6 Tips to Land You A Job on A Working Holiday in Australia (or anywhere else really)

December 05, 2015 Wing Ng 1 Comments


There are plenty of information on the net regarding job searches on working holiday visas.  Everyone has a slightly different story plus tips & tricks to provide.  So here are some suggestions from my experience thus far in Australia.
1. Network! Connect!
It's in people's nature to help each other out.  The more people you know, the more chances that someone knows of a vacancy or two that might be suitable for you.  Even if people are not directly connected to the opportunities, they can point you to possible locations that are hiring at various times of the year.  This can come in extremely helpful if you are new to a city or town and know nothing about it.
2. Physically apply
It's harder to say no to you in your face than to say no to a word document on a computer screen.  I have had my fair share of online applications and I have only received either dull rejection templates or no reply at all. So if you see a place you want to work at, walk in and ask if they have any vacancies.
I have been able to obtain several jobs from fine dining position at a hotel to retail work at a mall. Most recently I walked into every single store in two seperate malls.  Two days and 50 resumes later (not everyone accpeted a resume) I got an interview and received work.  It's not instantaneous, but it works better than searching night and day online.
3. Types of work
Before you begin your job search, understand that your visa only allows for a maximum of 6 months of employment with any business (As of 2015 and may be suject to change). This takes away the majority of professional occupations that require long term commitment.  It's not completely impossible to find an office temp position, but the possibilities are a bit slim.  It is advisable to try to obtain one if you decide you really like Australia and would like to reside here more permanently.
Tips: Begin with visiting recruitment agencies.  Make sure the agencies are not government initiatives, because that may require prerequisites such as permanent residency.
4. Nag them
imagine if you are a hiring manager at a store or restaurant, you probably have more to do than just hiring.  People hire when they are understaffed, so they're busier.  This means that they can't keep track and follow through with applicants quickly and it is just a vicious cycle.  So, what can you do to make them actually do the hiring?  Nag them.  That may sound weird, but if you keep appearing or calling, to "follow up", the managers are forced to be reminded of you.  It shows drive and it shows you're committed to finding a job with that business.  This works better with private companies than with large brands, but the concept also works in simply following through the company's hiring process.  Working in Human Resource after graduating made me understand how easy it is to have good resumes get lost in the pile. So, show up and remind them "hey, I'm a great candidate, you should hire me!" ... maybe not those words exactly, but you get the idea.
5. documents
(depending on the country you're in, this post pertains to Australia)
If you are going to work, you'll need some legal stuff sorted (unless you wish to go cash in hand).  First thing first, you will need to apply for your Tax Filing Number (TFN).  If you do not have your TFN within 28 days of employment, you will be charged a 50% tax rate as penalty from the Australian government.  Don't work for half price, get it done.  
Other requirements can differ depending on field of work.
If you are working in restaurant industries serving alcohol, you will need to obtain your Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA).  This requirement is different in every state (how else do councils earn money?!)  In Victoria, we were required to pay and attend a 3 hour course and then take a test to obtain the certificate.  In Queensland, we only have to do it online in the comforts of our home.  So do your research for the state you wish to work in.
If you happen to work in any sort of construction work, you will need to obtain a White Card.  This was fairly easy for Chris considering he only had to go online and skim over some information and take a test.  The test is quite easy. If you selected the wrong answer, it will actually tell you to try again. After passing the test you are required to print out some forms and have a photo copy of your passport both signed and stamped by a Justice of Peace (JP) to proof that everything is indeed in order.  Then have someone as your witness as the cherry on top.  You can find a JP in public libraries at certain hours for free! It was a fairly simple process when Chris did it in the Sunshine Coast.
6. Watch out for scams!
When I first researched on the Working Holiday, I had a general notion that farm work and fruit picking will be a large part of it.  When I dove deeper and actually started talking to people, it seems that these practices have mostly became scams.  For those with limited English skills, they are stuck with these types of work and are often paid very low wages.  Some places even require that you pay for their specified accommodation! After hearing all the horror stories, we decided to op out considering we do wish to save up for further travels in Asia.  With all that said, if you wish to simply have that experience, there would be no better time to do it than now!
The second type of work we have generally avoided are fundraising and door to door sales.  Most of them seem to be pyramid schemes with too good to be true offers luring backpackers in.  The poverty porn over some of these advertisements we see on the streets are sickening.  It feels almost immoral to participate in such a system, even without considering the may or may not be sustainable income.
Of course, all of the above are what I learned from my own experiences, I hope it helps some of you out there.

Do you have any tips for finding work abroad? Share with us, comment below!

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