How to Find a Job in Australia: Top Tips for Job Seekers

Whether you’re new to this country or entering the workforce for the first time, ApplyDirect shares some practical tips on finding a job in Australia.

Australia remains one of the world’s most attractive places to both live and work, with our vast island continent at the bottom of the world not only enjoying the benefits of a great climate, stunning natural beauty, mineral wealth and countless other blessings, but also a stellar run of 26 years continuous economic growth. This world beating run of economic growth in particular, combined with our low unemployment rate (currently 5.5%) and high average salary (around $80,000 per annum) has acted as a magnet for skilled workers from overseas seeking a better life down under. Like any country, Australia has its own particular customs when it comes to the workplace, so in the interests of helping out those seeking to mark their mark in this country or entering the workforce for the first time, ApplyDirect have out together this handy guide on finding a job in Australia:


  • Finding a Job in Australia Tip #1: Make Sure Your Visa is Sorted

The first step to finding a new job in Australia is arguably the most essential – and that is ensuring you have working rights to enter into an employment agreement here in the first place. In other words, you need to get your visa and other official documentation sorted before you even arrive down under. Often, new migrants will employ the services of a migration agent in their own country to gain entry into Australia and once here to ensure they stay on top of visa requirements. For skilled workers, the most common visa types are:

  • Temporary Skilled Working Visa (457) (1-4 years)
  • Employer Nomination Visa (186) (Permanent)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Schema Visa (187) (Permanent)
  • Permanent Residency (PR) Visa (Permanent)
  • Finding a Job in Australia Tip #2: Choose a Location

So you’ve jumped through the hoops, gathered the necessary documentation, filled out countless form and now you’ve been officially offered a working visa for Australia – congratulations! One of the more difficult parts of this process is done and now you’re free to arrive and begin looking for jobs in your preferred industry. However, before you do, you obviously need to choose a location where you’d like to live for the next few years and hopefully build a rewarding career for yourself in this exciting new land. The best way forward from here is to jump online and begin looking through employment sites such as ApplyDirect to gauge where the best job opportunities can be found for your industries of interest. Other things to consider are what type of climate, lifestyle and out of work activities you’d like to enjoy, as well as where communities from your own background are concentrated. Generally speaking, each capital city has its particular strengths:

  • Sydney NSW (Pop 5 million) – Education, Finance, IT, Law, Telecommunications
  • Melbourne VIC (Pop 4.7 million) – Arts, Biotech, Education, Healthcare, Media
  • Brisbane QLD (Pop 2.3 million) – Education, Energy & Resources, Tourism
  • Perth WA (Pop 2 million) – Construction, Education, Energy & Resources
  • Adelaide SA (Pop 1.3 million) – Healthcare, Government
  • Canberra ACT (Pop 400,00) – Government, IT
  • Hobart TAS (Pop 225,000) – Education, Healthcare, Government
  • Darwin NT (Pop 145,000) – Government, Transportation
  • Finding a Job in Australia Tip #3: Research the Local Job Market

Once you’ve chosen the location where you’d like to live, the next step to finding a job in Australia is to research the local job market in that particular location – paying close attention to key employers in your field as well as their geographic location relative to your accommodation. Generally speaking, Australia’s capital cities will have industry clusters where a large number of employers in specific fields will base themselves due to economies of scale and established infrastructure. A good example of this would be the Richmond/South Yarra neighbourhoods of Melbourne which has a high concentration of Advertising/Marketing agencies or Sydney CBD where a number of investment banks are headquartered. A good idea is to base yourself in a neighbourhood close to where you anticipate you’ll be working 5 days a week!


  • Finding a Job in Australia Tip #4: Learn the Culture & Lingo

Australians pride themselves on being a relaxed, friendly and laid-back people, with this casual ethos expressed through many working environments, although it shouldn’t be mistaken for laziness or complacency! Whilst most high powered executive and business jobs in Australia do require formal business attire such as a suit and tie, most workers get by with smart casual clothing and a friendly, first-name basis relationship with colleagues and managers. As you’ll soon learn, Aussies also love to abbreviate common everyday terms and take a very relaxed approach to the English language – for example, afternoon becomes “arvo”, conversation becomes “convo” whilst “keen to” expresses great enthusiasm. As a newcomer, you won’t be expected to speak this lingo, but it doesn’t hurt to know a few common phrases!


  • Finding a Job in Australia Tip #5: Make Friends with Locals

Our final job hunting tip and one that can be especially useful when looking for jobs in Australia is to make friends with locals upon arrival. This advice covers not only making friends with people born in Australia but also members of your own community who’ve moved here and successfully made a new life for themselves. Great ways to make new friends include attending community BBQ’s, through meetup groups, networking groups, sports and volunteering activities. The idea here is to not only build a social/support network in your new home but also a group of people you can go to for tips and advice on vacant jobs they may have heard about on the grapevine.

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