I’m a native English speaker from America and to be honest the concept of working overseas was daunting for me at first (even in another English speaking country like it is for many!) so in the beginning I had a hard time figuring out how to find working holiday jobs in Australia and New Zealand. After 2 years of working holiday in Australia and New Zealand I obviously sorted it out and here are my tips. Trust me, anyone can get a job Down Under if your heart so desires!
To Resume or Not to Resume
Australians and New Zealanders prefer a CV over a resume. Same same but different. A CV, curriculum vitae, often lists ALL your work experience. A resume is a little more specialized. I’ve noticed that down under, longer resumes are acceptable. They like to know about all your experience. However, depending on the the job it is better to skip the resume/cv all together. Yes, I’m serious! This especially goes for cafe, barista, waitressing, kitchen hand, and bartending. I would completely skip it for these jobs and instead project a confident demeanour. Seriously, it works. Use your judgement. But it is actually a memorable experience when someone comes in asking for a job without a resume. I’ve gotten really great barista positions this way.
Okay you really don’t believe me. Here’s the scenario for getting a job without a resume at a cool cafe:
“Hey what’s up! My names Sasha is your hiring manager here?”
worker gets hiring manager immediately
“Hey, My names Sasha. I’m a barista, I make a great coffee. Are you hiring?”
“Let me see you behind the machine. Make me a latte and ristretto. How many kilos can you handle?”
That’s a true story
I also wouldn’t use a resume for some of your “dream” jobs. You may not have experience in this field and it is best to just show your personality. Get in touch with the company and show them how keen you are. Real people love that and will take you in.
Ask for the Hiring Manager
On that note, ask for the hiring manager! Do not give your resume/CV to the staff! They will usually trash it or put it in a huge stack of others to never be called. Talk to the owner or hiring manager. If he’s not there, ask the staff to check the schedule and let you know what days and times he will be there.
Just like anywhere else, networking is the best. Make friends with everyone in your new foreign country – with the baristas at the cafe you go to, the staff at the shops, your teachers, locals, and of course, other travelers! I met a few fellow travelers who got me jobs! My lovely yoga instructor in New Zealand also connected me with some great people and jobs.
For more information on working holiday jobs especially regarding job types and salary, you can check out this article for Australia and this one for New Zealand
Job Search Engines and Sites
Here are some sites that will help you out in your search on how to find working holiday jobs.
Gumtree (Aus Only) – Helpful for finding hospitality, labour, farm work and those odd jobs like urgent photographer needed and crew needed this weekend!
Trademe (NZ Only) – Great for hospitality, labour, retail, farm work, odd jobs
Backpacker Board – Aus – Not the most popular
Backpacker Board – NZ – Can be helpful with finding farmwork
Indeed – Aus – Specialized work
Indeed – NZ – Specialized work
Seek – Aus – Specialized work
Seek – NZ – Specialized work
Pedestrian.tv (Aus Only) – Film, Television and Media Work