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Australia

Getting a Job in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa

5 February 2020

You finally got your Working Holiday Visa, yoo-hoo! But how the hell do you get Working Holiday jobs? How do you write your résumé? Do you need an education? What is the average salary? What kind of Working Holiday jobs are there? Should accommodation and food be included? You can ask a laundry list of questions about Working Holiday Visa in Australia. And rightly so! Our year is over and we’d like to share our knowledge.

First things first!

Whether you’re looking for a Working Holiday job in Australia, Belgium or the United States, the basics remain the same. Before you start using your Working Holiday Visa, prepare your resume:

  • Name, Nationality, Date of birth
  • Email, Telephone, Address
  • Driving license, possession of car
  • Visa expiry date
  • Specific certificates
  • Small introduction
  • Relevant work experience
  • Training
  • Hobbies

List only your relevant work experience. No employer wants to know what kind of art course you took in 2015. Did you ever work as a bartender or waiter during your student career? Put it on your resume!

working holiday work

Where to find a job on a Working Holiday Visa

Nowadays it’s so easy to get a job, but the Facebook groups are full of complaining, unemployed millennials. There’s a whole laundry list of methods to get a job:

  • Facebook
  • Gumtree
  • SEEK
  • Direct contact
  • Network

Facebook

The social network is nice and lazy and easy. There are literally thousands of groups that help you find Working Holiday jobs. Both for employers and employees. Based on their chances of success, my guess is that this is the only method that millennials use.

  1. Little introduction to yourself.
  2. List your experience.
  3. Include some relevant work photos to boost your credibility.
  4. Post your ad in all groups that can help you.
  5. Wait and see.

Gumtree

Australia’s Craigslist. You’ll find everything on it; from cars to houses, from second-hand items to jobs. The favourite app of Working Holiday Visa holders. The process is the same as Facebook. Either you’re looking for employers or you’re creating a personal ad in which you introduce yourself.

SEEK

An application that is used by larger companies. A kind of online interim agency. You create a standard profile, fill in your values and then look for a job based on location and sector. We haven’t had any success with this application and it doesn’t seem like the best choice for a Working Holiday maker.

Direct contact

Old-school and maybe the best way. If you know in which sector you want to work, you can look up the companies you want to work for.

  1. Google the companies that fit the sector.
  2. Visit the company
  3. Talk to the manager
  4. Distinguish yourself from the other backpackers.

True Story! After I had sent Mandoon Estate an e-mail, called and applied via SEEK, I went to see the manager. I told him about my attempts to reach them. The manager replied that he didn’t have time to look at all the emails and applications and that my persistence was ample proof to give me the job. 

Network

The most valuable thing you can have in your life. This is also true in another country. Try consciously asking for phone numbers, Instagram, Facebook and addresses of your colleagues and new friends. It’s fun to follow new acquaintances on social media and it can always come in handy later on your trip.

working holiday loader

Driving the loader on a cattle station

Knowing what you want

We started our Working Holiday adventure with the mindset: “a job is a job, everything is good for us”. We thought this would give us a head start over the competition, but now we think differently. Australia is a huge island that needs people to work. There is an abundance of work in many sectors. Social media saturates the supply and you can no longer see the trees through the forest.

Knowing what you want will ensure that you can look for Working Holiday jobs in Australia in a targeted way. You visit the right Facebook groups, check the right filters and/or contact the relevant people. It will save you a lot of time and frustration. Don’t be afraid of a job thousands of miles away. If the employer needs someone, they will make an effort to pick you up.

Private Transport

Whether you own a car or not will make a big difference in your job offer. Most employers who offer a 9 to 5 will ask you if you have your own transport. Outback Jobs are very difficult without your own transport. You will end up at a cattle station, dairy farm or mining camp, but your freedom of decision to leave is non-existent.

True Story! For our road trip with our parents we had sold our car to rent a four-seater. Afterwards we had to be picked up by our new employer. Just 80km from Karijini National Park, but due to the lack of our own transport we were never able to revisit the park.

transport working holiday

Specific requirements

Before you turn a blind eye to your dream job, it is important to know that certain jobs have specific requirements. Below are some examples:

  • Hospitality: Responsible Serving Training (RSA). An online, interactive, state owned course where you learn how to deal with drunks in Australia.
  • Construction: White Card. A certificate that you can obtain online, in which you learn most about safety. Driving License, Alcohol Test, Drug Test, Sun Protection Clothing
  • Cattle station: Driving license
  • Mining: White Card, Driving License, Alcohol Test, Drug Test, Fitness Test, Certificate of Good Behavior and Morals, Specific Certificates.
  • Cleaning: Alcohol Test, Drug Test, Proof of Good Behavior and Morals
  • Fruit picking: Sun protection clothing
  • Au Pair: Behaviour of good conduct and morals

Know your rights!

Legally determined wages and entitlement to holidays etc. are laid down by law in Australia. You have paid for your Working Holiday Visa and have given your share to the state. This means that you are an Australian citizen for one year. This means you have the same right to certain things as an average Australian.

Be strict and correct when it comes to things like:

  • Wage: Hourly wage, daily wage, casual rate or flate rate. There is a minimum wage in Australia and this also applies to Working Holiday backpackers. Do you work on Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays? Then check if your sector has extra payouts. Always check the Fair Work website if you are paid correctly.
  • Accommodation and food: Is there accommodation with your employer? Then make it clear whether you have to pay for accommodation or not. Let this be included in your contract so that there is no discussion about it afterwards.

 

Be Prepared.

Want to find out more about the Working Holiday Visa? Click here for more information.
If you don’t know how to pack before travelling to Australia for a year, click here.

 

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