If your sense of adventure is anything like mine, you may have toyed with the idea of taking the plunge and moving abroad. Sadly, living in another country doesn’t come cheap, so you’ve probably also thought about the practicalities of finding work abroad. Having only been in Australia for a few weeks, I’m no expert, but, as I did manage to secure a job before I arrived, I wanted to share my top tips on job hunting in Australia to help anyone else in a similar position.
Whilst I did manage to get a job offer before I got to Australia, most of the recruiters that I spoke to said it would be much easier for me to find work once I’d actually arrived in the country – which makes sense. Companies are taking a risk when hiring from overseas and it’s for this reason that it’s often only people at a higher level that can get sponsorship before they arrive. If you need a work visa to get into Australia (i.e. you’re not eligible for a Working Holiday Visa) then you may find taking a trip out and asking recruiters to set up some interviews may be a worthwhile option if you’re sure this is the move for you.
Unfortunately it’s not a case of simply deciding you want to move to Australia – to stay long term you have to be eligible for one of the visas that they offer. If like me, you’re within the 18 to 30 age bracket, then you’ll be able to apply for a Working Holiday Visa. The Australian Working Holiday Visa gives young people between the ages of 18 and 30 the opportunity to enjoy working holidays (i.e. an extended stay supplemented by working in Australia) for up to 24 months. You can do any kind of work over the course of your stay in Australia, but the conditions of the visa limit you to a maximum period of six months work with any one employer. This means that this visa is better suited to casual work and hospitality roles.
Whilst I originally came out on a Working Holiday Visa, I am being transferred over to a working visa. Until recently, most overseas candidates would be sponsored using the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) which would allow workers to work in Australia for up to 4 years with the same company. However, in April 2017, the Australian Prime Minister abolished this visa and replaced it with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which better aligns with the skills needed in the Australian labour market. As this change is fresh, fairly controversial and subject to change – I’m going to write a separate post which outlines this in more detail, but in short the options are:
- Remain for four years after it is granted – if your occupation is listed on the Medium and Long term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL)
- Remain for two years after it is granted – if your occupation is listed on the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STOSL) (my occupation, Advertising Manager is on this list)
Visas can be confusing – trust me, but the Australian Immigration website has lots of information that can help identify which visa you’re eligible for here.
CV & Linkedin
Once you’ve identified if you’re likely to be able to work in Australia in some capacity, you can start to make sure your CV is up to date. I read on a number of forums that you should adapt your CV for the Australian market, but I didn’t do this and wasn’t told this information from my recruiters either so my personal recommendation is this is an unnecessary step. Just take some time making sure your CV is up to date, well written and relevant for the jobs you’re applying for.
Linkedin on the other hand, should be your best friend. Much like your CV, make sure your Linkedin profile is up to date as this will be the first thing recruiters and potential employers see when you connect and network. Utilise Linkedin’s job search feature to look for roles in the city you want to relocate to and connect with recruiters. This is what I did, and I had calls with multiple recruiters before I arrived – which helped give me an understanding of things such as salary expectations and market overview.
Much like Linkedin, utilise your own contacts. You’d be surprised how many people you know have friends and contacts abroad. When I told my colleagues, friends and family that I was moving to Melbourne – a large percentage of people offered to connect me to a friend or ex-colleague that was living there. This was actually how I ended up getting my job – so it’s definitely worth reaching out to friends to see who knows who!
Do you have any tips on getting a job in Australia?