How to get your first IT job in Australia
The tips for finding your first job in Australia (16/03/2020 (2 years ago))


How to get your first IT job in Australia

Doesn't matter where you live, having a good job is a pre-condition of a good life.

The IT work environment in Australia

  1. High demand for good developers
    If you are good, it is very easy to find a job. The agent will keep trying to get in touch with you which makes you have no time to do anything else.
  2. Flexible
    The hours are flexible and some jobs can keep you working from home for 3 months.
  3. You may be fired or laid off at any time
    If you ask somebody if a company in Australia can fire employees as USA, most of people will say no because it is against the laws. Usually before firing a person, you have to give him three warnings based on the performance. But I know a 200,000 annual salary manager of mine was disappeared after lunch. The company just laid him off and he has to go immediately.
  4. Lots of competitors
    People in Australia like to submit job applications to all positions they can find. Even it doesn't match. A non-famous IT position can receive over 200 resumes in a week.

Difficulties that employers are facing


  1. Hard to fire bad employees
    Once the employee passes the probation period, firing becomes a hard option. It is a very tough choice for a 'kind' manager to terminate the contract before the probation finished. And it also means all the time spent for hiring and training have been wasted.
  2. Hard to filter the resumes
    Most of people working in Australia are good at writing resumes. It is very time-consuming to find the best resumes among hundreds of them. And this leads to a great growth of Job agency industry.
  3. Hard to interview
    Most of candidates are good at talking than doing the actual work. Just by talking, it is hard to tell whether the candidate is good or not.
  4. Expensive agency commission
    One month salary of the job will be paid as the commission to the agent.
  5. Time consuming
    Interview needs to involve in the important members of the company. Their time are more expensive to waste.
  6. Stability of the employee
    It feels very bad to spend days and lots of money to hire a person who then leaves within a month after joining. Usually this situation is due to a better opportunity or simply just an imperfect match. This is the reason why matching is so important. When you convinced the employer that the job is just designed for you and it is your dream job, you are 80% successful.

Difficulties that the agents are facing

  1. Lots of competitors
    One laptop, one mobile phone and an internet can help you start a job agency career. High return and low cost abstract so many people to get into this industry.
  2. Resume filtering
    Perfect resume may contains fake stories. Filtering out the imperfect resume may miss the best candidate. Eventually, only up to 2 resumes will be sent to the employers.
  3. The intention of the candidate
    It is quite possible that after everything and even after the candidate gets the offer. The candidate may get more than one offer and finally he choses the other one. So agent will always ask you the question that whether you have some on-going interviews or whether you are eagerly looking for a job. If your answer is yes, the agent may put your profile behind others because they have to take the risk of wasting the efforts.

Agents' tactics

  1. Resume databases
    There are a lot of fake positions on Seek and they all share the same features: Ambiguous requirement. It will give you a "match" feelings and make you to submit your CVs. There is no actual position and it is only used to collect your information that they can use to enrich the database.
  2. Agent phone interview or face-to-face interview
    No difficult question will be asked. The agent interview is only for agent to make sure that you are a normal person. You look OK and your english is enough for an interview.
  3. Decoration of your resume
    The agent won't directly send your resume to employer. They will revise your resume based on their standard format and also remove all your contact details.

The difficulty that the candidate are facing

  1. Don't understand Australia job markets.
    The persons who are able to migrate to Australia are somewhat good in their professions. But the reality is that no one contacts with them after they submitted their unchanged resumes.
  2. Hard to win among a sea of good resumes
    If your resume doesn't match the job description, it is hard to survive after the resume filtering.
  3. Bad English
    Even you are good at what you worked before, your english may gave you a label of "Bad communication skills"
  4. Asking for an improper salary
    Some people said I will never take a job 'without XXX salary'. Some people may even want to work for free after several interview failures. None of them are good. If you asked too much, no body gonna offer you a job. If you asked too few, the agent thinks you are un-confident. Before asking a salary, google it or find your market price through
  5. Not familiar with Australia culture
    Un-fluent english plus not-understanding local culture will stop you finding a management position.
  6. Lack of local working experience
    Having local working experience can not prove how good you are but it can prove that
    a) You succeeded in the interview before
    b) Your English skill is good enough for interview
    c) You understand what the employer needs
    With local working experience, the agent will believe you have a better chance to succeed in an interview

Types of employees

According to Australia Fair trading website, there are 8 different types of employees. Here we only talk about two of them:

  1. Permanent
    a. Can not be fired without any reason
    b. Has 20 days annual leaves and 10 days sick or carer leaves
    c. Has extra long service leaves after years of continuous services
    d. are paid for public holidays
    e. 4 weeks notice is required to terminate the contract
  2. Contract
    a. The length of the contract can be months or even weeks.
    b. No annual leave or sick leave
    c. Not paid for public holidays
    d. 2 weeks notice to terminate the contract

Usually the salary of contract job is 20% higher than the same level permanent job. And due to that the company could "lay off" you instead of "fire" you, so there is no much difference for stability. For new migrant, contract or permanent job doesn't matter but the first always matters.

Applicant's tactics

  1. One cover letter and resume for one job
    The resume and cover letter should match the job description. And you should revise them based on every job description.
  2. Only apply the job that matches your resume, so that
    a) You can focus on writing a perfect resume for that job description
    b) You can focus on preparing the technology for that telephone interview or interview
    c) When the agent or employer call you, you can remember the context faster and give the perfect answers they want.
  3. Local working experience
    You should remove all the country names in your resume which can clearly tell the agent or employer that you don't have local working experience.
  4. Call the agent
    If you find the job matches your CV, you can call the agent or employer instead of waiting. It will increase the possibility of your resume winning in hundreds of CVs as long as you can convince the agent.

Written test

  1. Usually the written test wouldn't be easy.
    It is easy to understand from the agent or employer's perspective. The more people failed, the easier to filter out the unqualified candidates, and the fewer people they need to interview.
  2. Types of written test
    a. Such as HackerRank or IKM, the answers are fixed. The only thing you can do is to understand the question and give the correct answers.
    b. You may be asked to write some codes or setup a small project. In this case, you need to understand what contents in your codes the employer wants to see first. With this in your mind, your time spent on this assignment will be more valuable.


Telephone Interview

  1. You should speak slowly with confidence
  2. Understand what the employer what to listen before answer a question
  3. Have your questions with you to show your interest to the position such as:
    a. Where is the office? Close to the train station?
    b. Is working hour flexible
    c. What is the company's culture?

Face-to-face interview

  1. Google and understand the business and culture of the company
    Get some questions with you so that you can ask after the interview.
    The key points of these questions are to make the employer feeling that you are interested in this job.
  2. Wearing as formal as you can
    The most expensive suit you wear, the easier you get the job. (Not true for some of the companies like Google)
  3. Write codes or program on a paper
    It needs some practices if you never did it before
  4. Must not be late
    Arrive 10 minutes earlier
  5. Google and prepare technical interview questions
  6. Speak slowly
  7. Understand what the employer what to listen before answer a question
  8. Don't pretend to know it if you don't.
  9. Make employer feel that you are an easy-going person

Behaviour questions

This is very important. In the name of "Culture fit", these questions are for them to decide if they like to work with you,
In order to succeed in behaviour questions, you need to have some "good" stories to show that you are:

  1. a nice person
  2. reliable and can take responsibilities
  3. willing to improve yourself
  4. a person who can accept others' constructive suggestions and can make changes
  5. a person who can give constructive suggestions and do actions to persuade the changes
  6. a person who can share

Reference and background check

  1. You must provide two contacts which were your managers before so that they can confirm
    a. Your position in your previous company
    b. If you can a good person to work with and if your previous manager wants to work with you again
    c. Whether you are reliable
    d. Whether you can conquer the difficulty

  2. Submit your ID and past employment records
    The employer may hires the third party company to do background check including police check and employment histories.

Get the offer


  1. Read it carefully before you sign the contract
  2. The salary is still negotiable especially when you have another offer with you


  1. Get the tax file number, super account and bank account with you
  2. Talk with your manager, and ask for his/her comment at the end of the week

Additional knowledges

  1. You can not submit application to the same company through different channels
    If you submitted application to the company through one agent, then don't send application through another agent or directly.
    This is the reason why agent will always ask you whether you have heard of the company that they are trying to reference you.
  2. Long hiring process
    Some companies will keep interviewing for half a year. They may haven't found the right person they are looking for or they are just slow.
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