Looking to find a job in Australia on a working holiday visa? Aren’t we all! Keep reading to find out how you can be successful…
For many backpackers coming to Australia, finding work is almost a must in order to fund their trip or make sure they get back home again. For me, finding work wasn’t that dire, but it was definitely something I really wanted to do for a number of reasons. 1) So I could earn money and travel more. 2) So I could get more out of my travel opportunities. 3) So I could experience what it was like living and working in a different country. The list goes on.
If you plan on doing the same and your trip to Australia is coming up, or you’re ready to put your travelling on hold, then this blog post is here to help. I know from personal experience that finding a job, any job, let alone one across the other side of the world can be nerve-racking and stressful. Please keep in mind that many others before you have been successful and you can be too so long as you follow these very important steps…
Be prepared to hustle
Let’s be straight here, whilst finding a job in Australia is do-able it’s not plain sailing. Over 600, 000 backpackers visit Australia each year, which means competition is fierce. To get ahead of the game you need to be prepared to put in that extra bit of effort. I met many people in hostels who said they were ‘looking’ for jobs but had been lazing around in hostels for 3 weeks with their money dwindling away. Save yourself the extra stress and panic and starting hustling early. This doesn’t mean you need to start looking for a job before you get to Australia (I wouldn’t recommend this), just that you should get on the job hunt soon after you arrive.
Sort out the important stuff
By this I mean the more boring but essential things like getting your phone sim sorted, your back account set up (use NAB for no fees), and apply for medicare. You will also need to apply for an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) as all employers will ask for this, it’s an important credential which most forms in Australia will ask for. You can apply for one here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/.
If you’re going after bar or restaurant work I highly recommend getting an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) qualification. It costs around $80 (£40) to apply for one (although prices vary depending on where you do it) and involves taking a day’s course and then exam at the end which you will need to pass in order to get the qualification. You can then put this on your CV and it will automatically be a big tick for any employer hiring.
Prep your CV to the max
Don’t think you’ll get away with doing a half-hearted effort when it comes to your CV. Put everything you can into it! Show each employer why they should hire you from the get go, remember yours will be compared to many others, so make it stand out. Any experience you think is relevant, put it on there, include your responsibilities, skills and any systems you can use. If you’re flexible with what work you want, then make multiple CV’s. I made 2 – one for bar/restaurant work and one for retail. They have to be tailored to the job role. Stretch your experience as far as it will go (making sure it’s still relevant) and maybe include a short introductory paragraph outlining who you are and how long you plan to be in Australia for. Here’s mine as an example:
“A driven, enthusiastic and proactive English Graduate from the UK, now based in Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa, valid until October 2020. I am seeking a job in retail which will utilise, and build upon, my previous work experience and skills in customer service. Offering flexible availability and a positive attitude”.
Cannot stress this point enough. Do not wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and find them yourself. For the first week in Melbourne, I was getting up and out at 8 am and heading to the library to browse through job sites, applying to any online jobs and printing off CV’s to hand around the city. To find jobs online, https://www.gumtree.com.au/ or https://www.seek.com.au/ are great places to start.
Saying this, I applied to maybe 50 online jobs and only heard back from 2 of them. So I definitely recommend saving yourself the time and energy and just going in person. Both jobs offered to me came from me going into places that I knew were hiring and just having a chat with the manager. This is a great way to sell yourself and leaves a lasting impression on the employer. I know this can be daunting and a bit stressful, so here are some tips that I know worked for me and ultimately helped get me a job:
1. Know your CV like the back of your hand
2. Write a little script for yourself and practice it in your head so you don’t get tongue tied
3. Go in with confidence and a smile as really they’re the ones to gain something from hiring such a wonderful individual like yourself
Dress to impress
Talking of good impressions, dressing appropriately is equally as important as turning up. Maybe leave the flip flops and vests at home and come in looking as if you’re ready to work. Of course this all depends what job you’re going for, but a simple shirt will go a long way. I know that when I was handing out CV’s I wanted to wear something that appealed to everyone without spending loads of money on buying lots of different outfits. I went for some smart trousers, a plain white t-shirt and a black blazar – casual enough to walk around the city in, and smart enough to show I was professional.
Ask for the manager
Last but not least, ask for the main man or woman. Nothing says confidence like going directly to the source. Even if the manager isn’t around, the fact that you’ve asked shows that you’re taking things seriously and you want to do it properly. And if you do get your hands on the manager, great! Say hello, introduce yourself, say why you’re there and a little about your experience and respond to any questions they might have in an easy, honest manner. They’re sure to warm to you quickly and might even offer you an interview on the spot! Don’t be dismayed if this isn’t the case, just make sure you follow up if things seem promising.
Okay, I think that’s everything. I know it might seem overwhelming but really, a lot of these things are basic. All you can do is your best, so work hard, be yourself and you’ll see results in no time! As always, any questions you might have please feel free to send me a message over Instagram, Facebook or any other platform and I’ll be happy to help.