Finding your first role in Australia

Relocating overseas is a big move.

Finding a place to live.  Settling kids into new schools.  Leaving behind friends and making new ones.  That’s a lot of change and upheaval.

And then there’s the not-so-minor matter of finding your new job.

Local markets can have very specific technical skill and experience demands, and Australia is no exception.  It’s therefore important to sell your skills in a way that resonates with local employers.  With over 12 years’ experience navigating the Australian market, we’ve learnt a few things that can help you search successfully for your next role.

Your CV

  • Customise it. Don’t make your CV generic – you need to tailor it to each role.  It should highlight the specialist skills you have that are relevant to the role you are applying for.  For example, if you’re applying for a Digital Project Manager role, your digital projects experience should be front and centre.
  • Personalise your CV. Don’t use a generic template available on the web – create your own CV to stand out from the crowd.  When putting it together, refer to our Resume Writing Tips and have a read about The Importance of a Stellar CV.
  • Avoid using too many logos on your CV. Doing so puts the focus on other organisations rather than your own skills and experience.  Focus on yourself and what you can offer.


Don’t underestimate the power of a strong LinkedIn profile.  Most organisations will review your LinkedIn profile as soon as they receive your CV, so it’s essential that you spend time making it job-ready.

  • Match your CV to your LinkedIn profile (and vice versa). Potential employers will look at both so make sure they send the same key messages.
  • Be professional – LinkedIn is a professional networking platform – use a professional photo on your profile.
  • Outline key responsibilities. Use dot points to include some details about the key responsibilities you had in each of your former roles.

Applying for jobs

  • Be specific. Only apply for roles that align well with your skills and experience.
  • Be selective. Don’t apply for all roles that are advertised.  This can be viewed as ‘spamming your CV’ and can actually be detrimental to your job search.
  • Be proactive. Don’t rely on applying for jobs purely through job boards and websites – sometimes you have to pick up the phone and call.  The key though is to only call when you have the right experience for the role.  Remember that some recruitment agencies and organisations can get up to 200 applications for a single role, so making a call can be a great way to stand out from the crowd.
  • Work hard. Treat job hunting like a full-time job and don’t underestimate the power of researching and networking.
  • Be thorough. Make sure you thoroughly read the job description and fully understand the requirements of the role before you apply.

Additional tips

  • Ask people for advice. If you have a specific skill set, particularly in technology, find out which organisations value and seek out those skills in the local market.
  • Don’t undersell yourself on title or salary. Be confident in your experience and abilities.
  • Don’t feel pressure in terms of how you identify yourself. Feel free to use a ‘nickname’ if you have one, but don’t feel you have to.

How we can help you

  • We understand our clients’ needs. We have developed strong relationships with leading organisations in Australia.  If you have demonstrated strong skills and experience, call us or send us your CV.  We’d be happy to discuss your skills with our partner organisations on your behalf when we identify a good fit.
  • We provide you with support and help whenever we can. While we may not always have the right job for you at a particular time, we’re always looking to build a skilled pool of talent that we can access when the right roles do come up.
  • Salary advice. We provide advice on salary levels via our regular salary surveys to help you understand market rates and set your expectations.
  • Upfront feedback. We’ll always give you honest feedback about the suitability of your skills and experience when you’re interested in a particular role.
  • Going the extra mile. If you’re looking for a job in Australia but are not yet in the country, we’re happy to work around time barriers and make the process easier for you.
  • Phone interviews. If you’re still overseas but have phone interviews arranged with companies in Australia, we can help.  You can also refer to our website and our article on How to Nail a Phone Interview for some useful tips.
  • Remember, it’s a two-way relationship. If you’re working with one or more recruitment agencies, or directly with an organisation, make sure you communicate openly throughout the recruitment process.  We understand that candidates are looking to give themselves the best chance of success, and sometime that means not always working exclusively with us. However, if you are interviewing for other roles or have another offer, be transparent and let us know.  It won’t hinder your chances with any of our roles, but it will allow us to successfully manage everyone’s expectations throughout the process.

We wish you all the best in your search for a new role in Australia and we hope that you found these tips useful.

Briana Adams and Tracee Rowe – May 2017