How to Find a Job in Sydney
So you’ve finished travelling the East Coast, or maybe you’ve arrived fresh from your amazing adventures in Asia and you now find yourself stepping off the plane or bus in Sydney, Australia looking for your next big adventure. Except, there’s one problem… Your bank balance is looking pretty low, either from too much partying or maybe one too many Thai massages. Either way, reality has now set in and the ‘working’ part of your Working Holiday Visa (WHV) might actually have to start! Here’s my tips on how to find a job in Sydney!
Sydney, being one of the largest cities in Australia has a relatively low unemployment rate. However, that’s not to say that finding a job will be easy. There are many hurdles you’ll come across whilst job hunting in Sydney, as well as other cities which include: companies against hiring people on WHV’s, lack of response to applications and rubbish hours or pay.
First things first, update your CV
- Simple things like making sure your work experience is up to date can make all the difference when job hunting.
- Tailor your CV’s to the job sector/industry/role you are applying too. If you are applying for a marketing role, your waitress job at Nando’s isn’t going to be helpful to an employer.
- Update your contact details to include your Australian mobile number etc. You don’t want to hand out CV’s where the number is an international one, or their only way of contacting you is email.
Next step, sign up to agencies
- All agencies are free to sign up with. If they charge you a fee, there’s something wrong.
- Recruitment agencies are everywhere in Sydney. To get the most out of your job search register with agencies that deal with your specific industry or role i.e. finance or construction.
- Most agencies will invite you to register with them in person which usually involves signing documents, ID checks and general interview questions to gauge what you are looking for.
- Always attend these meetings with agents as you would an actual interview. They take things on first impressions as well.
- Here’s a few general recruiters websites:
Distribute your CV online
- This involves signing up to online job resources such as SEEK or Indeed.
- These sites compile lists of jobs from both recruiters and companies directly so it’s a great way of extending your search.
- It’s not all used hair straighteners and broken bikes. GumTree is actually a really good source of jobs for smaller companies as well as jobs that have high turnovers such as cafes and bars.
- Just make sure you are applying to the jobs ASAP as they are usually snapped up pretty quickly!
If you are looking at hospitality jobs…
- Make sure you apply for your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol). Check out the NSW government’s explanation of it here.
- Without this you’ll unlikely be able to work in a place that serves alcohol, even if you don’t personally serve it.
- There are a variety of ways to obtain the certificate, from day course to online and the fee is usually around AU$140.
Staying in Hostels? Check the notice boards!
- Most hostels will have a ‘jobs board’ located near reception or common room.
- Check it daily or ask the guys on reception if they know of anything new. They will usually deal with the same companies looking for short-term workers
- Whilst your staying in a hostel, ask around! Most ‘backpackers’ work for backpacker-friendly companies like call centres, so they may be able to help you.
- If you’re not having any luck going through agents or online resources, the next step is to go direct to the company in person. That way your email wont get lost among the millions of others, or sent to junk.
- You can meet the manager/person in charge face-to-face and have a chat there and then about possible vacancies.
- Make sure you have a whole bunch of printed CV’s ready to hand out
With all that in mind, don’t forget some key points when job hunting:
- If a recruiter leaves a message on your phone, call them back. Don’t expect them to chase you. They have a million more people to look after.
- Attend well dressed for any meeting/interview and even when handing out CV’s. If you rock up at a posh bar in ripped jeans and a stained shirt, its not the best first impression.
- If someone offers you a role make sure you sign a contract and negotiate a rate of pay before working.
- Don’t get disheartened if it takes you a while to find a job. Explore the city, and take part in free activities to keep your mind fresh!
I really hope this guide helps you to kick start your job search in Sydney. If you have any more tips or any stories you’d like to share about working in Sydney then I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Amy is the founder of thewanderlustadventures.com. Currently residing in Reading, UK with a love of adventure travel, writing and photography - she pretty much writes about whatever the hell she wants!