7 Steps to Finding Work in Australia

Gaining employment is often a challenge for all job seekers but applying in a new country can be even more confusing and stressful. Here are our steps to finding employment here in Australia.

1. Entry into Australia

Whether you are living overseas and planning to migrate to Australia or are already living here it is important to understand the conditions of your Australian Visa or your entry category. These will often impact the employment services and support that will be available to you in Australia. To find out more information about living and working in Australia, visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.


2. Getting your Qualifications Translated into English and Certified

If your employment related documents (including formal qualifications, transcripts and unit descriptions) are not in English you will need to have them translated. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship can offer free translation of essential documents for migrants who have been in Australia for less than two years.

Photocopies of Documents
When looking for work or applying for recognition of your qualifications only provide certified copies of originals or translated document. Do not provide originals, unless specifically required to, as they may not get returned.

A Certified Copy is a photocopy of your original or translated document that has been signed off as a true copy by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a certified person. JPs are volunteers and do not charge for this service.

When getting photocopies signed by a JP or Certified Person you must provide
• the original documents
• a photocopy (to be signed)
• proof of your identity (preferably a document that includes a photo such as a passport or driver’s licence).

To find a Victorian JP near you, Click Here.

3. Recognition of Skills, Experience and Qualifications

Most Australian employers will require a combination of skills and experience when advertising for jobs.

Refers to what a person can do, which can be learnt through life and work experience, education or training.

The development of knowledge or skills, resulting from direct participation in events or activities in work, education or life.

The result of an accredited program of learning that leads to a formal certification.

Recognition of work-related skills, experience and qualifications can be achieved through a number of pathways including:
Australian Government Qualifications and Skills Recognition
Australian Education International’s Country Education Profile
• Professional Associations within your specific industry
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)


4. Further Studies (“Up-Skilling”)

Once you have had your qualifications and/or skills and experience assessed, gaps in education and skills may be identified. If this is the case you may choose to fill these gaps by Gap Training or up-skilling. Likewise, doing further study and gaining qualifications in Australia may help you to enter the workforce in your chosen field.

Universities offer a wide range of courses in many areas.

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are often able to provide Degree level qualifications.

Professional Associations for your specific industry may provide training programs directly related to the workplace.

NOTE: It is important that you discuss your circumstances with your chosen University, Registered Training Organisation or Professional Association BEFORE you undertake any additional training or up-skilling. Entry requirements, course requirements and fees may apply.


5. Gaining Australian Work Experience

Employers value previous work experience and undertaking some in Australia will give you an opportunity to learn about Australian workplace culture, management approaches and work practices, while also improving your skills and gaining industry contacts. Work experience generally involves working normal hours in a company or organisation related to your professional qualifications and experience for four weeks or less, usually without receiving a salary.

The most common ways to gain work experience are to:
• Directly approach an employer to request work experience
• Do a training course that includes work experience with the training provider supporting the job seeker to contact employers


6. Finding and Applying for Jobs

Gaining employment is often a challenge for all job seekers but applying in a new country can be even more confusing and stressful.

If you have qualifications gained overseas, you may need to accept a job at a lower level than the one you have done in your own country and for some occupations it may be necessary to undertake additional training, to ensure that you have the knowledge required for the Australian work environment. However, this will often help to build your employability.

The Melbourne Employment Forum (MEF) offers lots of helpful tips and information on Finding jobs, Cover letters, Résumés and Job interviews.


7. Be Persistent and Patient

Unless your really lucky, finding a job doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it may take weeks or even months, so don’t get discouraged or give up. If you are really struggling to find work consider where you can improve your employability; you may need more experience, you may need to improve your resume or you may need additional training or education.