Returning to the job market in Australia

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Returning to the job market in Australia

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Congratulations and Welcome! You’ve just arrived in Australia or recently returned home and now it’s time to start searching for your new workplace.  There’s a world of opportunity, career goals and dreams to make a reality, in amongst the stress of finding housing, setting up bank accounts and healthcare, as well as finding community, friends and having exciting new adventures.  Landing that first job and breaking into the Aussie job market is usually the biggest hurdle to overcome.  So, how can we make the process a little easier and less stressful.

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Like any country, Australia has its own job-seeking and recruiting systems and cultures.  Knowing the landscape of Australian industries, laws and regulations is an essential first step to finding work.  Researching the local market, key companies and players, average salaries, working rights and qualifications will put you in good stead to begin your job hunt.  Build connections within the community and flex your networking skills, as this is a major way companies source their employees.  Utilizing key online job sites like LinkedIn, Seek and Indeed, and understanding how each of them function differently will be a valuable tool under your belt.   If you’re residing in Australia on a visa, make sure you know the rules and regulations for your specific visa, and remember to keep your ‘right to work’ current.

Rework your resume

Every country has a different formatting style to resumes, and these can change and update with the times.  Your resume is one of the biggest tools you have in landing a job, so take the time to perfect your resume.  Make it easy to read (1-2 pages with headings and minimal colour), clear and concise and don’t be afraid to sell yourself.  Moreover, tailor your resume and cover letter to each job application, find key skills and attributes from individual job ads and make them clearly present in your resume.  There are many online resources and training courses to help make your Australian resume look professional and clean.  Keep personal information to a minimum.  Personal information such as marital status, age, race, religion and photos should never be included in an Australian resume.

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Be open-minded and resilient

Landing that first local job can take some time, and sometimes a step back in your career trajectory.   Stay open to various opportunities, because once that first role finds you, experience and connections will follow.  Look into short courses and volunteer opportunities that can beef up your resume and expertise.  Retraining and upskilling are becoming incredibly important tools in the modern workforce, and some jobs may require Australian-specific qualifications so make sure your proficiencies are up to date.   Often, the first job you accept may not be your ideal, but a steppingstone to something greater. 

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Moving across oceans, with new cultures, languages and ways of life is a monumental step for anyone to take.  The process of setting up your career can be a daunting and often slow process.  But an exciting new world of opportunity has become available to you, so stay strong.  It may take 1 month… or 6, to land your first job, but with perseverance, preparation and knowledge, the right opportunity will present itself and you’ll be on the road to your dream career and life here in Australia. 

Good Luck!

Written by
Stephanie Nomura

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