I get contacted often through friends and referrals from friends overseas asking about trying to find a job in Australia, More often than not the applicant has just received Permanent Residency but is still in India and is not aware of the Australian Job market and it’s nuances and is looking for advice.
Listed below are some common mistakes I have made / seen others make and how to avoid them.
Here are some tips for new migrants to Australia.
1) Is your Australian Permanent Residency status obvious / in the first page ?
IF you don’t have any local (Australian) Work experience, is it immediately obvious that you have Australian PR – the legal right to work in Australia? It should be up there in the first few lines of your resume so the recruiter is assured that he’s not wasting time on evaluating an overseas candidate who might not even have the legal right to work in Australia.
2) Get an Australian or at least Region Neutral email address/Adverts in Email Text:
i.e. no emails ending in rediffmail.com / indiatimes.com / yahoo.co.in etc. Be Local where possible, if not atleast don’t be foreign, As they say,
When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Many overseas Email addresses put advertisements in the text of the email, which is a big NO NO, If you can get your own domain, that’s excellent but if not that atleast get an email address that does not corrupt your text with a spammy advertisement, selling domains/ dates / or anything else.
Nothing like this in your email text….
3) Overseas Postal Address
While it’s not mandatory in a resume to have a postal address, you should not be disadvantaging yourselves by putting an overseas postal address. Another red flag / spammy application hint for the busy recruiter who does not have the time or the interest to check your work status / eligibility.
Leave the postal address out when you are a free bird and are willing to go anywhere you can find work. Why have a postal address there only to give a possible rejection reason for a recruiter who doesn’t want an out of station candidate.
4) Overseas Phone number
Here again, having an overseas number is a potential redflag for the recruiter, since all else being equal they’d prefer local candidates over overseas ones. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t ?
If you can manage a care of number from a local friend / relative who can receive calls / take messages for you, make it that much easier for the recruiter to make the initial contact. If the recruiter still wants to talk to the candidate directly, your friend can pass on the overseas number / an arrival date when you are expected to come to Australia. Alternatively the contact can answer any questions the recruiter may have, have the applicant call the recruiter back.
*Also this Care /of number is only for initial contact / screening anyway
** exceptions apply, for example if the recruiter is actively looking for overseas candidates and has advertised in your country.
5) Unnecessary Personal details
Like (Fathers name, Caste, Date of birth, Marital status): This is a dead giveaway of a resume being from a foreign country(typically India).
Most Australian resumes do not have any of these fields, in fact there are provisions in Australian law which prohibit discrimination on the basis of Age/ Marital status / sex etc. So leave that information off the resume. Be Local.
6) Linked IN
Australian recruiters are pretty big on Linked in, just as an example my last 4 interview calls have all been through Linkedin. Build your network , connect up with the recruiters that you see advertising roles in your industry, participate in industry discussion groups around your field. Write and request recommendations, in general be active and useful without being Spammy or Pushy.
And please get yourself a Pretty URL for Linkedin, and if you are happy with the endorsements on there then flaunt it by providing the Linked IN Public profile link on your resume.
7) Resume More than 3 Pages long,
Seriously, no body has the time to read 7 Pages of rich text with images, cut it down to 3 pages or less. Even if you have a masters in Nuclear sciences and are in line for the next Nobel Prize, If you are looking for a job keep it 3 pages or less.
8) Stand Out from the Crowd:
You are disadvantaged to begin with as you do not have any local experience! So think of what will be your Standout Strategy.
There is no fixed answer for this but here are some examples.
When I was looking for a job, I sent some “Indian Artefacts / wall hangings ” to the top managers / recruiters in the companies I wanted to work for. Did it get me a job: NO, did it help me stand out: YES,
I have friends who send recruitment managers neatly bound colour portfolios of their work, definitely an awesome standout strategy that has helped people get jobs.
I was extremely persistent / helpful to recruiters, sending them any news that might be of interest to them, basically adding value anyway I could so that when they have an opening that suits me they’d think of me above all others.
* works equally well for local candidates 😉
PS: The top Job listing sites in Australia are www.seek.com.au and www.mycareer.com.au. But remember that less than 30% of openings at any time are advertised online. Most jobs are found through networks and loose connections, so start building yours now.