Working part time is a great way to get some extra cash to support yourself while studying overseas. It may lessen financial stress on your family back home and allow you to feel more at home in your host country. Getting your first job can be a scary process regardless of circumstance. Add being in a foreign country and the job search may seem even more complicated. Don’t worry, follow these five steps and you should be able to find a job in no time!
Before you start to think about applying for a job make sure that your visa permits you to work in Australia. Most Australian Student Visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight. If your visa allows you to work while in Australia it is most likely on the condition that your course has commenced.
During course breaks an Australian Student working Visa allows you to work for unlimited hours. This means that over the almost four month long summer holidays you could be earning a enough money to go travelling or to save and cover your living expenses when you go back to Uni and have less time to work.
2. Get a tax file number
If your student Visa allows you to work in Australia you need to pay tax on your earnings just like an Australian citizen. For this reason you will need to get a Tax file number before you can begin work. You can apply online for a tax file number through the Australian Department of Immigration and border protection website.
When applying you will need a valid passport and a work visa authorised by the Department of Immigration and border protection. A tax file number is important because your employer has to make super contributions for you. You can claim this money once you leave Australia in what is referred to as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).
2. Develop a CV and write a cover letter
A CV is often referred to as a Resume in Australia and is essentially a document that highlights your unique skills and attributes to show to a potential employer. A cover letter is more particular than a resume and is your chance to express why you would love to have the particular job that you are applying for.
ACU’s Office of Student Success offers a career development service that aims to help students in developing their Resume (CV) and cover letters. You can make an appointment to see a careers adviser who can help you with this or you can upload your completed resume and cover letter online to be reviewed by a careers adviser.
A tip when preparing your Resume and cover letter is to make sure that your English is perfect and that there are no spelling or punctuation errors. A potential employer will unfortunately judge your level of communication skills off the quality of your written English. For this reason the resume review system offered by the Office of student success is extremely helpful.
If you have previous experience that will most likely be unfamiliar to an Australian employer, make sure that you explain this experience in full. Explanation will help prospective employers to recognise your level of experience overseas and translate this to your level of qualification in the Australian workforce.
The last tip is to make sure that your resume is written in an Australian style. Australian CV’s are usually succinct and get straight to the point. You will be able to write a great Aussie style resume using the guidelines outlined on Career One’s webpage.
3. Nail the Job search
The actual search is often the hardest and most soul destroying step of trying to find employment. This part will take the longest so it is important not to lose faith if you don’t quite land a job on attempt number one.
The first thing to do when starting a job search is to consider the type of job that you are looking for. As a student you will probably be looking at applying for jobs in the service industry (depending on your level of experience). Jobs as sales assistants, check out chicks/guys, waitresses or waiters, babysitters, dog walkers, receptionists or kitchen hands are often good positions for students. They are most likely casual or part time and usually require little prior experience.
Another great job, and one that is perfectly suited to the student timetable, is a job on campus. ACU career hub will provide you with information about all jobs on campus as well as some great jobs outside of Uni. Keep an eye on your student email as well. It is likely that you will be offered jobs as a student ambassador, note takers and even tutor if you have managed to get good grades in a class.
Other great ways to find a job include:
– Newspaper adverts
– Shop windows (often cafes put signs in their windows if they are looking for wait staff)
– Physically applying (spending an afternoon handing your resume in at different shops)
– Canvassing (this is when you cold-call prospective employers and say that you would like to work there even if their isn’t a listed vacancy. This is how people tap into the “hidden job market“
– Networking (another way to crack the hidden job market and find jobs. Getting a job is often about who you know so start making friends in Australia as soon as you can)
4. Interview wellThe job you are most likely applying for is probably a causal or part time position. For this reason you won’t need to prepare as much as you would for a permanent or graduate position. You still want to give off your best impression regardless so here are some things to remember:
– Be on time (this means 10-15 minutes early).
– Shake the Interviewer’s hand.
– Bring a copy of your resume and refrences.
– Dress in appropriate, smart, neat clothing.
– Know why you want the job and why you are well suited for it.
– Have a question to ask the employer.
5. Consider Unpaid work/Internships
I know that i have mentioned the benefits of part time work to gain extra cash for your semester or course of study overseas, but the experience that you can gain from working in a foreign country can be just as valuable. Volunteer work and internships look great on a CV for future job searches and are often interesting and enriching experiences. Internships in particular might give you an insight into the career path that you wish to follow when you graduate.