So you have just touched down in sunny Australia, with your whole life condensed into a backpack. Maybe this is the first stop on your adventure of a lifetime. Maybe your first time away from home? Or maybe you came via South East Asia, had the time of your life, overspent on bucket cocktails and still have sand between your toes? Maybe you even ‘found yourself on a little island paradise!
Whatever your situation, there comes a point in every backpacker’s journey where it’s time to get serious and recharge the bank account from which you’ve been draining for the last few months.
Every summer, working holidaymakers descend on Sydney from all corners of the globe, bringing with them a wide range of skills and expertise. As well as competing with all the others for temporary and casual jobs, your biggest challenge is getting yourself noticed in the sea of local talent, where local experience, full working rights, and stable living arrangements / family commitments often take priority in the eyes of employers.
The following are some general tips (some of which may seem like basic common sense) that you can start putting into practice right now, to create a bigger and more impressive splash in the job market, both with recruitment agencies and employers themselves.
1) Dress to impress!
Whether you like it or not, recruitment consultants and hiring managers will make their first impression of you based on your appearance. With very few exceptions, you need to dress to impress! Chances are you won’t have carried smart business attire half way around the world in your backpack, but if you are serious about landing a good job then this should be one of your first investments before you start applying for jobs and lining up interviews.
2) Get an Australian mobile/cell phone number
(You were going to get one eventually I’m sure!). Phone calls are by far the preferred way for a recruiter to get in touch about your applications, progress with your job search, and letting you know about any suitable positions. You would be surprised how many overseas applicants have not updated their phone number, or provide an overseas number that can no longer be reached. Don’t be one of those.
3) Chase your resume with a phone call
As you can imagine, recruiters often receive hundreds of applications for each job they advertise, which makes it almost impossible to read each one thoroughly and respond to people quickly. Instead of waiting for that phone call, why not call us first!? This gets you noticed straight away, shows that you are proactive, and allows us to form a better judgement of your ability that we may not have gleaned from your resume alone.
4) Answer every call from every caller
So you have an Australian number and you have fired your resume out to more places than you can remember. With any luck, your phone will start ringing like crazy! Unfortunately many recruiters will be calling through with “unknown caller ID”, “withheld number” or “private number”, meaning you can’t see who it is before you answer. A lot of people avoid these calls as it could be an unsolicited sales call, or your bank letting you know that you overspent in Bali. Answer every single call that comes through, don’t wait for a voicemail or a text! That time you press cancel may just be a job starting tomorrow.
5) Check the recruiter’s own job board
By now you have probably browsed the hundreds and hundreds of jobs listed on job boards, many of which are recruiters advertising on behalf of employers, and many that are different agencies recruiting for the same job! Make your search easier and have a look on the website of each recruitment agency. Many large agencies have their own job boards with all their vacancies listed. Don’t leave your job search up to us, let us know if you see anything on there that you like!
6) Complete as much testing as you can
Many agencies will send out tests by email that you can complete in your own time to assess your ability with Microsoft Excel, Word, typing speed, and anything else that might be relevant to your line of work. Many candidates are happy to receive these but then never complete them! If an employer is trying to decide between you and a candidate of equal experience, having those test results might just give you the edge!
7) Recruiters are your friend!
Keep yourself on the recruitment consultants’ radar by calling us for regular updates on the market, letting us know how your job search is going, and especially letting us know of any changes to your situation.