Work In Australia

Australia has a couple visa options that allow you to live and work in the country. The most popular is the Work and Holiday Visa (Working Holiday for some countries). This visa allows you to live and work in Australia for one year. During this time you are able to work up to six months at each employer. This is the visa that I have at the time I am writing this post. 

If you are interested in staying in Australia for more than a year, it is possible to obtain an employer sponsored work visa which will allow you to stay in the country for a longer period of time (either 2 or 4 years with option for renewal) as long as you work for the employer that sponsored the visa. To qualify for this visa you must have certain skills and years of experience. This visa gets more and more difficult to obtain with each immigration update. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I strongly suggest you to make the move sooner rather than later! This is the visa I am hoping to switch to soon!

Disclaimer: Australian immigration laws change frequently. I will not be going back to update this post so please be sure to check out the immigration website for updates! 

Searching For A Job

There are a number of ways you can get a job once you are in Australia. If you are looking for a job in hospitality or retail, resources like Gum Tree, Found, Jora, and Seek are a great start.

If you are looking for more of an office job I would recommend you focus mostly on Seek. I was using multiple websites in my job search. Ninety-five percent (rough estimate) of the time the jobs I found on other websites were also on Seek. It’s a popular website for businesses and a recruiting agencies as well. All calls I received were related to applications submitted on Seek. It’s super easy to use. When you register you create a detailed profile and upload your resume. After that you can easily apply to jobs using your profile.

Updating Your Resume (CV in Australia)

In the United States a typical resume is one page. In Australia it’s called a CV and they’re looking for long and detailed. My background is in Accounting. Accountants tend to rely heavily on recruiters in their job hunt. When it came time to find a job in Sydney that’s exactly the direction I headed. The first recruiter I spoke to explained that with my experience level (5 years) I would be looking at about 3-4 pages.

My American resume was one page and looks like this:
  1. Contact information: Name, address, email address, phone number
  2. Professional license: License Number, State
  3. Experience: Short and sweet bullet points from my three jobs
  4. Education information
  5. Skills

I relied on some good old fashion Googling and Australian Accounting and Finance Recruiting websites.  There are a decent amount of templates available to give you an outline.

My Australian CV is four pages and looks like this:
  1. Contact information: Name, address, email address, phone number
  2. Career Objective: Two sentence general summary
  3. Professional license: License Number, State, Country
  4. Skills and relevant systems knowledge
  5. Current visa which allows me to work in Australia
  6. Experience:
    1. Added a summary of what each company does
    2. Added a summary of my achievements. I used the top bullet point of my American resume for this and reworded as necessary so it read like a summary of achievements.
    3. Changed the short and sweet bullet points to full sentences and added a couple lines to the more recent jobs.
    4. Also added my internship experience back to my resume. I had taken it out for the sake of keeping my resume to one page. Now that I am pushing for four I thought it would be good to have all my accounting experience on my Australian CV.
  7. Education information

American’s are good at pulling out all the stops to make their resume fit onto one page. To make my resume (CV) a tad longer I also increased my font size from 10.5 to 12, changed the margins from .5 to .7, and rearranged the spacing to look less crammed. This helped make it look clean and professional and also added about a page.

Apply For A TFN

In order to get paid you must have a Tax File Number (TFN). You can apply easily online.

Find A Bank

Australian companies pay Australian bank accounts. There are four big banks in Australia: Commonwealth, WestPac, NAB, and ANZ. I went with Commonwealth. They have a small monthly fee that is waived if you are getting paid regularly.

Connect With Recruiting Agencies

Meetings with recruiters are great for building your network and increasing your chances of finding a job. I reached out to about fifteen agencies while I was searching. Nine of them scheduled a meeting with me.

Interview, Interview, Interview!

My advice to you is to take all interviews that come your way.

It’s great practice and you’ll get feedback for things to work on so that you’re more competitive in the market. Plus, you can always decline the offer if you don’t like the job. My interviews varied from casual conversations over coffee to full on detailed conversations with challenging questions.

Take A Deep Breath, You Got This! 

Best of luck in your search! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Love & light,


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