Dear Friends, I have shared my thoughts as well as some practical tips, based on personal experience of living in Australia for over 25 years and those shared by some of our clients, for finding your first job in Australia.
- Do not apply while overseas: As we have repeatedly advised all our clients, please avoid applying for any jobs if you are physically not present in Australia. Australian recruiters receive a large number of CVs from applicants who are overseas and probably take a casual “what do I lose” approach while sending their CV. As a result, the local employers and recruiters have learnt to ignore such CVs in my opinion. Moreover, the prospects of fraud and misrepresentation also are strong deterrents for the Australian employers to steer clear of overseas applicants. When in Australia or a few days before you arrive in Australia, you can apply for the suited roles on the following popular websites:
- Hire a professional resume writer: Most applicants do not realize there isa significant difference between an Australian style CV and the one they would have used in their home country.We strongly recommend that you use an Australianresume writing professional to give yourself the best chance in finding a suitable job. Treat this as an investment in your career and would probably save you some time and effort by not having to apply for too many jobs, not to mention you will be earning sooner if you were to get a job with lesser effort.
- Get Australian references, if possible: I acknowledge it is not easy for a new migrant to have easy access to local references but these are critical and I urge you to make that extra effort to get a couple of local references on your resume.This can be from some past colleagues who are now based in Australia or someone you have worked with for an assignment, project, etc. In addition, there are certain ways like becoming a member of the industry body/association and networking with their members by attending a few meetings may be helpful. My view is that the new migrants start with a trust deficit in their job hunt and a local reference will encourage a potential employer to consider your application more seriously. Being a smaller economy, most employers and employees take the recruitment process very seriously keeping the long-term perspective in mind.
- Respond to the selection criteria: Almost all job vacancies come with a well-defined selection criteria for the role in question. Hence, it is important to respond to the said selection criteria in your covering letter as well as the CV to highlight your relevant past experience and suitability for the advertised role. This will give more confidence to the prospective employer that you are a good fit for the role.
- Do not fudge:Please ensure there is no discrepancy between any of your professional records (online vs. offline i.e. your LinkedIn, Facebook profiles or any other online database, etc.). Most agencies do check credentials for all newcomers to ensure their suitability for the advertised positions. If you have a lag in position or record mismatch somewhere, be honest about it.
- English proficiency does not stop at IELTS/PTE/TOEFL: Australian employers need to see how well you understand their accentsas well as your ability to work in a team environment. Any serious communication lapsesduring an interview will be a red flag for them. Some Aussie accents can be pretty fast and dauntingly twisted with roll of words and watching local TV, news broadcast or various radio stations will help you develop familiarization and an enhanced comfort level with the local language/accent.
- Don’t dwell on the past laurels: Arrive in Australia with a resolve to give yourself a fresh start in your career as starting a new social life. Be prepared start your work from an entry level or junior management position and prove your professional skills to the management. Often, holding a senior management position in your home country can prevent you from accepting a good junior position with strong growth prospects. So, it is important not to dwell on your senior management position overseas, how well known your university was or how well connected you were in your home country. Bite the bullet and you will be on your way to a good career sooner than you think.
- Driving licence is critical:Try to obtain the local driving licence as soon as you practically can as several jobs have this as a pre-requisite. A local driving licence will not only offer more mobility to you and open more job opportunities, it also serves as a form of IDaccepted nationwide.
- Let them know your residency status:Please ensure your residency status is clearly and prominently mentioned in the CV as most recruiters tend overlook it in the initial scrutiny of the response they receive for an advertised role. Hence, it is your responsibility to share all relevant personal information with the recruiter and prospective employer.
- Be confident; no sweat: Presenting yourself confidently in an interview is important for making a positive first impression in my opinion. Be calm, listen patiently and do not hesitate to request the interviewer to repeat the question or elaborate on it if you do not understand it fully. Take a pause if you need to sort your thoughts out before responding to the interviewer’s question. Engage in a dialogue with the interviewed and comments like “give me a minute to collect my thoughts” can help you relax a little. Do not hesitate to ask the interviewer any questions you may have about the organisation or the role on offer as such points reflect positively on your confidence and demonstrate your objective approach to the interview.
- Be flexible: You should be open to relocate interstate if you get a good job offer from another city. Your willingness for relocation will be added advantage and should be mentioned clearly in your CV.
- Check with your previous employer: Now, this is something that can save you a heap of trouble and stress of finding a new job in a new country. In case you have worked with any multinational companies in the past, it will be worth your effort to have an open chat with them about a suitable opening for you in their offices in Australia. Also, contacting the people in key management positions in the Australian offices of your previous employers may be useful. However, it is important that you establish a good personal rapport with the concerned people and allow them at least 6 to 8 weeks to let you know if they can be any assistance in your job hunt.
Hope you will find above tips useful and I wish you good luck for a new beginning in Australia!
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