Getting on top of the Down Under job search

Q. I am going to Australia in 6 weeks. However, I am not sure what I need to do to be prepared for their job market. Any tips?

A. Before you even reach the country, ensure that you complete a plan. Research the area where you are aiming to live, and contact employers and agencies before you travel.

Have a copy of a well-structured CV with you. A longer CV is acceptable in Australia as employers like to see your qualifications and work duties in more detail.

Ensure that your professional experience can be understood in an Australian context, i.e. explain the level that your degree is at in Australian standards. Avoid using any technical jargon in your role that will be misunderstood in a new context. If you are sending your CV to an agency, and cannot tailor it to a specific job, ensure that it is simple, professional and easy to read.

Always treat each recruitment agency with respect and be courteous as these are often the key to you entering a new role. This means dressing smartly and being enthusiastic about any job they suggest to you.

“Although Australian’s are informal in general, when it comes to Australian job applications assume absolute formality. Generally the opening address of an email will begin with Dear Employer and end the email with Best Regards,” says

Although CVs are accepted, most employers and recruitment agencies use formal applications as part of the recruitment process. Ensure that yours is of an excellent standard.

Filling out any application is a tedious process, so take your time inputting the information. Highlight your experience most relevant to the role in question.

In some instances you may also be required to address the key selection criteria. Each selection criteria outlines the qualities, knowledge and skills needed to do the job.

It’s important that you know how to address the criteria, to give yourself the best chance of being considered for the job.

Flexibility is very important when looking for employment in a new country. Individuals need to be flexible in their salary expectations, and the types of roles that they are applying for. cites the ‘top tips for attending an interview in Australia as:

1. Be on time – Australians take punctuality very seriously;

2.  Try not to be negative – let your optimism and enthusiasm show;

3. Provide good examples to illustrate your skills and achievements. (again by painting a clear picture of what you achieved outside the day-to-day responsibilities of your job shows you in the most positive light);

4. Always bring your certifications such as qualifications and education background (this is especially relevant if your qualification is of crucial importance in the job you’re seeking).

As regards etiquette in the workplace, particularly with regard to dress and behaviour, take note of those around you. Take your lead from them. However, as a general rule, is best to dress smartly as it shows that you are serious about your new job.

Sli Nua Careers (Watson’s Lane, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo / Drum East, Bushy Park, Galway, tel 094 95 42965 / 091 528 883, carry out CV Preparation, Mock Interviews, Interview Training, and Career Direction. For your free e-book on interview & CV tips, email They provide online CV makeovers at