As soon as she set foot Down Under, Victoria’s number one priority was to find a job that would allow her to afford and enjoy her Australian adventure. Naturally, she turned to hospitality, as you do not need a lot of experience for these jobs and people are often hired in this field. After having left numerous CVs and worked in different restaurants and cafés, here is some advice based on her experience with finding a job in hospitality in Australia.
The RSA – Certificate for serving alcohol
In order to serve alcohol in Australia, you must get ahold of the RSA, “Responsible Service of Alcohol”. This certificate is only valid in the state it is issued, but obtaining it is nothing but a formality. Expect spending between $50 and $100 as well as three to four hours of your time in order to pass it in class or online. Usually, your employer gives you one month before having to hand in a copy of your RSA certificate. But in reality, it is always better to have it beforehand in order to get hired. You also have the option of participating in more or less difficult courses. You will learn to make cocktails or become a barista and master your coffee art, but that is a non-obligatory extra.
Get your RSA
Salaries in hospitality
The national minimum wage is currently $19.49 per hour (2019). But that, of course, only counts if you are declared or registered. If someone suggests paying you “cash in hand”, the employer often offers you lower pay. Keep in mind that you might be able to get back a part of your taxes at the end of the financial year. So being paid in cash is not always an advantage (especially because it is illegal in Australia, like almost anywhere else). As a “casual” employee and given the insecurity of these positions, your salary must be higher than minimum wage (+23%, which makes $24 per hour).
In reality, some employers take advantage of the competition between backpackers and their lack of knowledge of the Australian legislation in order to make profit. That’s why it is always good to have these numbers in mind as a point of reference. Also note that every trial must be paid, even if that is not always the case.
Finding a hospitality job in Australia
You will hear this from everyone, but it’s true: the door to door method is the most efficient way to find a job in this industry. Make sure to adapt your resume to the Australian standards. Indeed the layout is different from a lot of other countries. Once done take it with you to hand it out on your job hunt. Even better: directly ask for the manager. Try to engage in a conversation and collect as much information as possible. Ask whether or not they are hiring, what positions they want to fill and how many hours you would work per week. The simple act of asking these questions demonstrates your dedication and motivation. It opens the door for you to mention your experience. At this point, make sure to highlight absolutely everything that is relevant or could be considered valuable in the world of hospitality, referring to key competences, such as customer service, ability to handle stress, teamwork and efficient communication.
Keep in mind that these are the positions where social contact remains priority number one and a good first impression can easily get you a trial! Of course, there are a lot advertisements online, especially on Gumtree, and it can be very tempting to send applications from the comfort of your couch. However, unless you answer immediately after an ad was posted, it is not really worthwhile to wait for an answer.
Learn to juggle more than one job
Once you have landed a job, it is not always certain that you will be given a sufficient number of hours to work. The solution can be to work two or even three jobs at the same time. All you need is the right formula. If you are already working at a restaurant at night, why not look for a job in a cafe? Even a few times a week, during mornings or lunch time.. You can also send your resume to catering companies. Also to agencies that specialize in hospitality (for example Pinnacle or Need a Chef). They will call you to work at onetime events, mostly on weekends.
I hope that these tips will help you look for a job in a more relaxed way. Hospitality is not exactly the most exotic industry here, but it may be a good start. Also it offers numerous possibilities, so good luck!!
Updated on 26/09/2019 – Initially published on 30/10/17