Regardless of what part of the country you move to in Australia, the chances are that you will need to find employment. Some will be able to secure a job before they arrive, usually arriving through the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS – 482) Visa program. However, many movers will also arrive in Australia through skilled independent pathways or perhaps via partner visas and will need to secure employment of some kind relatively quickly.

The first step to finding work in Australia is to understand what your visa allows you to do. Whilst skilled independent visas and partner visas will primarily be granted with unlimited work rights, visas such as working holiday visas and student visas will be granted with work restrictions and it is important to understand these. See below;

Student Visa: Can work a maximum of 40 hours/fortnight for their employer but can work unlimited hours outside of term time.

Working Holiday: A maximum of 6 months with one employer – this can be waived in certain circumstances.

Jobs are advertised in a variety of online and newsprint publications. The most popular online job boards include seek.com.au, careerone.com.au and indeed.com.au but there are many others that will be more specific to industries or role levels.

The major newspapers in each capital and regional city will also carry advertisements for job postings however these days the advertisements are mostly for government and education positions. I can’t remember the last time someone said they found their job in the newspaper.

Don’t overlook the power of local networking either. Investing a couple of hours per week working in a service club may well open doors to jobs that never get advertised and are filled internally – this is particularly true in regional areas.

Before applying for the job be sure to read the advertisement carefully and check out any key selection criteria and job description documents that may be available. Draft your job application to address the key selection criteria and submit the application with an up to date curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter if appropriate. Have someone review your CV to ensure it is relevant for the Australian market. Airtasker.com.au is a great site to find someone who qualified to do this for a small fee.

Competition for jobs is pretty intense in Australia, so anything you can do to help your application to stand out will be helpful. Be mindful that in many cases the prospective employer has to sift through numerous applications before inviting short listed applicants to an interview. However, if you have not had a response to your application a week after the closing date, it won’t hurt to make a follow up call to see how things are progressing. At the very least this will help to put your name at the front of the employer’s mind.

If you are successful in obtaining an interview, give yourself every opportunity to succeed in the interview by preparing for it. Whist you can’t predict the nature of the interview you can certainly ask for key information and ways that you should prepare for the interview. Even if the interviewer has nothing specific for you to prepare, they will appreciate your motivation in asking the question.

You can expect that at some time you will be asked how you would or had behaved given a certain set of circumstances. The best way to answer these questions is to;

  1. State when you have had an experience similar.
  1. Detail what needed to be done and what actions you took.
  2. Describe the result of your actions and what you learned from the experience.


Finally make sure that you’ve done all the ground-work necessary. You will need to supply the names, addresses and phone numbers of referees – people who can vouch for your character and/or work performance. You may wish to leave these off your CV and provide the most appropriate referees for each job opportunity. You should take the lead in facilitating this especially as in most instances your referees will be overseas.

While the job market in Australia is competitive, the key in many respects is preparation and persistence. Get that CV prepared and good luck with your job search.

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