opportunities.  43% of hiring managers will see your volunteering experience as equal to professional work experience. Volunteering may be crucial in providing you with that much needed Australian experience. The chances are that you will connect with people, who might be your introduction to formal employment.

Network Network Network

We have all heard the saying “it is not what you know, but whom you know”. Join online and in-person networking groups. Do not expect miracles after your first networking meeting. Focus on building business relationships instead. Once the members have seen you a few times, you are on your way to building trust relationships, which could serve you for years to come.

Join the world’s largest online professional networking group…. LinkedIn. Get to know how the platform works, create a professional profile and focus on your LinkedIn objective of “finding a job”.

Pro Tip 1 – Connect with staff that works at the company you would like to work for – keep in mind that you should only connect on LinkedIn if you know them or get one of your LinkedIn connections, to introduce you.

Pro Tip 2 – Make as many local Australian connections (on the ground) possible by, for example, joining LinkedIn groups. Join the conversation, and contribute your knowledge, learn from other professionals in your industry. Get to grips with the local terminology in your industry. Create a “presence” for yourself within the company, industry and area you are looking for employment.

Pro Tip 3 – regarding success rate – building relationships far outweighs any other method in finding a job.

Clean Up

It is no surprise that employers will have a look at your social media accounts. Clean up your Social Media Footprint on all of the platforms where you have an account. Be mindful of the groups you belong to and pages that you follow – this is often public knowledge. You may want to consider the views you have expressed online and the photographs you posted online. A headshot with a broad smile is always preferable to a photo of your pet. Never upload your CV or resume to any social media platforms, not even LinkedIn.

It’s all FREE

The number of free resources available to improve your skills through training courses and workshops is overwhelming.

Pro Tip 4 – Get out of your comfort zone, work on your communication skills and stay top of mind.

Do Phone Them; They will not Phone You

I often see requests – please contact me, with an email address provided or sometimes an overseas phone number. Please remember that you are competing with the rest of Australia and the world for the job. My best advice is to make contact, phone the company and submit your resume directly to the company. Make sure to follow up with a phone call a week later. Stay top of mind…

I wish you every success in your efforts to land a job in Australia!

If you found this post helpful, please share it with your connections or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you require help with creating a resume that highlights your Australian value proposition, or assistance with recruitment or setting up your LinkedIn profile, please feel free to contact me. Don’t hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn and keep up with my frequent updates on both LinkedIn and  Facebook. You can easily reach me through a LinkedIn message or by finding my contact information here. 

© Chaleen Botha – All rights reserved

About the Author

Having relocated twice from South Africa to China and then to Australia, and also moving from Queensland to Western Australia, has gained valuable insight into the intricacies of job searching in Australia.

Chaleen, who graduated from the University of South Africa with a background in accountancy, decided to embark on a new journey and discovered a passion for assisting others in their job search. Since 2012 she has played a pivotal role as a job coach, developing LinkedIn profiles and coaching job seekers.

Chaleen was eventually offered a position as a recruiter at a specialised recruitment company and later at an outsourced HR firm. It wasn’t long before she discovered that she had a passion for the recruitment process. Chaleen obtained her recruiter’s license and subsequently established her own recruitment company.

Chaleen enjoys reading, staying fit, and spending time with her family and their two furry pets when she is not working.

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