Although Aussie Migrant: Jobs addresses the need for ‘local Australian‘ experience and ‘local qualifications‘, it would be remiss not to mention that although these factors do play a role when gauging employability in Australia, it is not an absolute prerequisite.

Do not let statistics or hearsay bog you down. There are definitely lots of migrants out there who have landed a job even before they arrived or within a month of settling in Australia. While a lot could be attributed to the industry they are in, their skill set and industry experience, there are many instances where none of this had a part to play.

Remember, Australian employers have different expectations specific to local conditions and requirements as compared to other countries. There will always be a learning curve for a new migrant in his first job in Australia irrespective of his skills or years of experience because the soft skills required will naturally be somewhat different from what he is usually accustomed to.

It is vital that you focus on getting employed, rather than getting demotivated by these myths. You have been invited to Australia based on your qualifications and work experience, so, surely, there is some thought gone behind issuing you the visa. Trust in yourself and stay positive.

Here are six common myths to avoid when looking for a job. These myths are not based on reality and facts, but rather on generalisation and people’s interpretation based on their personal circumstances.

Myth 1 – “I do not have local Australian Experience.”

Reality — While some employers do prefer local work experience, it is not an absolute essential. All the employer is interested in is how good is he at his job, how will he blend in with his colleagues at the workplace and how aware is he of local rules, customs and etiquettes. Assure him your understanding of these basic requirements and the job is yours!

Learn to present your skills and experience in a manner that will prove you invaluable to the organisation.

Myth 2 – “Maybe I should settle for an entry level job instead.”

Reality— The mob is always at the bottom rung of every organisation. You have more competition for an entry level position because you will have a lot of people applying for the role.  The more niche your skill set, the more leverage you have for getting a suitable position. Identify the unique skills you offer, target jobs that match those skills and market yourself in a way that makes you seem indispensable to the employer. Done right, you can aim higher, reduce your competition and will more likely be considered for the job.

Myth 3 – “My Overseas qualifications are not recognised.”

Reality — It is a fallacy that overseas experience is not accepted in Australia. More often than not, it is the way the candidate has presented the value of that experience. For example, you could have worked in one of the largest firms in your home country and had an excellent track record and industry recognition. How can you expect a prospective employer in Sydney to be interested in this statistic? In all probability, he may not have even heard about the ex-company.

What you can talk about rather, is the challenges you faced and the value you added to the company. Rather than talking about how big the company was, mention how your skill set increased revenues and generated increased sales. If you handled a team of junior employees, emphasise the role you played in mentoring them and talk about your leadership skills.

If you appear to be the right fit for the job and possess the drive and right attitude, the prospective employer may even guide you to get the relevant local equivalent certificate as well as any industry specific training that may be required.

The more you understand the Australian work culture, the more you will be able to adapt your job search techniques to be successful.  Remember it is not what you can offer the organisation; it is how you present your skills to them.

Myth 4 – “My ethnicity and country of origin is the real problem.”

Reality — No it’s not. Almost 6 million migrants, born in over 200 countries, live in Australia. With almost a quarter of its population born overseas, Melbourne alone is home to residents from 180 countries, who speak over 233 languages and dialects and follow 116 religious faiths! Do you really think employers can get picky when finding suitable employees?

It is not what they expect, but it is rather how you present yourself. How willing are you to learn new cultures? How eager are you to blend in and embrace the viewpoints of others in the

workplace? How open are you to socialising with other employees? There will definitely be a small percentage of employers who do discriminate when recruiting but this is equally true anywhere else in the world. Focus on selling your talent and soft skills and notice how you become suddenly more attractive to employers.

Myth 5 – “My profession is in recession.”

Reality — Skilled professional visas are allocated based on the skill shortage in a particular occupation or geographical area, which means there will be jobs.  There is an ongoing debate which highlights the fact that many Australians with similar skill sets are unemployed, so, why should these professions continue to be on the SOL or CSOL. In the meanwhile, the migration programme does go on, skilled migrants do get employed irrespective of the unemployment rate and success stories abound. It will take time, but your break too will come. As is mentioned elsewhere in this book, not all jobs are advertised on major job sites. You should learn to tap the hidden market, network in a big way and research your industry. Of course, in many a case, it is all about “Being in the right place at the right time.” Whilst it is good to be aware of the challenges you may encounter when entering the job markets, do not let them rattle you. Improvise when you talk to your employers, be creative when writing your resumes and cover letters, seek advice from professionals, research your industry thoroughly and Keep Trying!

Myth 6 – “I’ve applied for over 100 jobs but not got a call for a single interview”

Reality — When was the last time you did a health check on your Resume and Cover Letter. As this book will show you, resume writing is a skill in itself. Whilst most resumes are merely glanced at in 10 seconds or less, nowadays, most recruitment agencies use online programmes to scan resumes. Chances are that you are still using the resume you used back home, and unfortunately, this puts you at the end of the line, not at the very beginning. All your experience and qualifications are of no use if you cannot even make it to the first round of interviews. Rework your resume in the Australian format or hire a professional to get one done for you.


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