How To Find A Job In Australia

As a recent Professional Year graduate, you are at a turning point in your life: you are about to choose where you want your life to be going and you are on the verge of getting your first industry-related job in Australia.

With the knowledge and experience that the Professional Year program provides, graduates are able to quickly find a job when using the techniques taught in class and applied through their work integrated learning – 90% of our PY graduates have employment within 6 months of their graduation*

Before joining the program, many international students encounter many difficulties when looking for a job. Some of their difficulties include:

  • Visa status
  • Lack of local experience
  • No connections or professional network
  • Low level of English
  • No references to put in a resume
  • Poor resume-writing skills
  • No exposure to / understanding of the Australian business culture

The Professional Year Program is designed to cater to these specific needsand through completing the program, our students have had the opportunity to:

  • Benefit from an industry-related experience in an Australian company
  • Develop a professional network in Australia
  • Drastically improve their level of English through classes and their placement
  • Add references in their resume (e.g. from their PY teacher or Work Integrated Learning placement mentor)
  • Apply for jobs with a professional resume which was reviewed and refreshed through their Applying Job Search Skills class, meetings with their Placement Consultant, and resume workshops
  • Gain an excellent understanding of the Australian Business culture through the Australian Business Culture class s as well as exposure through a WIL placement
  • Possibly apply for Permanent Residency immediately after graduating

After graduation, Performance Education’s students are hence well-equipped to enter the professional world. What they were taught in the PY program and the tips here can be used as a checklist and reminder.

It only takes 3 steps to find employment, but all 3 steps require thorough preparation.

Step 1: Find the Job Opportunity

The Applying Job Search Skills class teaches PY students different strategies to target the right job opportunities, taking into consideration personal aspirations, skills and experience.

One common mistake recent graduates often make is having expectations that are too high. At the start of your career, it is important to be modest. As a recent graduate, you will need to start at an entry-level and gradually improve to reach your dream job, even if you have experience in your home country.
Another common mistake is to rely solely on online searches. Browsing employment websites is important but it is a passive approach, and many of the job vacancies are not advertised online. In order to find jobs that are not advertised, you will need to be proactive and extend your professional network.

Here are some tips from your Accelerating Interview Skills class on networking skills:

In order to extend your professional network, you should:

  • Attend networking events and job fairs
  • Let your friends, acquaintances and former colleagues know that you are looking for a job
  • Use your WIL placement experience to meet people in your industry
  • Do door knocking: directly introduce yourself to a company you’re interested in, prepare a speech and leave your resume

Some tips to be an efficient networker:

  • When you meet people, aim to maintain a natural curiosity about them and what they do. You should prepare to tell them about yourself, but do not make it all about you. They will need to like you as a person.
  • Networking events are about making connections with people in your industry, but these interactions need to be genuine, people-to-people interactions.
  • At the end of every conversation, leave your contact details (CV or business card).
  • Follow-up: after meeting someone, send a personalised follow-up email.
  • Stay in touch. Everyone you stay in contact with could be an asset either tomorrow or in 5 years’ time. Be ready to also help the people you meet.

Step 2: Apply for the Job (Resume and Cover Letter)

Once you have found a job offer that interests you and fits skill set, you will need to differentiate yourself by sending a customised application. A common mistake is to send the same resume and cover letter to all companies.

Any advertisement on websites such as Seek or Indeed receive hundreds of applications, so you will need to take the time to do your best job. You prepared a professional resume in your Applying Job Search Skills class (resume-writing tips can also be found here), but remember that it will need to be changed and customised every time.

The cover letter which accompanies your resume is here to support your application and explain your path in more details. Every cover letter must be absolutely unique.

Before you write it, you will need to:

  • Research the company: it will give you a good overall understanding of who they are
  • Identify a specific person to write to: nobody likes to read a letter addressed to “to whom it may concern”
  • Address the key selection criteria (Why should they hire you?)
  • Explain why you want to work for this specific company and in this role
  • Highlight the mutual benefits of your recruitment
  • Offer to follow-up with face-to-face interview
  • Make sure both resume and your cover letter have no spelling or grammatical errors. We recommend that you ask native-speakers to proofread the documents.

Step 3: Prepare For Your Interview

Your Accelerating Interview Skills class taught you the skills required to perform well in an interview. Remember that the two reasons recruiters are meeting with you is to gather more information about your path and experience, and to check if you would be a good team-fit.

In order to make a great impression, you will need to:

  • Plan your journey (you should arrive 10-15 minutes early)
  • Watch your body language
  • Dress professionally
  • Research the company
  • Research the interviewer
  • Prepared tailored questions to ask at the end of your interview
  • Though it is impossible to predict which questions will be asked in your interview, you should always prepare for the following:
  • Prepare an “elevator pitch”
  • Refresh your technical knowledge
  • Be familiar with the STAR Method
  • Know your resume by heart as everything you wrote is a potential question
  • Be honest in all your answers
  • Make sure you follow-up with a thank you email after each interview.

Your PY class gave you all the tools needed to succeed in your career in Australia. You will now need to be proactive: network, make a plan, and take the necessary time to prepare your application and to practise for your interviews.

The process of finding a job can be frustrating at times, so be persistent and don’t give up. You will experience failure at times, but don’t take rejections personally. As a recent PY graduate, your attitude will be a very important trigger to your success. Control what you can to achieve the results you want.

*2014/2015 Survey of Performance Education Professional Year Graduates by McCrindle Research

We know that finding a job abroad can be an overwhelming experience. Our specialist team can help you find work and settle into Australian life by helping you become ‘job ready’. Enquire today for guidance on a career in Aus.

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