Are you in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa? Are you having a great time traveling around but funds are running low? Time to find a job and fill up your bank account. Follow these five tips and you will land a job in no time!
1. Update your resume (CV)
An important aspect of getting a job in Australia is having an up-to-date resume. It would be such a waste if you are not even considered for a job because your resume is not up to par.
Specify your resume for the job
Do you have a standard resume from your home country listing all the great stuff you did? You may have to rewrite it. Consider what kind of work you will be going after and adapt your resume accordingly. Make sure you highlight any experience that may be relevant to the job you are applying for. For instance, if you are keen on working in hospitality, a detailed description of your 9-5 office job back home might not be as interesting to a potential employer. Better focus on the bartending experience you picked up during your time in college!
Make sure the layout is spot on. Presentation is your first foot in the door. If your resume is well-structured and easy to read you are helping the person hiring you to make that decision. Consider shop owners often get resumes from backpackers on a daily basis. If it requires a degree in advanced analytics to decipher your resume, it will probably end in the trash bin after a two second glace…
It is easy to forget to mention you have certain skills that may be very important to employers in Australia. For instance, make sure to highlight your English language skills! Are you looking for a farm job and do you have experience riding a tractor? Mention it!
For tips on writing a resume appropriate for the Australian market make sure to check up our guide: Writing an Australian Resume – Guide & Template
2. Be Proactive: Walk into Shops!
Get your name out there! Print a bunch of freshly updated resumes and go into bars & shops. Meeting a potential employer face-to-face works way better then sending an (impersonal) email. In Australia (and all over the world) potential employers will remember a candidate better if they have a face and personality to go with the resume. When you go by, don’t just walk in, dump your resume on the counter and walk out. Rather, chat with the staff. See if the manager is working and ask for him/her. Remember, it is always best to talk to the manager because he or she will be the person deciding whom to hire.
3. Do you have any (specific) marketable skills?
Can you build websites? Are you a graphic designer? Are you an electrician? In Australia there is a high demand for skilled employees (e.g. carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc.). If you have such skills make sure to market them! The pay rate can be pretty decent (a lot higher then unskilled minimum wage work). If you are having difficulties to find a job relevant to your skills you might consider signing up to a branch specific agency or check out sector specific job websites.
4. Where to look for a job?
You can do research online before arriving in Australia and secure a job beforehand. However, many employers will want you to be in Australia before hiring you. So how do you find a job in Australia? Plenty of backpacker jobs are posted on websites such as Gumtree, Seek and Facebook groups. You can start you job search by checking out these websites.
Gumtree is the Australian version of Craigslist and a great platform for finding backpacker jobs.
Don’t be afraid to take the initiative! Post an ad on Gumtree stating you are looking for work in Australia. Write a short introduction about yourself. List your skills and experiences. Make sure that you tailor your advert to jobs you are looking for. For instance, if you are looking to do some farm work make sure to include your skills relevant to this sector, the same tip as with writing your resume). Also, make sure to mention that you are in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa and how long it is still valid. You can use the following example when drafting your advert:
My name is Jonathan and I am a 23-year-old backpacker from Germany. Just a few things about myself. I have been working and traveling through Australia for four months and I am currently looking for a job in hospitality. My Working Holiday Visa is still valid for 7 months. Currently I am located in Byron Bay, but I am willing to travel. I am available from the first of January onward.
My previous job experience include:
- Farm hand at a Dairy farm in Victoria (Milking cows, Droving, Riding tractors, Fence repairs, etc.);
- WWOOFING in Byron Bay;
- Back home I worked at a bar for 3 years (serving drinks, making cocktails, handling a cash register).
- Hard worker;
- Fluent in English;
- RSA & White Card;
Full drivers license;
- Customer service skills;
- Great in multitasking.
As mentioned before, I am currently located in Byron Bay, but I am willing to move. Feel free to contact me at (telephone number).
Feel free to copy past this template and amend it to reflect your own experience!
Seek is geared more to professionals, but don’t let that deter you. If you are looking for an administrative job or a more sector specific job it is a great source of reverence. They have plenty of entry-level office jobs advertised on the website and are often keen on hiring backpackers for temporary functions.
- Facebook groups
Another great source of vacancies are backpacker specific Facebook groups. You have the basic ones such as Australian Backpackers and Australian Backpackers 2017. Then you have the country specific ones such as Dutchies in Australia etc. Other backpackers often post job opportunities here. One of the added bonuses of finding a job through one of the Facebook groups is that you get to talk to someone who actually works there. It is especially nice to hear from a fellow backpacker what the working conditions are like if the job will require you to relocate.
If you are staying at a hostel make sure to check out the messaging board in the lobby. Employers often hang ads there.
There are many agencies across Australia specialized in finding casual work for backpackers. Usually you are required to pay a fee and you get access to their network. They will actively look for jobs for you. However, be careful if required to pay a fee when signing up as there are a lot of scams out there. Make sure to read some reviews online and ask fellow travelers whether they have had experience with this agency.
Get your Certifications
For certain jobs you are required to get certifications. For instance, if you want to work in hospitality you are required to complete a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course in order to serve alcohol legally. Each state has its own RSA requirements so take this into account if you are travelling around and consider working in bars across state borders. If you want to work in construction you will be required to get your White Card.
Make sure to check out our guide on work specific certifications: Certificate training in Australia
By Joshua Waleson | Reporter Australia Backpackers Guide