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Are you thinking of relocating to the land down under? Moving to the other side of the world is overwhelming, especially if you haven’t considered what career you want to pursue. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you find a job in Australia as a newcomer.

So, which visa have you applied for?

First things first, before we even begin to discuss how to get a job, the visa you travel to Australia on, will impact the job roles you can apply for.

Working Holiday Visa

The working holiday visa is a visa designed for young people who want to travel to Australia and work at the same time. It is a temporary visa that lasts one year, however, if you want to extend it and gain a second year you can do so by completing a three-month period of specified work, also known as farm work. The criteria for this visa depends on your nationality, but it is generally for people aged 18-30 (18-35 if you have an Irish passport), and you will need to have evidence of enough money in your bank account to cover your flight home.

This is a popular visa with young people who want to spend time exploring Australia, having fun enjoying the backpacking scene. It is not often for people who want to pursue a specific career as job options will only be temporary.

Skilled Worker Visa

The skilled worker visa is different in that you can only apply for this visa if you have experience in a profession that is in demand in Australia. Doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers, and other skilled careers are in shortage in Australia so if you have experience and want to build a new life and advance your career, this is the visa for you.

To qualify you must be under 50, have qualifications in your career, have experience in a position, be fluent in English and pass a police check. You do not need to have a sponsor, or a job already lined up, which makes this visa incredibly attractive as acquiring a sponsor can be hard.

What Jobs Can You Do in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa?

A job for a working holiday visa will be temporary. Many workers on these visas find roles in the hospitality, retail and customer service industries. The working holiday visa is targeted at people who want to work and travel throughout Australia, so the emphasis is on temporary work. If you have a background or experience in a career role, it might be tricky getting a similar position as your visa will make it harder for prospective employers to hire you.

You will also need to complete three months of specified work, also known as ‘farm work,’ if you want to successfully gain a second year on your working holiday visa. These three months must be completed doing a specified job such as looking after livestock, fruit picking or other forms of manual labor. Because of this many employers will only want to employ you temporarily as they know you will have to leave to complete this work.

If you have a background in a specific career or skill and want to further this experience in Australia and develop your profession there, the working holiday visa is not the best option.

What Jobs Can You Do in Australia on a Skilled Worker Visa?

The skilled worker visa is designed for people who have experience in a skill that is in demand in Australia from doctors, to engineers, teachers and construction workers. There is a list of over 200 professions that are in need and if you have a background and experience in one of these, then you are eligible to apply and get a job in Australia.

What makes this visa so unique is that if you are eligible you are able to move to Australia without a sponsor or prior job organized. You can instead move over and secure this once you get there. Whilst on this visa you are also able to access the Australian Medicare healthcare system and after residing in Australia for 4 years can apply for citizenship.

 You can read a comprehensive list of the available job roles here.

How to Begin Your Search from Home (Before Arriving in Australia)?

Thanks to the internet it is more than possible to begin your job search before you even move. Below we’ve outlined ways you can search and apply for jobs before even stepping foot down under.

a) Agencies

Job agencies are a simple way to get a head start on finding a job. Search for a job agency online and find a reputable agency in the city or region you will be moving to. It’s important to read reviews on the agencies beforehand to get a feel for them and the support and job options they will provide.

Once you have researched a company and feel like they are the one for you, all you need to do is register with them online. Share your CV and cover letter and if there’s a specific officer who deals with job roles in your expertise, it never hurts to send them an email and let them know you’re relocating, what experience you have and what roles you are interested in.

Some agencies will even be able to arrange online interviews via skype if they think you are suitable for a role. They also could arrange interviews for you as soon as you arrive and can help support you in your CV, or any extras you need to include, to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

b) Online

Searching for a job online is the best way to go. Job websites such as Indeed, allow you to add your CV and can send you notifications on recent job advertisements that meet your qualifications. Another really popular way to find jobs and connect with employers and recruiters is via LinkedIn. This is a social media equivalent for job hunting, where you can show your experience and qualifications. It reads like an online CV, so it’s important to keep it professional and up to date.

If you are moving under the working holiday visa, online is a great place to find roles. Join forums for people who are in Australia on the working holiday visa as often they will advertise jobs here and will be able to provide you with information on how to find specified jobs and complete your three months that are required.

c) CV & Cover Letter

Before you even begin to apply online for roles, it’s important to ensure your CV and cover letter are up to date. Do an internet search and check out the differences between Australian CV and the CVs from your country of origin. Is the language the same, does Australian English use different spelling? These are all little extras that will set you apart.

Remember to tailor write each CV for the job you are applying to. Although this is time-consuming, it will be helpful for you to tailor your skills to each different job specifications, making it easier for you to stand out. Another top tip is to research the company you are applying for and include anything relevant in your cover letter.  

How to Begin Your Job Search in Australia?

Unemployment in Australia is low, with it currently sitting at just 6%. There are plenty of roles available, but it will depend on your skillset and what visa you are on which allows you to work in Australia.

If you are a university graduate or have experience in a skill in need, then you will have an easier time finding work. The opportunities for finding work with a degree is higher in big cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth.

The Industries that are growing in Australia include:

  • Construction.
  • Education.
  • Engineering.
  • Healthcare.
  • Mining and energy.
  • Science and technology.

The Most Popular Cities for Jobs in Australia

Sydney Australia

i) Sydney

Sydney is the largest city in Australia. It is a top tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. Known for the famous Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, if you want to enjoy a fantastic work-life balance and find a job in an international company, Sydney is the place to be. Popular industries in Sydney include IT, Finance and Banking, with the most popular employers in the city being the Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp.

This city is an attractive option if you are moving to Australia on either visa as there are plenty of skilled worker opportunities or temporary work opportunities.

ii) Melbourne

Melbourne has been named the best city to live in the world, time and time again. This is thanks to its fantastic work-life balance and close location to beaches, mountains and breathtaking scenery. It’s a city for creatives, with graffiti being legalized in the city to encourage street art. If you have experience in graphic design, software engineering or anything creative, it’s your go-to spot.

This city offers plenty of opportunities no matter what visa you apply on. The café culture here is thriving, so there are always roles in the hospitality industry.

iii) Brisbane

Brisbane is the third biggest city in Australia and is the capital of Queensland. The weather here is amazing and the city is young, vibrant and close to spectacular beaches. Brisbane is an important city for business and its financial, IT and admin sectors are thriving. If you have experience in those roles, it would be an attractive place to call home. There are also retail and hospitality roles here, located on the Gold Coast, it is a popular tourist destination.

iv) Adelaide

Adelaide offers newcomers a Mediterranean climate and access to yet again more spectacular beaches. It offers a lower cost of living and even though it is the capital of South Australia, it is smaller than the other cities discussed, home to 1.3 million residents. The economy here is still booming, with many opportunities in the healthcare, admin, education and software industries. Adelaide isn’t as popular with people arriving on working holiday visas and appeals more to those on skilled worker visas as the jobs available here are higher-skilled industries wanting permanent workers.

Few Things to Remember When Applying for a Job in Australia

Once you’ve landed down under, it’s time to hit the ground running. Applying for jobs here is like applying to roles in the UK. Your CV and cover letter are important and remember to tailor it to suit the Australian market, there are plenty of examples you can find online.

The interview process for jobs here is again similar to that in the UK. You will usually be interviewed first over the phone and then if you pass that stage you will be offered an interview in person. Your UK qualifications will be upheld in Australia, but expect to pass a test of proficiency, some of these will cost money to complete, so it’s important to set this aside in your budget.

1) Casual and Seasonal Work

If you are traveling and working in Australia under the working holiday visa then you will need to undertake specified work, also known as farm work. This work is often seasonal and agricultural. You can expect to work as a fruit picker, ranch hand, farm laborer or factory worker on a farm. To be considered for a second year on this visa, you MUST complete three months of specified work. If you don’t you will not be allowed to stay in Australia.

Finding and ensuring you undertake this work correctly, so that you qualify for your second-year visa is important, always retain your payslips and contracts to show as evidence.  

2) Tax

It’s important to note that as a non-resident in Australia you will face higher tax rates. It’s something that you won’t always factor in when waiting for your paycheck. You should expect to pay around 30% in tax. You can find out more information on tax and fair working conditions from the Australian government here.


Written By
Stuart Cooke, is the Blog Editor at My Baggage a luggage delivery service based in the UK that helps students around the world travel freely.

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