Finding a job in Australia

Finding a job in Australia
Updated 2020-04-30 09:42

The Australian job market offers many opportunities for expat workers, whether they are new to the workforce or highly experienced. International arrivals are attracted to Australia for many reasons, including the country's high hourly and annual wages, a nationalised healthcare system (Medicare), and a high quality of life in a country which is generally very safe. Australia has also enjoyed an economy that has continued to grow over the last two decades and is set to continue over the next five years.

Applying for a job in Australia

Once you have a visa which allows you to work, it is important to make sure your CV and cover letter are up to date. A cover letter is a letter that addresses the job you are applying for specifically and is tailored to suit each job. It is also good to refine your CV, so you remove anything that isn't relevant for the job you are applying for. Try and keep your CV down to three pages. The Australian style of a CV and cover letter may be slightly different than your home country, so research this before applying for roles, or ask an employment agency to assist you. Consider getting a free CV review at TopCV. Having strong English language skills will also help, although many community centres offer low-cost or free classes that can help you with your skills, if necessary.

Australian jobs are predominantly advertised online through career and job search websites where you can search for jobs by location and occupation. The most common sites include Seek, CareerOne, and Ethical Jobs. You can also use LinkedIn as this is becoming more popular for not only jobs to be advertised on, but for companies to view your profile and get in touch with you. Make sure your profile is always up to date and open for job recruiters.

In addition to online advertising, recruitment (or employment) agencies are very common in Australia, with many jobs advertised directly and solely through agencies. There is no cost to sign up with an agency as fees are paid by the employer. Therefore, many job seekers will register with multiple agencies. Agencies can assist with matching your skills to suitable jobs, and can also help with interview skills. Both short term contract and permanent roles can be obtained this way.

After you have applied for a job, if the employer is interested, you will be asked to have an interview. If this is successful, employers will generally check your references, and ideally, this will be followed by an offer of employment.


References are essential so if you are coming from overseas, make sure you have email addresses of previous employees and notify them that they may be contacted. If you are unsuccessful in your application, often companies or agencies will be able to offer you constructive advice for how you can do better next time, which is good to take advantage of, if available.


The first thing to do upon arrival in Australia is to apply for your personal identification number, or Tax File Number (TFN), at the Australian Taxation Office.


Getting your TFN is compulsory for paying tax, which all workers must do, or if you wish to enrol in the public healthcare system. Every job will ask for your TFN, so it is good to get one straight away, so you pay the correct amount of tax. To apply online, you simply need a valid passport.

Most Australian business will pay via direct deposit into your bank account, so it is helpful to have an Australian bank account before applying for jobs. You may wish to check if your current bank has branches in Australia, otherwise, opening a bank account locally is a simple and easy process which will require a postal address, a valid passport, and other possible forms of ID, depending on the bank.

Wages and industries

Australia hosts some of the highest wages in the world, but salaries will vary depending on the role and your experience. The average full-time wage in Australia is AUD 82,436. The national hourly minimum wage for adults in Australia is AUD 18.93 as of July 2018, which equates to AUD 719.20 for a 38-hour week. Most full-time roles will also offer at least the national minimum of annual leave, which is four weeks paid holiday per year, in addition to any national or state-specific public holidays. Flexibility is also seen as important to Australian employers, with many businesses allowing their staff to work from home or have flexible working hours.

Growing industries to keep an eye on include, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and education and training. All these areas are set to grow with a minimum of 45,000 extra jobs opening up.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.