One of the biggest concerns students have when moving to another country is how to find a job in their industries.
It´s well known that having savings to survive the first months is not enough while you want to feel productive and independent. Having a job not only will reduce the pressure of making ends meet but also will make you understand the culture, be part of a social group and learn new things every day.
In countries like Australia, where at least 25% of the population accounts for migrants, the competition to get a professional job turns out to be fierce. If you believe that Australia needs to be more populated and that people from overseas are needed to achieve this, well, you are wrong. It is a fact that Australia has a very low population density, however, being one of the best countries to live in, means that work opportunities are mainly for those who offer added value to the country.
So, how can you get a job in such a competitive environment? Here we share these 9 tips to increase your chances of getting and keeping that job:
speaking English PROFESSIONALLY is a must
Sometimes having good English doesn´t mean understanding the film or the book we are reading. Yes, that’s a great skill. However, imagine that on your first day of work at an English only place, you are in charge of getting the meeting’s minutes done. This simple activity requires that you perfectly understand what is said, take notes in English and pass them on to people who depend on what you heard. Sounds like the level required to work in such an environment is quite high, right?
It is very important being honest with ourselves and recognise our limitations because sometimes, rushing to run before walking, can make us waste valuable opportunities. Assess yourself and decide if your level of English is enough to work with clients, taking notes, sending well-written emails, and so on. If it is not at that level yet, think about what you can do to improve. There are many free resources on the internet where you can learn and practice your English all the time. Having a good English is essential to aspiring to a professional position. It does not have to be perfect nor be a native accent, you must simply reach a level where it does not become an obstacle to perform your functions reliably.
UNDERSTAND THAT THE CULTURE IS DIFFERENT TO YOURS
The professional environment in Australia is different from that of many other countries, including the Latin one. The Australians are very direct and, therefore they want to communicate concisely. For instance, when you have a job interview and they ask you to explain your professional experience briefly. It is crucial to learn to be concrete and answer what they ask you in an appropriate way. This is something that we, most Latinos, find hard to work out because we tend to be very communicative and give heaps of details. The result of not being succinct is that you can seem too vague in your answers and give the impression that you are not professional.
Another issue is how to deal with interaction in the office. Even though Australians are super warm people, in the work environment, less is more. For example, if you get a trial, it is not necessary to arrive and greet with a kiss and a hug. A simple ‘good day, everyone!’ will be enough and friendly. The culture here is generally friendly and relaxed, but you have to observe the boundaries in your environment before you start up with jokes and swearing, even consider to modulate your tone of voice. Always try to imitate what you see, at least at the beginning so you can adapt more naturally.
Australians are used to dealing with people from all over the world in the office and are very open to other cultures, however, when you’re new, it is better to try and blend in with the culture. To help you out, we have designed a simulation interview in English where we provide you with insightful feedback, you can contact us to schedule an appointment here.
BE formal and punCtual
It might seem obvious but in our experience, we’ve seen people losing job opportunities for not being punctual or have a business behaviour.
Being formal, in Australia, means that you are prepared to work at all times. If your appointment is at 10am, make sure you´re there by 9:50 am, no excuses. Arriving at 10:01 am is already considered as a lack of punctuality and can make you look bad, don´t risk it. If you are required to attend an interview during lunchtime, make sure you´re there on time and devote yourself to the interview, not to eating or having a casual chat. Being formal doesn´t necessarily mean that you need to wear a suit or heels since dress codes in Australia tend to be more relaxed in business. Formality, therefore, means showing your manners, being neat, speaking professionally, being considerate and respect other people’s time.
If you definitely cannot make it to your appointment, let people know in advance. There have been some cases that we´ve witnessed when people not only don´t inform the delay, they also block the interviewer as they are not mature enough to apologise.
We are all exposed to different inconveniences or emergencies, however, being formal is about being mature enough to take responsibility and speak with honesty when something comes up suddenly that prevents you from being punctual. Australians have a great influence from the British culture, so being on time is utterly important to them when it comes to doing business or trying to get a job.
Gain experience by volunteering
Look for volunteering programs in your field of work in Australia that allow you to demonstrate what you have to offer. If you are in the university or a vocational college, you can talk to the academic department to find out if there are training programs that allow you to work a few hours in a real corporation.
Volunteering is generally not that attractive for students since the vast majority of these programs are unpaid. This disadvantage makes students prefer to stick to jobs that help them pay the bills. Making the sacrifice of volunteering, even within your own school, can open some doors for you in the future as you will gain understanding and new skills that will make you more employable. Remember, to achieve something you’ve never had (working professionally in Australia), you’ll have to do something you never did (such as volunteering).
Meet people, everywhere
Australians are usually very easy-going and talkative. It is very common to be in the supermarket and start a conversation with the staff, or the security guard, or the person who arranges the products on the shelves. Just talk! Not only will you improve your English, but also it will open a world of possibilities to meet someone who can hire you later on. Do not be afraid to tell your story and what you used to do in your country, your accent will be your best weapon to start talking about you. Attend events related to your industry. Facebook and Eventbrite are full of options to socialize and grow your network.
When you go to the events remember that there will be plenty of people like you who attend alone. Try to start a conversation with a casual comment directed to the person next to you, for example: ‘this place is amazing! Isn´t it?’ If they don’t respond or they give you the look, move on to the next person. Do not let the rejection discourage you. There will always be people who do not want to socialise, but there will also be heaps people looking to grow their social circles, just like you.
make the most of your resume
Can you imagine how many resumés (CV) companies receive every single day? A lot. The secret to drawing their attention towards yours is not only a nice curriculum design, but the way you sell yourself.
Talk about measurable achievements in your previous jobs. If you were a sales manager in your country, highlight the percentage in which you managed to increase sales or the methods with which you innovated the sales process and the results.
Remember, Australians likes direct and succinct communication. Selling yourself well does not mean embellishing your experience, it really means understanding what your value as an employee is and what skills you have that hardly anyone else can offer.
CLEAN UP YOUR PROFILES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
These days, potential employers and human resources staff often review personal profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter before hiring someone. Dedicate a full day to review your profiles and make them more professional. It is not about not being to be yourself, it is about offering your best version to a possible employer.
So, it’s time to start thinking twice before sharing that meme or trolling by making a comment publicly because the power of social media can destroy your employability in seconds.
Invest in a recruitment agency
Sometimes it is necessary to rely on a service that helps you connect with potential employers when your networking skills are limited or you´re too new in town. The benefit of this investment is that you will be targeting your search on real and segmented possibilities of work. If you really want to make the most of your 485 visa permission to work, we recommend you invest in agencies such as Michael Page, Hudson, SMAART Recruitment and Adecco in order to increase your chances of finding the job you are looking for here.
BE creative & have a proactive attitude
If you are studying, chances are your teachers are Australian or permanent residents with personal interests and parallel businesses. Talk to your teachers on your breaks, tell them about your experience and ask them to review your curriculum. Talk to the girl at the reception and ask if you can help with something administrative or anything.
Maybe in the cafe where you work, they have a page on Facebook which is little attended or even forgotten. If you are good at digital marketing, offer to help them with the page. Suggest promotions and events. If you are a cleaner in an office and you have contact with the people who work there, offer to help with the copy machine or their computers if you’re good at technology. Be helpful, irradiate positive vibes and take the opportunity to be known by helping with little tasks.
Sometimes finding a professional job in Australia is not about asking, but about offering first. And to add value to any company, you have to be creative no matter if you are an accountant, administrator, engineer. We are all creative.
Finally, remember that the one who perseveres, reaches, so you must be willing to apply to dozens of jobs online or personally before achieving that dream opportunity! Do not get discouraged and persist until you get it.
We hope these tips help you see new perspectives and that in a very short time, you share with us in the comments how you got that job.
Good luck and do not forget to share this article with someone who may need it!