How to find an office job on a Working Holiday in Australia


View from city centre MelbourneWhen you decide to embark on a working holiday, you need to make a decision, what sort of “working” are you looking for? When I started this journey, I knew I wanted a job in which I could use my experience and education to further my career.

I understand a lot of people come to Australia on this visa to travel around by finding farm work or casual gigs for funding, but we wanted to work and save and then do our travelling towards the end of our visas. I knew I had my work cut out for me in finding a content/marketing/digital job.

Oli and I worked our bums off in finding work and it really turned out well for us in the end. Oli is a “Web Content Specialist” at a global wine distributor (3-4 month contract – Oli told me to add the ‘global’ part) and I am a “Web Content Coordinator” at a university (5-6 month contract). So much web content!

Here’s what I learned from both of our Australian job hunting journeys and what you can do if you’re looking to do the same:

Before you leave

You should only do a few things before you embark. One is creating an “Australian CV” which is longer than your normal US or UK one. I changed my resume countless times after arriving, seeing what worked and what didn’t. It’s best to have a base to start so you’re not scrambling once you arrive.  Here is the one I used that ultimately landed me a job.

Not only should your resumé be top-notch Australian, but your LinkedIn should as well. Make sure that it highlights your past work effectively, samples of projects can be easily found, and you have a summary that describes what kind of work you are looking for over the next year.

Having a working holiday visa, you need to find temp/contract work and those sorts of positions are usually filled by recruitment agencies as companies rather not use up their own HR power on short-term positions. That being said, find recruitment agencies that specialise in your industry and make a list of recruiters to contact when you get here. It will come in handy later…

After you get here

You’ve arrived! You’ve traveled who knows how many miles and trekked across countless terminals and you’re in Australia. As soon as you want to find work, I would suggest contacting recruiters by connecting on LinkedIn. It may seem pushy or odd to you, but it’s not, I promise! Recruiters are used to it. They literally connect with people for a living and it gives you a way to get a virtual resume right in front of them. If they are interested in you as a candidate, they will most certainly send you a message and have a chin wag on what you’re looking for and if they can help.

In addition to blasting out those invites, you’ll want to check out Seek, Mumbrella, NeuvooEthical Jobs, LinkedIn, and Indeed, make an account when applicable and start applying to jobs. Make sure you’re only looking at contract/temp work. Most of the jobs you’ll see will probably be through recruiters, but don’t get disheartened and think you’re going to get lost in the shuffle. If you’re right for the job and you’ve taken the time to craft your CV/covering letter for the position, they will be in touch.

To be honest, this was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Dealing with the anxiety and feeling of worthlessness for not having found a job after month one was difficult for me. I’m extremely lucky and privileged that I had a very supportive fellow by my side and a rent-free place to call home. I already feel like I am progressing from this journey through finding different ways to deal with my anxiety and depression. More on that in a future post.

How we found our jobs

Getting into specifics of how each of us found our work, Oli landed his job exactly one month in and I landed mine in two. He applied on Seek for a position and then was asked to interview with the company and got it. I used the ole send LinkedIn invites to recruiters and one asked me in for an interview. While there, he said he may have a job at a university for me and put me through to that. I then did a phone interview with the university and got it!

For us, it seems if you make it to the interview with the company stage and you do your research on the position and organisation, you’re most likely to get it.

How you can find a job

There’s many ways to go about your job search but the important thing to remember is to keep trying different strategies. Don’t just apply via Seek, Mumbrella, NeuvooEthical Jobs, LinkedIn, and Indeed to positions. Reach out to recruiters, make phone calls, start building relationships; be as proactive as possible. It is difficult; at least it was for me! Just keep moving forward and take each rejection email in stride. It only takes one yes to land you a job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *