The jobsearch

Dieser Teil ist auf englisch, da du ja auch für die Jobsuche englisch sprechen musst 😉

If you are in Australia on a Working Holiday visa you can work for up to three months for an individual employer. After that you must look for another job. This Visa allows you the chance to live and work legally in Australia for up to 12 months. Whether it be as a fruitpicker or manager – there are no restrictions!

In the following excerpt we’ll show you various job opportunities that are available & how to prepare for them and we will also give you tips for your job search. Another important thing to remember is to get your own bank account and to apply for a tax file number. Additionally you have the possibility to download an example of an Curriculum Vitae (resume).

You’ll be responsible for yourself in Australia. (So far, so good!) You should look for a job yourself as well as organising your own accommodation and successfully managing your own finances and time. To get a job you should be willing to accept any form of employment. You should remain flexible, with a positive (hard working) attitude and give it time. Don’t forget to give things a chance. Keep an open mind!!

Have realistic expectations! If your english isn’t too good, you might try to work on a farm first. That gives you the chance to get used to your new environment and to the language before starting an internship with a tour operater, for example.

The possibilities:

  • Farm Work
    There are a few companies and associations that offer support to find paid work on farms. -The types of jobs vary from farm to farm and according to the experience you may already have. Jobs can be weeding and harvesting jobs, to horse riding and tractor driving. More jobs opportunities exist during the Australian spring and summer than during the winter period. If you want to get experience first or want to try volunteer work check our report about WWOOF
  • Hospitality
    Restaurant work is pretty easy to find all year round if you have experience. The advantages are that you can get into contact easily with many different types of people this way. In NSW you mostly need a RSA certificate (responsible service of alcohol). The course costs approx. $70 AUD.
  • Office Work:
    To get a job in an office you need good english and computer skills. Your chances are good if you have special office skills such as typing or computer skills. Most offices hire temporary help through employment agencies.
  • Retail:
    Sales in shops, shopping centres and supermarkets. You need to have good english skills and most probably also experience with the cash register. The best way to find these jobs is to walk in with your resume and ask to see the manager.
  • Fruit Picking:
    There are harvest jobs available all year round and all around Australia (see list). The working conditions are hard (!) and you usually get paid for what you pick (not an hourly rate). You don’t need any previous experience or good language skills. You may not earn much the first few days, but the money comes with practice.
  • Call Center:
    If you have some sales experiences and very good English knowledge it shouldn’t be a problem to find a job in one of the numerous call centres around Australia. And even sales experiences is almost likely not required.
  • Promotion/Marketing
  • Au Pair / Nanny
  • working in a factory


You should already prepare your job search before you fly to Australia!

If you apply for a job in Australia, then you will need a Resumé/CV (Curriculum Vitae). 
Take a few copies of your CV and holds a copy on disk or in your Mailbox. If you want to apply for a job as a waiter, then simply go from Pub to Pub, speak to the Managers and leave a CV. It shows the employer your work experience, your profile and your references. You can download an example of an CV. 

MOST Importantly:

  • No hand written resume
  • Keep your resume to one page. Be brief, clear and succinct
  • Make sure that your resume is completely free of mistakes. Have a friend or a teacher to proof it. It is your first contact with your possible employer
  • Include your full name and contact details as well as a mobile phone number (take your cell phone with you- there are pre-paid cards in Australia for $20)
  • Leave out data like your place of birth and date or family status
  • when you write down the jobs you have done, start with the last one and work backwards
  • This is the place to indicate as many jobs as possible… even if they were unpaid (eg.internships)

If you send your application via post, then you need to write a covering letter.
With the covering letter you introduce yourself to the employer. You show what relevant work experience you have and also that you are professional and keen.

Don’t forget: 

  • never hand written
  • briefly on only one page
  • No grammar or spelling mistakes
  • Address the application to the person that is in charge for hiring the staff

If possible take references with you. These should be in English! If your (former) employer doesn’t want to do it, do it yourself!
Write and translate your own (reference/evaluation)and give it to your employer to sign it.

How to get it on:

The job search is a job on its own…
So you should be professional and persistent. There is more than one way to find a job, so try several!!
Contact 10-20 employers each day and make a list to have an overview.
Definitely, go on your own. Otherwise you divert each other and limit your chances.
A better way is to use your new experiences to give tips and help each other.

Very important: no matter how often they say no… never lose your courage!!!! From phone-call to phone-call you will get better.. from contact to contact you’ll lose your fear of contacting an employer.
And once you have a job your new life will begins.

You can choose of the following possibilities:

  • Employment Agencies: 
    There are a lot of employment agencies. Many of them are free of charge. 
    You make an appointment, present your CV and they will give you an interview. Once this is completed the agency will know your skill level and will match you to temporary positions phoned into the agency over the coming days.
    There are agencies that are specialised for backpackers… „WorldWideWorkers“ for example.
    The membership costs one hundred dollars just once and you’ll get joboffers, depending on the job market, for the next 12months.
  • Internet:
    The internet is full of pages that can help you with your job search. You will also find information about writing a resume and a covering letter. It is a good possibility to contact employers and to prepare yourself before leaving your country!
  • Newspapers:
    Search in local newspapers for job advertisements. The main capital cities have their own newspapers with job sections on Wednesday and Saturday.
    • Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney)
    • The Age (Melbourne)
    • The Courier Mail (Brisbane)
  • There are free backpacker magazines with job advertisements available in hostels and travel centres.
  • Notice Boards:
    Universities, Hostels and backpacker centre are full of notice boards with job advertisements
  • Visitoz:
    arranges Jobs in the outback
  • Harvestline:
    If you want to go Fruit picking dial 1300 720 126. The national Harvest-line connects you with the region of your choice, where you get the latest information.
  • „Pounding the Pavement“:
    You literally walk into every store, restaurant and office you come across asking if there are any jobs vacant. Don’t forget your CV. Be prepared for a number of disappointments, but eventually you’ll hear a yes!!!

And.. really important – The word of mouth:
Always inquire! Where is your flatmate working, or the people staying in your hostel. Contact people that have already been in Australia and ask for possible employers.
The good thing is that Aussies are a very friendly race and always keen to help. Yes, sometimes people came to me in order to help as I was looking helplessly into the street map…

Bank Account:

If you have a job you will need a Bank Account. The common Banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and the National Australia Bank. The ANZ Bank offers a bank account attracting no monthly account-keeping fee and 6 free electronic transactions are allowed each month. To open an account you need your passport + a minimum deposit.
ANZ Branch address in Sydney:
ANZ Bank
Corner of York and Market Streets
Sydney NSW


Your work visa alone is not sufficient. As soon as you get to Australia you have to apply for a tax file number. Which is pretty simple. You apply at the Australian Tax Office. After filling out a form you get your first receipt. The correct tax file number is to be sent to you after 21 days. You must indicate the address of your place (a Hostel.)

In Sydney:
100 Market St, Podium level, Sydney
8:30 bis 16:30, Monday to Friday.

  • Minimum tax rate for non-Australian resident with a TFN: 29% (with no TFN: 47%)
  • Apply at any Australian Tax Office.
  • 21 working days for the TFN to be sent to you
  • 21 working days to present TFN to each new employer

Tax declaration:

You get a „payment summary“ from each employer after you finished working for them. Collect them. 
At the end of the financial year (between July and October; before leaving Australia) you need to do a Tax declaration in order to check that you have paid the correct amount of tax.
As non-Australian resident, you are expected to pay a minimum of 29% tax on each dollar you earn. 

The Tax Office (ATO)

What do you need:

  • Payment summaries (each time you finish a job)
  • TFN

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