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Land Your Dream Job Down Under – A Comprehensive Guide

UserEthan time06 December,2017

Does staying back in the land of barbecues and Boomerangs appeal to you? Do you wish to join the Australian workforce on completion of your studies in the Australian university in which you are currently enrolled? We totally appreciate your dreams and aspirations, mate, for Australia is indeed a land that offers limitless possibilities that can be the perfect push for your career, taking it to never-before heights!

Land Your Dream Job Down Under

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”

  • Bill Bradley (American politician and former basketball player)

If you wish to achieve your goals in life, stick to the words of wisdom by the American Senator who has many a stellar accomplishment up his sleeves. While having ambitions of working in Australia are fine, what you need to persevere in your attempts at landing one requires a comprehensive knowledge of the job scenario and procedures for extending your stay in the country for work after your studies.

Extending your stay in Australia

So, you are an international student who has fallen for the undeniable charm of the Aussie way of life and wish to stay back for a little longer. The good news for you is that there are more than one ways of extending your stay in the country of kangaroos and koala bears. The best way to do so is by applying for a work visa that lets you stay, travel and work in Australia after the completion of your studies and live the Aussie life in the truest sense.

While there are plenty of job options for international students on completion of their study programs in the country, you must determine at first the type of work visa you are likely to be eligible for and proceed accordingly. You will be able to stay in Australia for up to three months from the date of completion of your study program in Australia on your student visa. However, be sure to apply for a work visa before that happens, as you do not want to invite trouble with the immigration authorities, especially if you wish to join the workforce of the country.

Australian Work Visas: Categories and Regulations

International individuals require a work visa to stay and work in Australia. As an international student, there are two feasible work visa options for you to work in Australia after the completion of your studies: the SkillSelect program (Skilled Nominated Visa) and the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). Both of these work visas allow you to stay, travel and work in Australia temporarily, and the duration of your stay in the country depends on the type of visa applied for and your qualifications. Most of the international students opt for a Temporary Graduate Visa as it is easier to obtain and has fewer hassles than the SkillSelect program.

You can live in Australia for up to three months following the completion of your studies in the country on your student visa. It is thus imperative that you use this grace period to apply for and secure a work visa suited to your qualifications and requirements before your student visa expires. Refer below for a brief overview of the two types of work visas for working in Australia after the completion of your studies and the regulations that you must keep in mind when applying.

  • SkillSelect (Skilled Nominated Visa)

An online program under the supervision of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of Australia, SkillSelect manages the employment issues of the international individuals looking to work temporarily or settle in Australia permanently with jobs that are in relevance with their set of skills. SkillSelect also manages a database of the regional skill shortages and enlists vacancies in the job sectors in Australia.

What you need to apply for a Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) under SkillSelect:

  • A qualification or skill that is enlisted as “in demand” under the SkillSelect program
  • An invitation from the DIBP to formally apply for the Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190)
  • Evidence of proficiency in English

How to apply for a Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) under SkillSelect?

You can apply for the Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) under SkillSelect by lodging an EOI that states your qualification and your intent to join the Australian workforce on completion of your studies. You will be required to provide the necessary details on the SkillSelect portal and fill in the form accurately and completely. The DIBP then reviews your application under SkillSelect, and if you fit their requirements and perform well in their screening process, they will send an invitation to apply formally for the visa. It is important to note that you will not be able to apply for the Skilled Nominated Visa without the formal invitation from the DIBP. You must apply for your Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) within 60 days of receiving the invitation. The invitation application will contain the necessary details and documents that are required for the formal application for the work visa under SkillSelect using an ImmiAccount at the DIBP website.

  • Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)

The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) is by far the more popular of the two work visa options for international students who wish to stay back in the country to work after the completion of their Australian study program. The Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) can be of two types – Graduate Work Stream and Post-Study Work Visa – depending on the period of stay in the country that each allows. The application process for both is the same and has online and paper options for the applications.

  1. Graduate Work Stream Visa

What you need to apply for a Graduate Work Stream Visa:

  • A qualification or skill with direct relevance to a profession enlisted on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) published by the Australian government
  • A valid passport or similar travel document
  • A valid student visa (for at least six months prior to your application)
  • Evidence of having an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your stay in Australia as an international student
  • Evidence of proficiency in the English language

What you can do with a Graduate Work Stream Visa:

  • Enroll in another Australian study program
  • Travel in Australia
  • Be engaged in full-time work in Australia

The Graduate Work Stream Visa lets you extend your stay in Australia for 18 months after the completion of your study program in the country.

  1. Post-Study Work Visa

What you need to apply for a Post-Study Work Visa:

  • A valid passport or similar travel document
  • A valid student visa (for at least six months prior to your application) that you had applied for on or after November 5, 2011
  • Evidence of having an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your stay in Australia as an international student
  • Evidence of proficiency in the English language

What you can do with a Post-Study Work Visa:

  • Enroll in another Australian study program
  • Travel in Australia
  • Be engaged in full-time work in Australia

The Post-Study Work Visa allows you to stay in Australia for two to four years after the completion of your study program in the country, depending on your highest qualification. While students who have completed either Bachelor or Masters coursework from an Australian institution can stay in the country for two years using this visa, the Master’s research students are eligible to stay for three years on the same visa. The Doctoral students will be able to stay in Australia using this visa for up to a maximum of four years after they complete their studies in the country.

How to apply for jobs Down Under

Once you have managed to grasp the technicalities of applying for the visas and the whole package of legalities surrounding it, you must learn how to apply for jobs in Australia. Job applications follow a two-step process Down Under for their innate liking towards straightforwardness and simplicity. At the first step, you are required to apply for the job by submitting your resume and cover letter to the prospective employer who then analyses and assesses them both. The second step involves a round of interviews with a panel consisting of three to four people.

  • Resume

A CV is basically known as a resume in Australian terms. Ideally, the resume should be typed in clear and formal font type and size, and consist of three to five pages (two to three pages is fine if you are fresh out of college or university). You must include all the essential information about your academic and professional career in a concise and accurate manner, highlighting your areas of strength and achievements, so it is easy for your employer to assess your skills and knowledge. Writing an impressive resume requires a certain amount of skill and is not everyone’s cup of tea.

  • Cover letter

It is important to note that the cover letter is NOT a summary of your resume. While your resume is essentially a list of all your academic and professional achievements, the cover letter is for showing who you are beyond those bullet points. Written in a formal tone, the cover letter should narrate to your employer why you consider yourself to be best suited for the position for which you have applied. Highlight on what you can bring to the table and provide further insights into your strengths and experiences.

If you face hurdles along the way, remember that you can always consult the professionals to guide you on composing an impressive resume and cover letter.

Looking for a job in Australia

Searching for a job in Australia is every bit difficult as in all the developed countries that are teeming with immigrant population seeking job security and satisfaction coupled with a high quality of life. Nevertheless, do not let that deter you from embarking on an elaborate search for jobs that will suit your professional ambitions in Australia. As an international student, the best way to go about this is contacting the student affairs office on this matter who can provide their guidance or connect you to people who can help you. A brief overview of the best three pathways of finding a job in Australia is discussed below.

  • Student affairs offices

The student affairs offices will be able to provide you with information about various job openings in the relevant sectors that you choose. With robust industry partnerships, the student affairs office personnel are usually at pace with the latest developments in the job sectors for each industry and opening. You will also find valued industry contacts that you can develop upon on your own or, if needed, ask the student affairs personnel to mediate your meetings.

  • Job search portals

Trust the Internet with this one and put up a profile on the popular job-hunting portals in Australia. To avoid getting a barrage of emails in your inbox, it is best to subscribe to filtered news and updates that only send you information relevant to your job search and academic profile.

  • Networking

Nothing beats good old networking though. Forming a network with your professors, student coordinators and classmates, as well as guest lecturers, is essential for creating a support group you can fall back on for all your life. This cherished network might bring you promising prospects of a lucrative job. Staying in touch with the companies you went for internships as part of your coursework also helps later in life when you are looking for more responsible and full-time roles in the industries of relevance. A former professor or some classmate, you never know who brings you the news of vacancies that are cut out for you, so do not hesitate to expand and maintain a healthy network that you can tap into when searching for a job in Australia.

Popular job sectors for international students in Australia

Statistics show that about 70 percent of the GDP in Australia comes from the services sector and is responsible for the creation of more than 75 percent of the jobs for international students. The popular sectors of work in Australia are in the following industries.

  • Chemical engineering
  • Food processing industries
  • Public administration
  • Finance and accounting
  • Education and training
  • Tourism
  • Mining and mineralogy
  • Construction and planning strategies
  • Transportation and industrial equipment manufacture
  • Agriculture and agri-technologies

You can also find out about the job vacancies and sectors that need skilled professionals from the website of the Department of Employment in Australia. The recently updated list on the website lists the following areas that are in dire need of technical personnel Down Under.

  • Audiologists
  • Sonographers
  • Primary teachers
  • Optometrists
  • Accountants
  • Automotive electricians
  • Mechanical engineers

One thing to keep in mind here is that finding a job in Australia after graduation is not that difficult if you know where to look and how to find the job that is suited to your needs. It is thus not always entirely dependent on the course you have pursued but mostly on your abilities to network efficiently and present as well as market yourself to your prospective employers.

Work culture in Australia

The work culture in Australia is largely dependent on the managerial structure, especially in the services sector. The organisations in Australia have a flat structure and follow the values of common sense and equality. Characterised by positivity, the Australians regard establishing firm personal relations within the work sphere as an added feather in your cap. Normally opening the meetings with some small talk, the Australians usually arrive at decisions through a healthy exchange of ideas and discussions. Also, it is important to remain punctual at all times if you wish to join the workforce in Australia as they have high regard for people who are always on time for meetings, interviews and the like.

As for the full-time workweek, Australians work for five days a week (Monday through Friday) for a maximum of 38 hours per week. The full-time employees in the country are eligible for four weeks of holidays in a year apart from the public holidays. Additional employee perks and benefits typically vary between the industries and the nature of work, much like the pay scales.

This comprehensive guide details all that you needed to know about working in Australia after the completion of your studies. The most important thing to keep in mind when looking for a job Down Under is that staying calm will help you reach your goal much faster than being a panic-stricken mess. With a smile on your face and spring in your step, plan the job hunt carefully and conquer the Aussie working scene with a winning resume and cover letter coupled with a never-back-down attitude. Good luck for all your endeavours!

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