We have been a recruiter for a number of hospitality and corporate positions and there are some mistakes that we see many tourists and international visitors make time and time again. We WANT you to find work here and be able to explore Australia for longer! This si a great country but very expensive to travel, finding a job can help you be able to see more of this slab of red earth. So here are our top six tips and tricks to help you land a job in Australia.
- Use your words wisely. What you say matters. If you say something you have to be able and willing to follow through with it. There are many cultures where it is normal to make plans with no expectations that anyone will actually follow though on them (we’re looking at you Latin America) or to ‘big yourself up’ so much during an interview that you boast skills that you don’t have. Aussies are different. If you say that you can easily lift a 50kg bag on bananas then you better be able to do it! If you tell your potential employer that you have no car but are okay to work late shifts after public transport stops running… they will know that you are lying and you will not get the job. Be honest and do not embellish upon your skills just to get the job. It wastes everyone’s time and nobody here likes a time-waster.
- If you’re running late, let them know. Turning up to a job interview or your first day or work late is the easiest way to loose your job. If you have plans for a phone interview with your potential employer at 2pm, then call at 2pm, not 2.15pm or 2.30pm. Show respect for their time or be prepared to have them ignore you when you do call. We cannot tell you the amount of times that we have had new staff turn up late for their first day on the job. For me, this was always a sign that they just didn’t care. They never lasted long in their roles.
- Respect the trade. The fact that you came to Australia with a university degree doesn’t not mean that you know how to make a good coffee, pick a strawberry or be a labourer. Australians are very proud of what we can do with our hands, this is a working country that still values tradespeople as equally as university graduates, if not more. As a café manager I had many international students and backpackers tell me that they knew how to make coffee. I would ask them to make me one on the machine and they would look at me blankly, unable to even turn on the steam wand. That showed me that they did not respect the trade, they though that the job was below them and that it was a job that anyone could walk into, not one that should be respected as a profession. If you do not know how to lay bricks, then do not tell your potential employer that you do, just because you figure ‘how hard can it be?’. You need to be aware that not every job is for you, and that you do not know it all. Be willing to learn, be willing to admit that you do not know the trade. Just think that trades, like desk jobs, are a skill that your potential employer has spent many years, and much money, learning and perfecting. Don’t insult them and make a fool of yourself.
This goes for fruitpicking jobs also, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Do not go for a supervisor position or a farm manager because you have a business degree and think that working in the fields is below your level of education. Farm managers are highly skilled and experienced professionals even though they may not have a piece of paper to prove it. Keeping a pot plant alive in you apartment is not the same as being able to grown miles of crops.
- Mind you manners. Ever walked into a shop in Australia to have the shopkeeper strike up a full conversation with you? Then be surprised that they are not actually trying to sell you their goods but just being friendly? Have you noticed that strangers in Australia will say hi to you in the streets? We are friendly and polite people, us Aussies. Many cultures are very direct compared to Australians. They do not take time with pleasantries or small talk. We do. The most important words that you should be using daily are please and thank you. Be sure to ask how your potential employer’s day is going, ask about their business, how they got their start, use please and thank you at every opportunity and generally make small talk, instead of rushing to get the answers you require. It will make you look relaxed, genuine and respectful in the eyes of the employer.
- Resume. Aussies do not put our age or a photo on our resumes. In fact it is illegal for an employer to ask your age in the interview process, unless it relates to legal implication, such a serving alcohol. You can write a short intro on your resume, but keep it short. A few sentences at most. The rest of the resume should be in dot points. Understand that we do not read your resume fully unless you make it through to the second or third round. Make sure that your most relevant qualifications or employment history are easy to find at the start of your resume. Do not waffle on about unimportant info. Short, concise sentences are best. Always
- Understand that everyone is replaceable. This is a nice way of saying, know your place. I cannot tell you how many times I have interviewed people only to walk away thinking ‘well, they seem like a wanker’. There is a difference between being confident and being cocky. Confidence in knowing that you can do the job well.Cocky is thinking that no one in the world can do the job as well as you can. I guarantee they can. Everyone is replaceable, the sooner you understand that, the easier your job-finding mission in Australia will be.
None of these are life-changing or earth-shattering tips. They are common sense. However they are SO often overlooked that if you follow them all, you WILL increase you job prospects.
Secret 7th tip for those who read to the end. The internet is not some magic job-finding resource, the fastest way to get a job in Australia is to get off your butt and hit the pavement. Go door to door and you will find work a lot faster than applying online. We both follow this as a rule and have never been without a job offer for more than a couple of weeks in notoriously hard-to-find-work- Melbourne.