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Finding work

Finding jobs in Australia and overseas

Tap into the Australian job market and research your options abroad as an international student.

If you intend to start your career in Australia, you can use the same job search methods utilised by local students, however, investing some time in learning about the Australian job market and workplace will make your transition to work easier. Keep your options open by staying up to date on employment developments in your home country and other regions that are of interest to you.

How to find work in Australia

Visit our career planning page to find out how you can research industries, organisations and opportunities. It's also a good idea to engage with the Careers Centre to learn more about what employers expect and value. We run a comprehensive Career Development Program for international students which will help you understand the recruitment process and enable you to present yourself effectively in your job applications and interviews.

Do you know how much you should get paid per hour or whether an unpaid job is legal? Read about pay rates and your rights and responsibilities at work to inform your job search and work choices. Some other useful resources include:  

Consider the employability skills you have to offer an employer and think about any attributes that may make you stand out from other job applicants. You may find that you have some interesting ‘selling points’ as an international student, eg, language skills, international experience, cultural sensitivity, knowledge of foreign markets/businesses or the ability to rapidly adapt to different environments. Seek opportunities that will utilise your unique skills.

Australian employers expect you to graduate with solid employability skills as well as a degree. Alongside studying, you should engage in campus life activities that build your skill set and enhance your resume. Casual work and volunteering are also highly regarded by employers.

Most Australian employers will value your casual work experience, even if it is not relevant to your studies or industry. Taking on casual work will show your understanding of the Australian workplace, time management, and other transferable skills. Look for casual jobs on Sydney CareerHub.

Your resume may need to be adapted for an Australian audience. You may also need to write a cover letter or statement addressing selection criteria. Start practising your interview skills to gain confidence in answering questions. You can find out more about job applications and interviews in our International Student Career Development Program.

Even though some graduate roles are only open to Australian citizens or permanent residents, formal graduate programs are not the only place to begin your career. Consider the following strategies:

  • Review our job search strategies for ideas on tapping into the hidden job market.
  • Apply to small/medium organisations or startups. Some of these employers may be more open to hiring employees on student visas or other visas with work rights.
  • Temporary, contract or project roles may be less likely to require a permanent residence visa.
  • Network within expatriate communities to find opportunities that will make the most of your language skills or cultural understanding.
  • Consider applying for overseas jobs within global organisations in your home country. You may be able to apply for a transfer to an Australian office in future. 

Finding work back home or in another country

If you plan to return to your home country or seek options elsewhere in the world, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you're prepared:

  • Research the job market in your home country or target country just as you would in Australia. You can use GoinGlobal to investigate different countries and regions.
  • Keep in touch with your family, friends and contacts at home. Your peers will likely be a useful source of information on graduate recruitment trends and employer expectations if you choose to return or your circumstances change.
  • Learn the etiquette of job searching and working in your target country via your networks or online. Visit an international careers fair or employer event here in Australia or in your home country to have your questions answered directly by international employers. Subscribe to Sydney CareerHub to receive the latest news on international events.
  • Research the resume style that is most accepted in the country in which you are seeking work. A resume that successfully won you a job in one country may not meet the conventions of resumes in another country. GoinGlobal also provides information on resume styles for different countries.

Lockin China - for students returning home to China for work

Lockin China Portal

As a University of Sydney student or recent graduate you can also access thousands of opportunities in China through the Lockin China portal. In addition to job opportunities the portal offers employment solutions and career development support including resources for Chinese resume and cover letter preparation, advice on the Chinese application process and other resources. Log in to Lockin China to create a profile and start your job search in China.

Graduate Connect Platform - helping Go8 graduates secure jobs in China

If you're a final year student or recent graduate from the University of Sydney, you're invited to register with the Go8-AustCham China Grad Search (CGS) Portal operated by AustCham. This is available to all Chinese graduates from Go8 Universities and to over 60,000 AustCham and CCOIC member companies. You can create a profile and upload your qualifications and experience onto the online platform. AustCham and CCOIC member companies can then search for graduates and engage in conversations with you about job opportunities.