Job hunting

Where to look for a job in Australia

Your method of job hunting obviously depends on your circumstances, experience and qualifications, and the sort of job you’re seeking, and may include the following:

Checking the TV teletext job service and other bulletin boards.

Checking employment sites on the internet (which is increasingly being used by Australian agencies and headhunters). Some useful employment websites are:

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relation maintains a regularly updated site with a list of most employment websites ( Students can use the Graduate Careers site, established by the Graduate Careers Council of Australia (

Contacting private recruitment consultants and employment agencies.

Obtaining copies of Australian daily newspapers, all of which contain ‘positions vacant’ sections (the Saturday editions are the best), including job advertisements dedicated to particular industries or professions on certain days. Most local and national newspapers are available in the reading rooms of local libraries in Australia, so you don’t usually need to buy them. Jobs are also advertised in industry and trade newspapers and magazines. Australian newspapers are available in some countries from international news agencies, as well as in Australian embassies and consulates, Australian social clubs, and Australian trade and commercial centres, (although they don’t always contain the ‘situations vacant’ sections).

In the UK, single copies of the major Australian newspapers can be purchased from Smyth, International Media Representatives, Archgate Business Centre, 825 High Road, London N12 8UB, UK (Tel. 020-8446 6400). Subscriptions to Australian newspapers are available from TNT Express World, Unit 6, Spitfire Way, Spitfire Estate, Hounslow, Middlesex TW5 9NW (Tel. 0181-561 2345) but are expensive. The ‘jobs vacant’ sections of major Australian newspapers can sometimes be perused on the internet.

Networking (getting together with like-minded people to discuss business), which is a popular way of making business and professional contacts in Australia. It can be particularly successful for executives, managers and professionals when job hunting.

If you have a professional qualification that’s recognised in Australia, writing to an Australian professional organisation for information and advice (addresses are obtainable from Australian chambers of commerce overseas); membership of the organisation may be obligatory to work in Australia. All associations publish journals containing ‘positions vacant’ advertisements, where members can also offer their services to prospective employers. Information about specific professions, trades and industries, particularly job opportunities in individual states, cities or areas, can be obtained from local chambers of commerce in Australia.

Applying to international and national recruiting agencies acting for Australian companies. Agencies mainly recruit executives and key managerial and technical staff, and some have offices overseas, e.g. in the UK.

Applying to foreign multi-national companies with offices or subsidiaries in Australia and making written applications directly to Australian companies. You can obtain a list of companies working in a particular field from trade directories, copies of which are available at reference libraries in Australia (they can also be consulted at Australian missions and chambers of commerce overseas).

Placing an advertisement in the ‘situations wanted’ section of a national newspaper in Australia or a local newspaper in the area where you wish to work. If you’re a member of a recognised profession or trade, you could place an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine dedicated to your profession or a particular industry.

Asking acquaintances, friends and relatives working in Australia whether they know of an employer looking for someone with your experience and qualifications.

If you’re already in Australia, contacting or joining expatriate groups, professional organisations, social clubs and societies, particularly your country’s chamber of commerce.

Applying in person to Australian companies (see Personal Applications below).

Always obtain a job offer in writing and a contract; steer clear of an employer who won’t provide them. An official job entitles you to accident insurance, official protection from exploitation, redundancy payments, state pension, superannuation and unemployment benefit, among other.

Personal Applications

Your best chance of obtaining some jobs (particularly temporary jobs) in Australia is to apply in person, when success is often simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. When looking for a job for which no special qualifications or experience are required, it isn’t necessarily what you know, but who you know.

Many companies don’t advertise but rely on attracting workers by word of mouth and their own vacancy boards. Always leave your name and address with a prospective employer and (if possible) a telephone number where you can be contacted, particularly if a job may become vacant at short notice. Advertise the fact that you’re looking for a job with acquaintances, friends and relatives, and anyone you come into contact with who may be able to help.

This article is an extract from Living and Working in Australia.