Live and Work in Australia: 5 Tips for Non-Australians

Live and Work in Australia: 5 Tips for Non-Australians


Australia: it’s still the land of opportunity. Freedom, a chance at building a fantastic lifestyle, openness to multiculturalism, and a stable economy are just some of the reasons why many people from around the world are interested in living and working in Australia. The country is particularly interested in attracting skilled immigrants, so if you have something special to offer, getting into Australia might be easier than you thought it would be. 

If you’re eager to try this, begin by getting your skilled immigrant visa. Visas take time, so unless your skills are extremely rare, it’s best to get the visa in place so that you can start soon if you’re able to land the right job. 

1. Craft a Great Resume to Showcase Your Skills

Once you have a skilled immigrant visa, it’s time to start applying for jobs, either from your current country of residence, or from within Australia. Start with the big cities and think local. The CV that lands you a role in Melbourne is best produced by people who understand its job market. A bit of local knowledge can go a long way. 

Since you’re a skilled individual, you already know what type of posts you’d be searching for, so start with your resume, and then start looking for posts where your skills can add value. You can always tweak your resume a little if it’s necessary to highlight specific skills and experience that could give you an advantage.  

2. Being There Helps

Top talent can negotiate with prospective employers about things like starting dates, but for most of us, being in the part of Australia you’d like to relocate to will help. For example, if interviews are being conducted in person rather than remotely, your remote interview may place you at a disadvantage. 

Remember, you don’t have to commit to full relocation just yet. You can always make the necessary arrangements for a permanent move once you’ve succeeded in obtaining a suitable job offer. Being present, and having the necessary visa, will certainly improve your chances.

3. Finding the Right Openings

If you work in a specialised field, start by identifying companies that would employ people like you. Your skills are rare, so you needn’t wait for a post to be advertised. Simply write to HR departments letting them know that you’d be interested in any opportunities they may have in your area of expertise. 

Follow up with a call, and if they don’t sound particularly interested, ask them whether they know of any other companies you should approach. You may not get an offer right away, but because you are an expert, recruiters are likely to keep your resume on file for future reference. 

Of course, there are always jobs boards to watch, and there are several Australian job search engines you can monitor., Workforce Australia (for government jobs), Adzuna, CareerOne, and the Australian page at are good places to start. 

You can also approach Australian recruitment agencies. There shouldn’t be any associated costs unless they actually help you to get the kind of job you want. If they do, their fees will be worth paying.

4. Top Cities to Target

Cities are the places where it all happens, but each of Australia’s major cities has its own personality. Explore Australian cities online to find out which of them will suit you best. 

Sydney is highly competitive. It’s friendly towards overseas talent, and it’s the financial hub of Australia. However, it’s also one of the more expensive cities to live in, and this plus the level of competition you’re likely to encounter are its two downsides. 

Brisbane is known for its current expansion in opportunities which are said to outstrip population growth. That means more opportunities per capita, and a better chance of getting a foot in the door. 

Melbourne is only one step behind Sydney as a financial centre. Many of Australia’s largest companies have chosen it as their headquarters, so it should definitely be on your radar.

Perth may be the best place for an expat to begin. It’s the only major city on the West Coast of Australia, so opportunities are diverse and there’s a substantial pool of highly skilled jobs available. 

5. Get some Australian Experience to Improve Your Chances

Forming an opinion about a country from afar, and experiencing it first-hand, are literally worlds apart. As a foreigner, Australian recruiters will have some concerns about your ability to settle down in Australia as a long-term employee. You should share that concern. The more exposure you have to Australia, the more certain you can be about whether it’s a place you’d like to live – and your local experience will reassure recruiters too. 

Never consider migrating to a country you haven’t visited before – and the longer the time you spend there, the more sure you can be about whether you’ll enjoy living there. I’ve had friends who went to Australia to live and work and who haven’t looked back. I’ve also had friends who went over with high hopes only to find that Australia didn’t meet their expectations (whatever those may have been.)

Apart from visiting on holiday, you can also look for fixed-term opportunities or volunteer opportunities so that you can spend time considering whether Australia is the place for you. Emigrating, or spending a substantial amount of time living in another country, is a big decision. Make it from an informed perspective. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Australia

Australia is known as an affluent country with many opportunities and a willingness to accept that people need a good work-life balance. The people are generally friendly and relaxed, the leisure opportunities varied, and the cities cosmopolitan. However, there is a downside, and for you, this could be the cost of living. 

As a benchmark, while the USA doesn’t offer advantages like free or low-cost medical care, the actual average cost of living is lower than that of Australia. For many, the benefits of living in Australia outweigh higher costs, and it’s worth remembering that money isn’t everything. Nonetheless, moving to Australia for a higher salary might actually see you financially worse off than you were at home. Consider your motivations for wanting to move to Australia carefully before you just dive in!

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