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Understanding Australian Job Advertisements

Understanding job advertisements is essential when you are searching for work. Australian job ads usually include:

  • what the job involves
  • whether the job is offered full-time, part-time, casual or as a fixed-term contract
  • what skills or qualifications are required
  • what work experience is required
  • what sort of organisation you’ll be working for
  • details about how you should apply and where to send your job application, either by mail or email
  • who to contact for further information
  • the closing date for applications.

Many Australian online job ads also include a link to download a detailed position description if one is available.

If you have questions, want to obtain a position description or want to discuss the role in more detail before you apply, contact the person listed in the job ad. It’s a good way to introduce yourself and gain further insight into the company and the role.

Be aware that some jobs in Australia may be advertised under a different job title than in your home country.  Find out what your job is called in Australia and broaden your job searches until you are familiar with the language and terms used in Australian job ads.  Use the language and terms they use in the job ad and the job description as part of your application. 

In Australia, it is very important to apply for the job before the closing date as many employers will not accept late applications.

Selection criteria

Some job ads include key selection criteria that the company will use to evaluate your job application. In these instances, you are required to address the selection criteria as part of your job application. Use specific examples of your skills and work experience for each of the key selection criteria to demonstrate your suitability for the role. 

Answering the selection criteria takes a lot of extra time but it’s very important to include this information if you want to be seriously considered for the job.

Salary and salary packages

Some job ads will include a salary range or a salary package and some job ads won’t include this information. Sometimes the salary is advertised as a package that includes your mandatory payment.

When you speak to a company, they may ask you what your expected salary range is. Contact your industry association to find out what sort of salary you can expect to receive based on your skills, qualifications and experience. For more information about industry associations see Guide to Victoria Industries

The ‘hidden job market’

While applying for an advertised job is one way to find work, many jobs are filled through personal and professional networks. Often employers would rather hire someone through their network than through a lengthy and expensive advertising process.

See our page looking for work after you arrive in Victoria for further information on tapping into this hidden job market.