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Looking for Work Before You Arrive in Victoria

Before leaving your home country

How to look for work in Victoria

Most jobs in Victoria are not advertised. Most are found through personal and professional networks. Join your industry association before you leave your home country and use your own networks to contact people in Australia and start networking now to tap into this hidden job market.

Key trade and professional organisations for each industry can be found in the Victorian Industries section.

Use the online Australian job websites to research job opportunities online and familiarise yourself with the Australian job market. This will help you get a feel for what sort of salary and working conditions you can expect with your skills, qualifications and experience.

Find out which recruitment companies in Victoria specialise in your field and make contact with recruiters. The best way to find a recruitment agency is to search the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association which lists recruiters by industry area and location.

Approach companies and exporters in your own country who have offices in Australia. Another option is to contact relevant companies and organisations in Australia directly.

Research the kinds of networks that will be available in the area where you plan to live. Networks may include groups such as volunteer groups, sports clubs, professional bodies and community groups.

Important documents

Before you leave your home country, you should prepare copies of important documents that you may need for your job search. These include:

  • school records, diplomas or degrees
  • trade or professional certificates and licences – anything from school level onwards
  • driver’s licence, including an International Driver’s Permit
  • all documents related to previous employers, including testimonials, written references, work records and network records.

Employment history

Prepare copies of job descriptions and overviews from your previous places of employment as these are good records of your responsibilities, notable achievements and your performance. Also prepare a copy of any career or aptitude tests.

Testimonials and references

Line up testimonials and referees in advance. Where possible, get written testimonials from employers, clients and suppliers, and have these translated into English if necessary. Australian employers value referee checks and these are usually done once they have narrowed down the final list of candidates.

Let your referees know the details of the jobs you are applying for and the types of questions they are likely to be asked for telephone references. Where possible, line up Australian referees.

Local email

Create a personal Australian email address that ends with as a familiar reference point for potential employers. Base this email address on your name and not a nickname to avoid sounding unprofessional.

Skills and qualification assessment

If you are planning to migrate to Australia as a skilled migrant you will need to have your qualifications and skills assessed as part of your visa application by the designated Australian assessing authority for your occupation.

For more information about having qualifications assessed for your visa application, visit the Occupations page for information about your nominated occupation or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Upon arrival to Australia, you may need to have your skills and qualifications reviewed for employment purposes and undertake further training or bridging courses. Vetassess offer this service.

Further information

The following websites provide information about career planning, job preparation and the labour market:

  • Australian Careers and Employment Centre for International Students
    ACECIS helps international students and new migrants find work in Australia.  They focus on improving cover letters and resumes, interview skills, job searching abilities and professional profiles
  • AMES Australia – Skilled Professional Migrants Program
    AMES Australia is Australia's largest provider of specialist multicultural language, employment and settlement services. It offers a program specifically for skilled professional migrants.
  • Department of Employment
    Federal government website that provides information about employment, government assistance, jobs, careers, training and working conditions.
  • Job Outlook
    Job Outlook is a careers and labour market research information site that has a wealth of information covering around 350 individual occupations. 
  • myfuture: Australian Careers Directory
    National career information and exploration service, helping people plan career pathways and manage work transitions.
  • Overseas Qualifications Unit
    The Victorian Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) provides qualified professionals, who are permanently living in Victoria, with an assessment of their qualifications (awarded by overseas educational institutions) to assist them to undertake work in Victoria.
  • Tribus Lingua
    Resources to help migrants understand and adapt to life in Australia.
  • Tips for Migration to Australia
    Australian recruitment expert, Ian Little, provides a step-by-step guide to finding a job in Australia.

The information or services, and the views expressed that may appear on any linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the Skilled and Business Migration Program and the Victorian Government. It is recommended that you make your own inquiries as to the appropriateness and suitability of the information on this site for your particular circumstances.