How to find a job in Melbourne

Finding work in melbourne
Updated 2023-05-14 11:57

Melbourne or Naarm is Australia's second-largest city, after Sydney, and is actually on track to grow even larger than Sydney by 2030. The city prospered during the gold rush of the 1850s and has continued to thrive ever since. Melbourne is by all accounts an excellent city and consistently ranks as one of the world's most livable cities. As an expat on the ground in Melbourne, one of the first things you must do is secure a job. Whether you're looking for something temporary or are trying to get a foot in the door in the same industry you worked in your home country, we've collated some great tips for finding employment in Melbourne.

In Melbourne, the most prevalent industries include finance, healthcare, technical services, education, media, real estate, administration, and hospitality and food services. Tourism also plays a vital role in the Melbourne economy.

Visa requirements for working in Melbourne

First things first: to work in Melbourne, you must first have a visa that allows you to work legally in Australia. If you don't have a visa organized by your employer, here's a quick breakdown of the main visas which don't require employer sponsorship but allow you to work:

  • Working Holiday Visa: This visa allows young adults (18-30 years old) from eligible countries to work and travel in Australia for up to one year.
  • Student Visa: This visa allows international students in Melbourne to work up to 40 hours per fortnight (and unlimited hours during scheduled course breaks) while studying in Australia.
  • Skilled Independent Visa: This visa allows skilled workers to live and work permanently in Australia without the need for employer sponsorship.
  • Partner Visa: These visas allow partners of Australian citizens or permanent residents to live and work in Australia.

The job hunt in Melbourne

Finding a job in Melbourne or Australia, in general, can best be done online, as nearly all job vacancies are advertised online.

Another popular way to find employment is through a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies are very popular in Australia and can help with improving your resume, arranging interviews, and will work with you to help you find a perfect job. There is no fee to register with an agency, as these are paid by the employer, so it is common to register with multiple agencies. They can assist with all levels of employment, casual or permanent, including entry-level and more highly skilled roles. Good recruitment agencies include Hays and Launch.

Useful links:

Career One

The basics for working in Melbourne

Tax number

To work in Australia, you must have an Australian bank account, a local phone number, and a Tax File Number (TFN). A professional email address is also recommended. A TFN number can be obtained easily through the Australian Tax Office. When you find a job, it is important to provide your TFN number to your employer within 28 days; otherwise, you might be taxed at an excessively high rate.

CV and cover letter

It is important to make sure your CV and cover letter are up to date and tailored to the job you are applying for. Australian CVs are typically shorter than those in other countries, so aim to keep them to two or three pages. Don't just send out a template cover letter to all employers; such letters usually have an easily detectable impersonal tone. Always try to connect your skills and experience with the job being advertised in a creative and personal way.

Job Interviews

Job Interviews in Melbourne will follow a standard format, where upper-level staff from the organization will ask you questions about your work experience and general suitability for the role. You can find tips for interviewing well on the Australian Workforce website, as well as on numerous other job sites.

Melbourne's job market

Melbourne is an exciting city and has a diverse job market. The city offers a variety of employment opportunities across world-class industries such as finance, healthcare, education, information technology, retail, hospitality, construction, creative and media, transport and logistics, and professional services.

One of the advantages for expats seeking work in Melbourne is the demand for skilled workers in fields such as finance, information technology, and healthcare. We recommend getting familiar with Australia's “Skilled occupation list” to get a sense of whether your skill set and experience will be sought after in Melbourne. Depending on the industry, there is a demand for overseas workers. However, it's important to note that competition for jobs can be tough, with many positions requiring relevant qualifications or Australian work experience.

The unemployment rate in Melbourne has remained pretty low in recent years, hovering around 3.5% in 2023.

Work and holiday employment options in Melbourne

Due to the six-month restriction on employment for the working holiday visa, job options can be slightly limited. However, many expats move to Melbourne on this visa type, and common fields of employment include administrative or clerical temporary work, retail and hospitality, au pair and childcare roles, sales jobs, and labor or construction work. Once your six months are over, you will need to apply for a different job. Agencies can be great for this as they can set you up with contract work that runs for six months at a time. If you are sponsored by your employer or on a de facto visa, you can stay at one job for as long as you wish.

Good to know:

You can apply for permission to remain with your employer for more than six months, but if you don't, you risk being in breach of your visa.

Industries in Melbourne

Melbourne is a world-class city and almost any field you can think of will be represented in the range of industries that make up this busy city. However, there are a few industries that dominate the job boards, which we have summarised below.

Hospitality and restaurants

Hospitality is a great place to start when you first move to Melbourne. The minimum wage is very decent, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to work at. It is also a great way to meet people and set up a base initially. If you are planning on working in a bar, restaurant, or another establishment that serves alcohol, you must have a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. This certification is recognized by the government, allowing you to serve and sell alcohol. The certificate can be obtained through attending a short course and proves that you are aware of the requirements for safely distributing alcohol.


Construction work can be a good industry, with good pay and, generally, not a lot of experience needed. If you are planning to undertake any construction work, all workers are required to have Construction induction training (white card). This applies to even casual or short-term workers. This is proof of having completed general Occupational Health and Safety construction induction training for the industry, and only with this will an employer allow you onto a worksite. The cost varies between trainers, but the card application fee is included in the training course fee. To apply for a white card, you must attend a construction induction training course with a registered organization. Then you can use the 'statement of attainment' as proof to start work. The white card will arrive in the mail soon after. Further details can be found on the Worksafe website.


Melbourne has a thriving healthcare industry, with many hospitals, clinics, and medical research facilities located throughout the city. The industry offers a wide range of employment opportunities, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, medical researchers, and administrative staff. Melbourne is also home to world-renowned medical research institutes such as the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, making it an attractive destination for those interested in medical research.

Employment agencies in Melbourne that specialize in healthcare include:

Information Technology

There is a fast-growing technology industry in Melbourne, with many startups, established companies, and tech hubs located throughout the city. The industry offers employment opportunities in areas like software development, cyber security, data analysis, digital marketing, and project management. Melbourne is also home to several leading universities that offer technology-related degrees, providing a steady supply of skilled graduates to the industry.

Some top tech employers in Melbourne include:

Atlassian: Atlassian is an Australian software company that provides tools for software development, project management, and collaboration.

MYOB: MYOB is an Australian tech company that provides accounting software and other financial services to businesses.

REA Group: REA Group is a multinational digital media company based in Melbourne that specializes in property listings and related services.

Envato: Envato is an Australian tech company that has its HQ in Melbourne. They provide digital assets and creative tools for designers and developers.

Recognition of overseas qualifications in Melbourne

As an expat seeking employment in Melbourne, it's essential to determine whether your overseas qualifications will be recognized by Australian employers.

Check the Australian Government's SkillSelect website: This website provides information on recognized occupations and qualifications required for skilled migration to Australia. You can use this information to determine whether your qualifications are recognized in Australia and whether you are eligible for a skilled migration visa.

Research your occupation or industry: Some industries may have specific requirements for qualifications, registration, or licensing. Research your occupation or industry to determine if there are any specific requirements that you need to meet.

Get your qualifications assessed: The Australian Government provides assessment services for overseas qualifications through various organizations. In Melbourne, you can have your qualifications assessed at the Overseas Qualification Unit to determine whether they are equivalent to Australian qualifications.

Consider further education: In some cases, you may need to undertake further education or training to meet Australian standards. Hopefully, this won't involve completely retraining, but there may be courses or tests you can undertake to make sure your skills meet Australian standards.

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.