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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, after exactly 30 days of searching, I am almost at the cusp of nailing a couple of opportunities in OZ. I thought I’d take this chance to let newcomers know what to do to crack the market here.

A few caveats before I begin.

1. My advice is meant for people with specialized skillsets – like SAP or Oracle consulting, AWS architects, HCM consultants and so on. This may or may not apply for more common IT skills like JAVA, Objective C, C#, or broad skills like Project Manager or Business Analyst.
2. It is critical that you time when you land in OZ. There are only 5 months that are ideal for recruitment – Sept to Nov, and March to April. I landed here in June and basically twiddled my thumbs for the first 3 weeks before setting out hunting in earnest in July.
3. I relied on boutique recruiters and my own references/contacts to get to the interview stages.
4. Never once was I asked about ‘local experience’. This is because consulting jobs by nature are ones where international exposure trumps local exposure every single time.
5. Always prefer contract positions first, instead of permanent positions. This is because permanent positions simply take too long to fill here in OZ. The minimum time to close from advertisement to offer is 8 weeks. And that is, if they really need the hire. It is always better to hunt for a permanent position while you are still doing a contract job.

I will structure this note in the following manner –

1. Preparation for job hunt
2. How to identify jobs that you can apply
3. Recruitment Agency/Direct application/References?
4. How to seal interviews
5. Other tips related to your hunt

1. Preparation for job hunt

First, know what you are getting into.
The competition in this market is insane, and you will not believe the number of qualified people who will compete with you for each position.
It is far far far harder landing a job here than in your home country.
Before landing up in OZ, check LinkedIn and SEEK for about 3 months to understand the trends of job postings in your specialty areas so that you are sure that there really is a demand for your skillset. If the demand is low, DO NOT bother with making the move.​

Second, get your documents in order.
That means, have a well written resume and basic variations of it. for example, I am an SAP consultant. However, I can also do well as a Business Analyst, a change manager and project manager. That means, I had one base version of my resume as SAP consultant, and then for each type of position, I would change the key skills section in the resume and then send in the application.
I did spend some 250 odd dollars on a resume writer – not really sure if it worked for me cos my old resume format and the new one was getting the same number of calls :)

Third, Practice your interviewing skills by doing the following –
i. Create a career achievements journal -> this is a list of 4 top achievements quantifying how you were able to help your customer in your previous roles.
ii. Create a 30-second sales pitch for yourself to answer the ‘tell me about yourself” question – basically you have to show how your background will help address the key requirements of the job description. The most important thing is to make sure you effectively communicate how your skills will help execute the job in hand.
iii. Record yourself practicing interviews so that you have a feel how you sound like on the phone.
iv. Immerse yourself in English so that it comes naturally to you when speaking. I can’t stress how important this is because you usually won’t pass the first recruiter round if your spoken English is too difficult to understand, or if you have a thick accent.​

2. How to find out which jobs to avoid applying

Now, it is always better to follow a targeted approach to job applications. A scattergun approach will never work in OZ.

How do you know which jobs to apply?

Ok, so let’s suppose there is a job ad that you see on SEEK or linkedin that you think might be a good fit for you. But how do you ensure that all the keywords in the job description are in the resume?

Here is where you use a little nifty tool called jobscan. This tool will compare your resume with the JD in the job description and then return a score with suggestions on how to tweak your resume to ensure that it passes the ATS.
The ideal match-rate you need to look at is 80%. If your score is 80 and above, then go ahead, apply for the job.

Some other points to note –

1. Avoid applying for jobs that have been on the seek or linkedin boards for more than 3 days – your resume won’t be seen.
2. If you are a linkedin premium member, avoid jobs where there are more than 10 applicants already – your resume won’t be seen (you can see this in job statistics)
3. Always send in your job applications between 9AM and 12PM – this is the time when it has the highest chance of landing up in the lap of a recruiter.
4. Avoid applying for jobs where it says “expression of interest” followed by the position -> this is NOT an actual job opening – rather the hiring managers are just testing the market and the job may or may not materialize.

3. Recruiter?Job Board?Direct Application?References?

Use references if possible. They are gold. References will get you to the hiring manager EVERY single time.

Personally, I found SEEK to be an absolutely BS site to send in job applications. I NEVER got even ONE interview via seek. I understand quite a lot of folks on this forum have found opportunities via SEEK, so I believe it has more to do with your skillset – if you are into something niche and highly skilled, you are better off going through references.

Also, it is always a plus to be in good terms with boutique recruiters in Melbourne and Sydney. Usually they have exclusive rights to hiring for major firms and if you are in a specialized niche, this is the way to go. One of the opportunities I got was through them.

Build your network – if you know a friend of a friend of a friend working in OZ, ask them to introduce you to hiring managers for your area and connect with them on linkedin.
Once you are into a job, spend at least 10% of your time networking with the decision makers so that they remember you later on for your next gig.


How to deal with recruiters

Suppose you have applied over seek and a recruiter calls you to discuss options. Your aim here is to get to the hiring manager as soon as possible.

So, Get rid of the recruiter quickly. Overwhelm them with info and jargon so that they have no option but to push you to the hiring manager. As they won’t even understand or are not even capable of judging your skillset. DO NOT waste time discussing inane stuff with them. Tell them a brief outline of how you can help the company with your skillset and make sure you get to the next stage.

The recruiter can always reject you. Therefore, NEVER discuss salary with them.
If they ask for salary expectations, just say that it is too early in the process and you do not have sufficient information to give them a number. That’s it. DO NOT give them a number and allow them to filter you out because you are a lowballer or are too expensive.

4. How to seal interviews (likeability)

Over and above anything else, in OZ, your success at interviews is dependent on your ‘likeability’ factor. It doesn’t matter if you are a hotshot with the best skills. If you do not come across as ‘likeable’, you in all probability won’t get the position.

Also, avoid being negative in the interviews. For example, in one interview, I was asked about my openness to travel. I answered truthfully that I could travel during specific stages of the project. They were expecting me to be on travel 100% of the time. that’s it. my answer killed that interview for me. So, say what they want to hear . If they ask if you can travel – say yes, of course!

Most interviews are highly technical if it is for a contract position – that’s why it is easier to crack.
For permanent positions though, interviews will usually be behavioral where you need to apply the STAR framework to answer them. Practice this in the event you are not familiar with how to do it.


5. Other tips –

Always be on the lookout for jobs. Do not stop your job search if you think your interviews have gone well. Unless you are sitting at your desk working on your new job, the offer is not really concrete. It is always better to have multiple options than having only ONE option.​

Try your hand at volunteering so that you get a feel of working with locals.​

Oh, and in your resume, drop the +61 from the telephone number. It seems subconsciously recruiters associate someone using +61 as being located overseas :). No local aussie will ever put their number as +61 4XXXXXX.​

Ensure that there is a ‘current position’ mentioned in your linkedin profile.
Linkedin algorithms drop you a few places if you do not have a current position mentioned.
So, simply put the headline for the position as the role you are targeting and the company as ‘in transition’ or ‘exploring opportunities’ so that you are not penalized for this.​

And a note about your references.
There are two ways in which reference checks are done here.
Either they call your referee up, or they send them a questionnaire to fill up.

The questionnaire reference check is dicey, because there are tools that companies use to perform sentiment analysis on the feedback and arrive at a score for 'positive reference', and this forms the basis for the hiring decision. So, please warn your referees that they might have to spend some time to thoughtfully fill in the reference check questionnaire.

I think this post has gone on long enough. I would love to hear what you guys have to say.

Good luck with your job hunt :)
 

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I think this post has gone on long enough. I would love to hear what you guys have to say.

Good luck with your job hunt :)
Excellent post. Outstanding. A couple of things I would emphasise from your post.

1. Keep applying till you are sat at your desk. Come from a culture where "my word is my bond" or where the words "the job's yours, let's meet to discuss the details" would mean you had a job? Not here. I have been lied to, let down, avoided, stuttered to, had phones mysteriously "have a faulty line" (like it's 19-f'ing-20 or something). Aussies will often: overstate what is in their power to decide, overstate the positives to give life a rosy glow, avoid the confrontation of disappointing you. Net result: you can't trust them. Point. Not bad people, just incredibly unreliable.
2. Do everything in your power to avoid the big name recruitment companies. They are worthless. Packed to the gills with fresh-faced morons (often with a superiority complex because they got hired in from the UK) who know NOTHING. Male candidates, watch out especially for the women with glamorous photos with bust pushed out.
3. Disclose NOTHING to recruiters about other applications you have going on. They will use it to try and poach the role and send their own CVs.
4. The capability level here is much lower than East/West coast US, UK/EU and Japan. There is a dearth of talent and many senior managers are shockingly poor at doing their job. This presents a problem, as a smart, experienced individual triggers their threat radar. When in an interview, concentrate on making a friend as much as impressing them with your ability.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Excellent post. Outstanding. A couple of things I would emphasise from your post.

4. There is a dearth of talent
Thank you! you are too kind.

You hit the nail on the head with your observation regarding the dearth of talent here.

At this stage, with OZ staring at the beginnings of a recession, they should be encouraging the best of US/UK/EU/APAC to come here and the locals to be more receptive of the benefits such migration will bring them. I hope they are not too late in seeing the writing on the wall.
 

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So, after exactly 30 days of searching, I am almost at the cusp of nailing a couple of opportunities in OZ. I thought I’d take this chance to let newcomers know what to do to crack the market here.

-------------

I think this post has gone on long enough. I would love to hear what you guys have to say.

Good luck with your job hunt :)
Exceptional post, Five Stars...!

I'm not surprised about your impending success with your job hunt, the way you articulated in your post, because this is what at first attracts recruiters attention. You have summed up the Oz job market up to it's minute detail.

There is one other thing I would like to add. Whenever you apply via Seek or other tools, get hold of the contact and call them straight away. Treat the call like a sales pitch and try your best to grab the recruiters attention to your resume. I did this twice and in both cases, I managed to get on to the hiring manager and get myself a Technical round scheduled.

At this stage, with OZ staring at the beginnings of a recession, they should be encouraging the best of US/UK/EU/APAC to come here and the locals to be more receptive of the benefits such migration will bring them. I hope they are not too late in seeing the writing on the wall.
Talking about slowing market, I don't think anyone would see this as a welcome move, especially the current slackers running the show here. They are a privileged lot and I guess sometimes recession is needed as it weeds out the nasty ones. I don't wish ill at all, however the same bunch are responsible for an unhealthy culture within an organisation.

I'm not hunting for jobs at this point, but your post was worth a read...!

This post can be a one stop post for anyone looking at maximising his/her chances at landing a job. Thanks for taking time to write and all the very best.
 

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Great Post Siddharth. More often it's tough to outline and cascade as much as information as possible. You have articulated very well.COngrats on landing your job
 

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Discussion Starter #10
is the market super saturated? like if a position opens , do companies get like hundreds of resumes?
A lot of resumes that's for sure.
Just applying online and waiting for a call will not work at all.

At the moment, the IT job market has way more supply than demand in most skills.
It is niche skills that are in short supply - but TBH, there are not many companies here pursuing niche/cutting edge tech.
 

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A lot of resumes that's for sure.
Just applying online and waiting for a call will not work at all.

At the moment, the IT job market has way more supply than demand in most skills.
It is niche skills that are in short supply - but TBH, there are not many companies here pursuing niche/cutting edge tech.
thats disheartening. i am so used to get US market that it will be a new avenue for me.
 

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Hi Sidharth,

Thanks for your awesome guide for Job hunting in Oz. Appreciate your efforts to share your experience with us. It’s really helpful for many.

Since you’re into IT, Could you please share your thoughts on How is the market for the .NET Developers who are working on Office365/Sharepoint/Dynamics365/Azure?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Sidharth,

Thanks for your awesome guide for Job hunting in Oz. Appreciate your efforts to share your experience with us. It’s really helpful for many.

Since you’re into IT, Could you please share your thoughts on How is the market for the .NET Developers who are working on Office365/Sharepoint/Dynamics365/Azure?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I am not much aware of the demand for these skills, although I did see a fair amount of openings on linkedin for Dynamics365 consultants. The best way is to check the number of openings on Seek as well as linkedin over a 3-4 week period starting now so that you get an idea of the trend of open positions.

Also, I suggest you sign up for the linkedin premium membership for one month trial and track some of the openings for these skillsets - over a period of 3-4 weeks, you will get some intel on the number of applicants that apply for each position - this will give you an idea of your competition.
 

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Hi Sidharth,

Read through your finding first job tips and it’s superbly helpful!

Just curious, how long did it take for you to land in your first job? I’ve started applying jobs remotely from Singapore and hope to land a job before moving to Brisbane (visa 190). Do u think the chances of landing in a job is lesser when applying remotely than being personally there, and interviews could be through Skype?

In my cover letter , I wrote honestly that I’m currently working in Singapore with a local Sg number. Hope to hear from you soon. Do u think it’s worth making a trip there and try to meet up with the recruiters ?

Appreciate your time !
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi,

It is definitely possible to find a job while being based in Singapore, as the time gap is not too much between Oz and Sg.
However, this depends on your skillset. If your skill is rare and hard to find in Oz, then it would be a hot ticket irrespective of where in the world you are currently.

have you decided on a move-in date to Oz as yet? If that is the case, then look out for short term contract positions coming up to the holidays as a lot of firms will look at filling dates when their staff take their mandatory leaves.
 

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Thank you, this is very helpful.

How much more difficult will it be to find a job in a regional area versus the big cities? This is for an IT profession.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
there aren't many jobs in rural australia in the IT side of things. You are better off sticking to the major cities
 

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there aren't many jobs in rural australia in the IT side of things. You are better off sticking to the major cities


What about Perth, Adelaide & Gold Coast?


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Discussion Starter #19
Perth could be an option because mining industry is slowly picking up.
I am not sure about Adelaide or Gold Coast....but if I was in IT, i would not even consider these two cities.
 
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