Do your plans to study abroad in Australia also include getting valuable Australian work experience? Working in Australia means immersing yourself in the local work culture and letting you gain experience you can add to your CV, helping you to secure a job after graduation. Many employers love to see international experience, another bonus for working while studying abroad.
One thing that can make students who want to study abroad nervous? Going to Australia without a job lined up prior to leaving their home country. Sure, there are ways to manage your finances, but it never hurts to have some extra spending money or income to cover your rent, food and weekend adventures.
However, finding a job prior to setting foot in Australia can be tricky. There are plenty of local job seekers competing for the same jobs and available to start immediately— but the good news is that there are strategies for finding a part-time job before you ever get on the plane!
Many students who study abroad in Australia are eligible for a work permit, but be sure before you begin looking for work you understand what work permit you can obtain and any limitations it might include. Most work permits allow for 20 hours of work per week and unlimited work during school breaks, but there may be exceptions depending on your home country.
So, how do you go about getting a job prior to coming to Australia?
Assemble your tools
You may be applying from three-thousand kilometres away, but that doesn’t mean you don’t bring unique experience, awesome work ethic and a diverse view to an employer.
For most jobs you apply to, you’ll need to include a CV that briefly details your work experience, education, certifications, language skills and more. Your cover letter should touch on the highlights of your resume, but also explain when you’ll arrive in Australia, what your work visa will include and what makes you a unique and valuable team member.
Don’t be afraid to be honest about your timeline or visa. There’s no sense in landing a job only to have it taken away once they find out the facts.
Start your search
There are plenty of listed job openings on Australian job sites like Seek or MyCareer and international networking sites like LinkedIn. If you’re seeking startup work, sites like CrunchBase can point you in the direction of startups that are growing and expanding their team.
Don’t limit yourself only to traditional part-time jobs. There are many paid internships available as well. If you can find an internship in your area of interest, you can network and build skills and experience simultaneously. Check company social media pages and Career pages to see who is hiring!
Another option? Working online. You can start today on sites like UpWork, Fiverr or Freelancer.com and work on everything from transcribing audio files to copywriting to virtual assistant positions to illustration to marketing strategy and much more. As long as you have an internet connection and a laptop, you’ll have access to people who are hiring from all over the world!
You can also join local Facebook or Reddit groups, in an effort to understand more about potential jobs in the area.
If you know which institution you’ll be studying at, it would be wise to contact their office and see what advice they have. They may even have relationships with local businesses who hire their students, or look for student employees to work at the institution, which makes for a very easy commute!
Being creative in your approach is one way to stand out, so don’t be afraid to explore new ideas for finding job openings. Think outside the box and ask: how can I get noticed (in a positive way) and demonstrate my value?
Applying for jobs
Using your beautifully crafted CV and cover letter along with helpful job search sites and alternative resources, you can begin applying for jobs. Make sure you tailor your cover letter and CV to speak to the positions you apply to, especially if they’re diverse positions or different industries. Show the person reading your CV and cover letter why you’re a match! This is where you’ll be able to show your true potential. Set an aggressive goal for the number of jobs to apply to each day and keep track of that number. Not only will it keep you motivated to apply to many jobs, but it will also help you gauge what is working in your job search and what isn’t.
If you’re interested in working at a cool tech startup, there’s nothing wrong with direct messaging the founder via Twitter or Instagram and asking what type of positions they may need help with. If you’re not getting a response through a company, you can send a friendly hello message via LinkedIn to the hiring manager and introduce yourself, making you more of a person and less of just another application in their stack of applications.
Because you must be forthcoming about your current geographic distance, suggest solutions to overcome this. Phone calls and Skype interviews are extremely commonplace— and can be supplemented with an in-person interview once you reach Australia. By doing this, you not only overcome an objection they may have about not being able to interview you while demonstrating your problem-solving abilities.