A working holiday in Australia is sure to serve up once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, but also unique work opportunities. Here are 5 ways to get a job on your Australian working holiday.
From mixing cocktails in a glamorous city bar and rounding up cattle on a 10,000-hectare (24,000- acre) farm in Queensland, to crewing on a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef, there are literally thousands of jobs open to you on a working holiday in Australia.
Every year, thousands of visitors take advantage of the different types of working holiday visas, which enable people from eligible countries aged 18-30 to work for up to a year while in Australia – and up to two years if you work in a rural area for part of the time.
Holidaymakers from countries as diverse as the UK, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea and France work their way around the country enjoying the nation’s beaches, vibrant nightlife and memorable landscapes.
Here’s how you can secure work while on holiday in Australia.
Use a working holiday support program
If you’re looking for a lot of support to help you on your working holiday journey, a work program might be ideal. Providers of work programs, such as The Global Work & Travel Co. and Work N Holiday, provide guaranteed work opportunities for working holiday makers throughout the duration of their stay. The program might include airport pick-up, an induction to help you get established, and social activities. They may also help you set up housing, provide training and even help you set up your bank account and tax file number (TFN).
Meet potential employers face-to-face
If you’re comfortable beginning your job search after you arrive in Australia, meeting potential employers face-to-face can be a great way to secure work, especially in the hospitality industry. Hit the streets and stop into bars and restaurants that may need bar tenders or servers. Keep in mind that anyone responsible for serving alcohol in Australia needs to complete Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training and receive an RSA Certificate.
Visiting hostels, hotels, shops and restaurants might be time-intensive, but it’s also rewarding when you get to chat with the locals, meet other travellers and settle into the Australian way of life.
Conduct a job search online
There are several powerful tools – online and otherwise – that can help you secure a job on your working holiday. Several online search engines in Australia to showcase open positions, including Seek, Indeed and Career One. You can also search the Backpacker Job Board, which lists jobs specifically for backpackers.
When using these online job boards, it may be helpful to limit your search to short-term or contract roles, which are more likely to hire applicants on a working holiday visa. Some job listings will even mention their relevance to working holiday makers, particularly in administration and hospitality.
Familiarise yourself with popular jobs for working holiday makers, like administration assistants, receptionists, restaurant servers, childcare providers, boat crew, fruit harvesters and retail or hotel workers.
Don’t forget that some Aussie jobs, like those on farms, may be seasonal and only available for part of the year.
Most jobs accept online applications, but before you apply, it’s important to have a Curriculum Vitae (CV) created. A CV (also known as a resume) is a document that shows your qualifications, previous work experience and previous education, and is a necessary tool to secure a range of jobs.
Enlist a recruitment agency
If you’re looking for some help in your job search journey, a recruitment agency can be a great resource. A recruitment agency can help you search for jobs that relate to your skillset, apply for roles and secure employment. A recruitment agency is likely to require your CV, so write yours beforehand or ask the agency for advice on writing your CV.
While your chosen recruitment agency may apply for jobs for you, an interview is usually conducted before a job is offered, so be sure to brush up on your interview skills. Be your best at every interview by dressing professionally, printing your CV, giving detailed answers to each question and arriving early or on time.
Get work along the way
One of the best things about a working holiday is the freedom. If you have a sense of adventure and you’re keen to move around Australia, then it’s possible to find work as you travel. Leads could come from anywhere, so keep your ears open around your hostel and keep an eye out for job postings.
The Australian government has also compiled a Harvest Guide for travellers who want to help pick, harvest and gather produce in Australia’s rural - yet beautiful - farming towns. Because harvest seasons differ across the country, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a range of regions as you move from town to town. Whether you’d like to help pick grapes in the Adelaide Hills, cut flowers in Sydney or gather pineapples on the Sunshine Coast, there is year-round work in Australia on the Harvest Trail.
For the most up to date information about the types of working holiday visas and your nation’s eligibility, see the Department of Home Affairs website.