Applying for Australian working visa as a skilled professional can be a long process. Depending on the subclass of your visa application you can easily find yourself stuck in the queue for months and months.
In this article you will read how to to beat the queue, and get your Australian working visa application favourably and swiftly processed.
Find an Australian company to sponsor your visa application first!
One of the best ways is by finding a job with an Australian company before even applying for a visa, and thereby getting your new employer to effectively sponsor your application for you.
Getting an employer-sponsored visa is one of the fastest ways to emigrate to Australia. Here are 10 practical tips for finding work in Australia in advance of your emigration:
1. Examine Australia Skilled Occupation Lists closely
If you want to move to live and work in Australia and you want to find a job in advance to be able to apply for an employer-sponsored visa, the Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL) are your friends. Take a look at them and identify where your skills are most in-demand.
Target jobs that are on the SOL and employers who need the skillset that you have. It will give you the best chance of finding a job and securing an employer-sponsored visa that will allow you to work in Australia.
Make sure your application falls under one of the priority groups. It will determine how fast your application will be processed.
Priority processing arrangements apply to skilled migration applications. They determine the order in which the department considers applications. Applications with a higher priority will be processed ahead of lower priority applications, regardless of when the application is lodged.
Currently, the two groups with the highest priority are applications under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and applications under the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS).
The applications in these two groups are processed within 5-8 months. If a relatively swift decision on your visa application is important for you, you should definitely target those two priority groups. Otherwise, you can get stuck for up to 18 months.
You can check the priority groups and SOL on the official immigration site for Australia.
2. Identify potential employers
The fastest way into work is often to directly approach an employer and apply for a vacancy they are currently advertising.
Use the Internet to search for employers within your industry in Australia, look at their web presence and company details, determine whether there are currently any jobs open that you could apply for.
Even if there are no advertised vacancies, you could contact the HR department with your resume and a cover letter…
3. Know how to use recruitment consultants & employment agencies
Recruiters list jobs, send candidates for interviews and follow up on all the paperwork. Consultants, on the other hand, tend to be much more ‘hands-on’ in terms of helping their clients find work. Know the difference in advance and know who and what type of agency you’re working with!
Generally, you will get a lot more from a recruitment consultant – and you will get even more if you work with them. The more you can do to help yourself, the more they will get to know you, and be able to determine where you would really fit within a particular organisation.
Finding a good consultant could be your way into a dream job.
At the same time, employment agencies and their recruiters have their place, they are a central place for jobs listings – and they can get your CV in front of the right people within interested organisations.
It’s always wise to be very friendly and pleasant to those you’re hoping will help you find a job – they are the ones who can get your CV to the top of a pile and get you in front of the interviewing panel.
4. Search ‘Positions Vacant’ advertisements
Many national and regional Australian newspapers and periodicals have an online presence nowadays – so look and find the sections and magazines applicable to your sector and search for potential jobs that you could apply for.
Even if you don’t see a role posted that is applicable, maybe you will learn of a new company in your sector that you can research online and keep an eye on in case it posts future vacancies that are applicable for you.
5. Always personalise and target your correspondence
There is nothing worse than a generic letter arriving on someone’s desk in amongst a pile of more personalised correspondence. It says to the recruiter that you couldn’t be bothered to research the role or the company, or that you’re not ‘specific’ enough for the job.
Take your time – every time – to find out who you’re writing to, the name of the recruiter/HR professional or manager. Learn a little about the company too…and if appropriate, mention any ties or links you have with the company already for example.
Being over-familiar is, of course, a ‘no-no’ – don’t use first names in formal correspondence until you have been invited to do so. But do ensure you personalise each application to the company and the job you’re applying to and for.
6. Always follow up on all correspondence
Even if you’re sending in a CV on spec, follow it up with a phone call and ensure you get to speak to the organ grinder and not their monkey. In other words, do not allow anyone to fob you off. You need to ensure you speak to someone who has taken the time to look at your application.
Explain that you’re seeking work, you’re serious about the position you applied for/or serious about working for the company you applied to, and that you would welcome feedback on your application, therefore it is important that you speak to the right person.
7. Be flexible in your approach and the jobs you will consider
By examining the SOL and identifying the areas where your skills are most in-demand in Australia you are already being flexible and open-minded in your approach into the jobs marketplace by adapting to what Australia needs.
However, you may need to take this one step further by being willing to take on a role other than your dream job in a bid to get you the visa you so want and need.
Additionally, it’s easier to get a job when you’re already in a job – so even if you take less than your dream role, it’s possible that you will be able to change jobs internally once recruited when you demonstrate where your skills and strengths really lie.
Alternatively, think of any job offer as a step towards your dream life, and even if you have to remain in that role for a number of years to fulfil visa rules, it’s still allowing you a way in to live in Australia and allowing you to become a fully paid-up member of contributing Australian society!
8. Enthusiasm and interest should never be feigned
When you go for an interview you need to show that you are genuinely interested in the role and the company. Think about how that could manifest itself – for example, if you meet a new person, you often question them about themselves to learn more about them, whilst sharing details about yourself.
The same works in an interview setting. You share salient details about yourself to charm your employer into hiring you, at the same time you show interest by enquiring into the role more, into the company, and asking all about future prospects and opportunities, whilst highlighting carefully why and how you will be an asset to that company.
You cannot fake genuine interest and enthusiasm – so ensure you have plenty of it before going into an interview. And ensure you have read up and researched as much as you can about the company and those who will be interviewing you.
They will want to see that you really care about the job and the company you may end up working for. They need to see that you will fit in and be a pleasant person to work with.
9. Interview preparation should be bespoke
Tying in neatly with the above point, your preparation in advance of an interview needs to be bespoke a) to the company you’re applying to and b) the role you are applying to fill. So, ensure you read up, research and ask questions of useful people in advance so that you can appear genuinely knowledgeable about the company and the job.
Think about questions they may ask you and how you can further personalise your answers for the job…e.g. when asked about your strengths, you can list them and detail how they may be applied to the job you’re interviewing for.
10. Ask for the job
Following an interview, it is often a good idea to write a very brief letter thanking the interviewer for their time.
Within the personalised letter, you can directly state that you enjoyed the interview process and getting to know more about the company and that you are very excited about the role, and look forward to hopefully becoming a part of such a dynamic company in the near future.
There is nothing wrong with directly stating that you want the job you have just interviewed for, and it reiterates your interest and commitment to the interviewer.
You need to take a personalised and proactive approach to finding a job in Australia and getting an employer-sponsor visa – and the sooner you begin and the more time and effort you can commit the better.