What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in Australia?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Australia? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in Australia? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


I had a lot of success by targeting a recruitment agency. They said my CV was poor and gave me a lot of tips for re-writing it which made the difference for me. They also suggested including very few international jobs, just Australian posts on your CV.

If you have a college degree that is credited in Australia, then just go and contact the companies personally. The market is very competitive, only 3 from every 15 people is interviewed. Recruiters are not only looking for a good GPA, also for people who developed their competitive advantages. I recomend to come to Australia, people with high level of aknowledge in specific competitive areas like finance or business administration. Or people who will start their college studies since the begining or try to get and MBA or any other postgraduate degree.
Otherwise, no companies will spend time and money in helping you to get a new visa status as a full time worker.

Hi there,

The two best ways to look for a job is through employment websites like seek.com.au or indeed.com.au  and through recruitment agencies that specialize in your area of work.

Preparing a CV here in Australia is repetitively easy, you can just google it or view templates on recruitment websites to help you. Its important to state the working visa you're on.

It's an advantage to speak English.


From my experience - other than the search websites which have been mentioned here  - especially for new immigrants - that is looking for the first job in Australia - they will hear a term called "Lack of Local Experience".

This is the main Chinese Wall of the Australian job market - as we come from abroad - and can't supply local experience - obviously :)

The solution I used, was networking, connecting with people, creating business connections, using Linkedin (I registered and paid the LinkedIn service - to be able to contact those I chose to - even when we didn't have a mutual connection).

Mingle with other colleagues from the same work experience you have - try and meet as many people as you can (Face to Face) - try and get a face meeting with Australian recruiters.

Using that technique - created the opportunity to have someone recommend me as a suitable candidate, and get me the foot shove into the door - to get an interview, and I took it away from there.

Be prepared to do some leg work - not just send CV by emails - as they land on a huge pile of other CV's and your chances of being invited to an interview are slim - adding to the fact you lack local experience :)

Good Luck

It really depends on what industry you are looking at I think.

www.seek.com.au is definitely the best starting point to get an idea of what jobs are around and what recruitment agencies work in that industry.

The best way would be to come here on holiday first and meet in person with recruiters. Recruiters and HR staff get many applications from overseas, so it might help to stand out from the crowd by calling them up and speaking to them directly about specific jobs or companies they recruit for.

If you know exactly which companies you have in mind you could contact them directly but that's more difficult, unless you know someone within the company already to alert you about jobs there.

As far as I know, a photo shouldn't be included with a CV, but again this might depend on the industry.

Level of English proficiency again depends on which industry you work in. The more specialist skills you have, the less important your English level is I would think.

Don't give up: unemployment is relatively low in Australia and although getting your first job here may be difficult, once you are underway it's up to you how far you go.

I hope some of this helps!

Warren (Sydney)

Agree with all the comments above.

One further thing when you decide on what you want to do. It doesn't matter if it is truck driver or accountant, something that is still respected by many companies is to "walk the streets" i.e. go from the one business to the next business, take you CV and tell them that you are looking for work.  Many companies may say that at the moment they do not have anything, but may still stake your CV with contact details and one day you will get a phone call saying a job has opened up.  This is time consuming but is still one of the best ways of getting a job.  It shows that you are keen and willing to work hard.  If you are not willing to work hard then simply give up now.

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