Finding a job in Australia in 4 to 6 weeks

After more than two and a half years and many events as part of the finding a job in Australia, meetup, I thought it is enough information that I have to share, as to how to crack that first or the next job in this beautiful country. We had events around various topics like integration with culture, resume writing, cracking interviews, having the right mindset, what the recruiters want and many more, just to cater to the person looking for an opportunity here. I have realized that job seeking is much like sales and it is all about numbers. Number of sales depends on number of quality leads generated and your conversion rate. Similarly, the number of job offers that you would get will depend on number of quality interviews that you get and then your conversion rate.

Are you getting enough interview calls?

The first question to ask is, are you getting enough interview calls? This is very important and it depends on two things:

  1. Your resume
  2. How are you applying?

Let us talk about your resume. Nobody has time to read pages and pages of resume. Have your resume concise and develop it between 3 to 5 pages. Try to have a good introduction, avoid adjectives and clearly mention your purpose and interest. For example, a good introduction can be

A Business Analyst, who understands the importance of providing the right solution to solve business problem and achieves it through understanding business needs and goals, translating them in language understood by business and technology team alike, and delivering it to solve the identified problem.

I am sure, it could be made better in your own language but you get the gist. It only gives an insight into what you do but how you do it.

Follow the introduction with your career summary, generally a table with list of different organizations or projects, with your role and years would do. If you are overseas, do mention the location that you worked in your different projects or organizations.

Now, give a section on why someone should hire you? What is so different about you? What are your skill sets. Take some personality and skill tests online to see where you stand and that may assist you in adding not more than 3 – 5 solid points to this section.

Generally, the first 3/4th to full section of your first page should fill with the above. Then follow with your career summary, giving details (couple of lines) about the organization that you worked for, your role and then details about your work. Note that the work that you did has to be detailed. For example, instead of writing

Managed multi million dollar projects and delivered them successfully within time, budget and scope,

you can write

Prepared business case to get approval of $5 Mn project migrating 10 critical applications to cloud

The more specific you are with your details, the better it is. Exactly what did you do? Now, it could be daunting as you maybe doing a lot of things. Try to mention the top 5 – 7 items which took away 80% of your time. Repeat it for each organization and/or major projects that you worked for.

Now mention your education and also give a glimpse of any other volunteer organizations that you are part of.

I might follow up with another article just on specificity of the resumes, but for now let us move on to the next point in order to get good interviews, which is, how are you applying?

It is very important to improve the quality of your applications and the method in which you are applying. First of all ensure, that you have done enough market study to understand as to which role is best suited based on your skills. Remember, that you maybe a service delivery manager somewhere, but you could be well versed with your project management skills and hence look for a project manager job. I generally ask my clients to do a market research by going through the job descriptions on seek for the kind of jobs that they want to apply and list down the skills that are required for the jobs. The skills which are repeated most should match with your skills. The resume needs to be written to highlight those skills.

The important point is that how do you apply for jobs. Are you sitting at home and applying through seek, indeed, etc. only? Forget about getting the job in 3 – 4 months time. Continue doing it but also go out, attend maximum events (not only professional but also of personal interest) and network. The more people you meet, more are the chances that you will get your next job interview quickly. Network on LinkedIn. Send coffee invitations to 100 contacts, not to get a job, but to understand their role and the industry. Maybe, 10 will accept, and maybe 1 may have a job that he can recommend you to, but this is definitely a method. Some people that I know have also done walk ins. If you are clear about the kind of job that you want and the possible companies our there who can hire you, do a walk in and try to meet the HR manager. When you network at events where you go for personal hobbies or you volunteer at different events, bring up your job search casually when people ask about what you do. Try to talk to at least 3 – 5 new people daily through all the above methods. In 4 weeks, that is 60 to 100 people and at 3 – 5% conversion, you are looking at 3 to 5 job interviews in 4 weeks time. Any good place, which is eager to hire, will close the hiring process in 2 – 3 weeks maximum. Any company taking more time than that, is not worth joining in the first place.

Cracking the interview – Are you ready?

This is a crucial step and the place where you close the deal. Before going into, what is it that people will look for, when you go for an interview, consider this – “Every conversation that you have is an interview”. Every coffee catch up, every phone conversation, every casual talk, is an interview, when you are looking for a job. For example, for a phone interview, are you ready for the question about, give an idea about your last job. In less than 30 seconds, can you use the right words to capture the attention of the person on the phone. Or for that matter, even the person that you are meeting? Prepare a script, write down but do not memorize. Let it flow naturally.

Be clear about what you want. Many people that I meet, when I ask them, what are you looking for? The answer that I get is, anything, as currently, I am desperately looking for job. Wrong answer! Try to be clear in your mind as to what do you want to do, project management or business analysis, or architecture, or development? You can do everything, yes, but right now what is it that you are looking for. Let us talk about the interview now.

Before the interview, do a research about the company that you are interviewing for. What are the values of this company, do they have a vision and mission statement. Can you relate to these values? Generally this information is available on the website and for listed companies, the annual report is also a good source of information. Try to do a google search on the company and go through some of the latest media releases. What is it that the competition is doing in this space? Also, do a little bit research, if possible on the person that you are going to meet. Try to identify the problem areas that the company might be facing or the tremendous growth that they are going through. All this information is very important. Go through your resume at least 3 times before the interview. This will help you in relating your skills with the company and its values, etc. but more importantly refresh your experience in your mind as you never know which experience would help in giving which example.

Now the most important part of preparation. Google behavioral questions and go to the first 2 or 3 sites that you come across. List down as many of them as you can and write down the possible answers that you would give to each one of them. Go through this list before each interview. Most of the organizations and people interviewing are checking if you can fit with the organization and their team specifically. These answers will help you in projecting your problem solving abilities, ability to handle stressful situation, how you manage difficult stakeholders, etc. and those will decide whether you are hired or not.

It goes without saying that you have to be on time, be dressed professionally and make the best possible attempt to make the first impression. The person is going to make a decision (about 60 – 70%), in the first 2 minutes of the meeting. The way you start the conversation and your introduction is the key. Rehearse in front of the mirror or another brilliant way is to take videos and share it with your close friends (possibly from the same field as you) to give feedback.

Lastly, seek feedback at the end of the interview. This gives an opportunity to find out the possible outcome and the next steps but also show your interest and enthusiasm in taking the job.

Follow the above and you should land your next job in 4 – 6 weeks of time maximum. If you are taking longer, it means you are missing out on one of these things. I hope you find this useful. Do let me know if you have more ways or points to add.

First published on: