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One of the first things that you will be doing when you arrive in Australia, and maybe beforehand, is seeking a position that suits your skills and experience provided that your visa allows you to do so. The Australian labour market is very competitive and it is highly recommended that you research employment opportunities before relocating. How quickly you can find a job in Australia depends on economic factors, qualifications and skills, the type of work you are seeking, and particular circumstances which may affect the availability of certain types of work in different parts of the country. Australian work experience is invaluable and should be a priority if you are struggling to find work in your desired field.

Employment Qualifications and Recognition

Some occupations have special requirements. This could include registration or licensing with a government authority and/or membership of a professional or industry association. The Australian Skills Recognition Information site helps you to find out how you can have your qualifications recognised. Many careers will require some form of qualification for even entry level jobs. If you have a particular industry in mind, browse through ads for similar jobs or visit industry websites. The Education page of this website can give you some general ideas for what sorts of education is available and where to go for more information.

Unemployment support

If you do not have a source of income or a job, you still need to support you and your family while you look for work. If you have a sponsor, ask them about the support they are willing and able to provide. If you have an 'Assurance of Support', the assurer agreed to support you for your first two years in Australia.

Centrelink, through the Department of Human Services, is the agency that delivers social security payments and related services. You are not eligible for Centrelink benefits until you have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for two years. Age and disability pensions are available to those who have lived here for ten years.

Centrelink have a Migrants, refugees and visitors page that contains translated materials and specific information for new arrivals. If you are a refugee or humanitarian entrant, you do not need to wait two years for social security payments.

If you suffer from severe hardship during the two-year waiting period, you may be eligible for a special benefit. Centrelink pays the benefit if the cause of the hardship is from a major change to your life beyond your control. Centrelink does not pay any special benefits if you are unable to find a job or you run out of money.

Additional help, through the tax system, may be available to families with children. For more information please go to Health and Social Security

Job Vacancy Websites

There are numerous job vacancy websites that offer job searches to assist you in finding a position in any chosen Australian state, city or town. Popular websites include;

How to apply for a position

You are selling a very important product - YOU! Since you will be marketing yourself to potential employers, you can view the resume as your "sales brochure." A good sales brochure will always describe both the features and benefits of the product. Therefore your resume should describe your features (your strengths, expertise, experience, education and achievements) and your benefits (the results you have produced for past employers.)

When you find a job vacancy that is suitable, the advertisement will tell you how to apply for the position and the name of a person to contact for more details. Your application will usually require:

  • a cover letter stating the position you wish to apply for and why you should be considered for the position based on your skills, experience and qualifications
  • a resume showing your personal details (name, address, phone numbers, email address etc), skills, previous jobs and experience, education and qualifications
  • copies of references from previous employers, or their contact details
  • copies of educational and trade certificates relevant to the job

Since resumes are typically skim read in 10-35 seconds, it is imperative that your features and benefits are presented in a way that captures the reader's attention quickly. Guidelines to keep in mind as you create your resume:

  • Keep the look simple! (resumes get a 25-35 second scan.)
  • Limit the length to 3 pages, as often as possible.
  • Make your point quickly.
  • Don't use personal pronouns (I, me, my…).
  • Use the same font type throughout the whole document. (Arial, Tahoma, Verdana.)
  • Express former position information in past tense.
  • Check and re-check for spelling, punctuation, wording and accuracy.
  • Be factual.
  • Use powerful “Action Verbs” in the past tense.
  • Avoid acronyms where possible.
  • Use white spaces for effect.
  • Your resume should be clear, direct, professional and easy to read.

Job Services Australia can help you with writing job applications and interview techniques. Visit the Job Services Australia site for more information.

Average salaries in Australia

The average yearly salaries for each industry are shown in the below graph. Also you can find the average salary for any occupation in the below government websites:


Source: Department of Social Services