Business Case Studies

How to find a job when you move to Sydney

(Photo by Nick Youngson for ImageCreator)

Are you moving to Sydney? You’re gonna need cash.

Sydney is an amazing city, but everything is expensive. From rent to groceries to a pint of beer, you’ll be burning through money. So, you need to know how to get a job once you arrive in Australia – or even before you arrive.

As a New Zealander, working in Australia is a lot easier for you than most migrants, but the job market is still tough.

Here are some essential job hunting tips to help you land a dream job in your new city:

Start applying early

The Australian job market is very competitive, with many more job seekers than there are jobs, especially in big cities like Sydney.

On average, there are around 50-60 applicants per job opening. Even in skilled graduate positions, there are between 30 and 200 applicants for every job, depending on the industry.

So, it’s essential you start applying early and stay motivated. As soon as you decide to move to Sydney, you should start following the steps below.

Remember, it’s a numbers game – keep your eye on the prize and put in as many applications as you can.

Research the job market

Read up on the job market in Sydney to see where your skills fit.

If you’re in high demand – right now, that would mean you’re an expert in eCommerce or digital marketing – that’s great.

If it turns out your skills don’t fit the bill, consider doing some training or thinking about a job in a cafe or bar to tide you over.

Manage your expectations

The importance of existing social networks in a competitive job market means new migrants are at a disadvantage.

It’s important to understand that your first job in Australia probably won’t be an exciting career move.

Shoot for the moon, of course. But you may need to pause your career progress or even take a step back to get your foot in the door in Sydney.

Get a Tax File Number

Kiwis don’t need a Visa to work in Australia, but you will need a Tax File Number (TFN).

You can’t get this while still in New Zealand, so make it a priority once you’re in Sydney. Technically, you can be hired without a TFN, but you can’t be paid without one.

Your TFN application can take up to 28 days to process, so apply as soon as you arrive!


Set yourself up on local job sites

Set up alerts on Australia job seeker sites so you hear about new jobs as soon as they’re posted. The main sites are:

Sign up with a recruitment agency

A recruitment agency can be a great help, especially if you’re looking for professional roles in a specific industry. Some general Aussie recruitment agencies are:

You can also find recruitment agencies specialising in healthcare, accounting, IT, and executive roles.

Tailor your resume and cover letter

It’s tempting to send the same cover letter and CV to every employer. Doing so saves time short-term, but it hurts your chances of success.

You need to stand out from the competition, so tailor your applications unique to each job you apply for. It’s fine to have templates but try the following:

  • Adjust work experience on your CV depending on what’s needed
  • Read up about the company and mention some things that impressed you in your cover letter
  • Make sure your resume and letter address any key selection criteria listed in the position description

Master your communications

You won’t be able to attend face-to-face interviews until you arrive in Sydney, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be doing interviews. It does mean you need to be extra prepared, though!

There’s no standard way that Australian employers conduct remote interviews. It might be a phone call, a video chat on Skype, a Google hangout, or another online meeting technology.

Ensure you have all the big players set up and ready to go:

If you’re unfamiliar with the platform for the meeting, get familiar with it ahead of time. Struggling to join the chat creates a bad first impression!

Don’t forget to do proper interview prep and choose a quiet, professional setting and neat attire to take the call.