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IT Jobs in Melbourne
Posted February 1st, 2013 - 6:35 am by from Sydney, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Melbs-CSers,

since 4 weeks i'm desperately looking for an IT job in Melbourne. So far i applied for nearly 40 jobs, but couldn't score yet. I make use of seek, jobserve and a lot of those recruitment agencies with which i posted my CV.

The question is: Does anyone have experience in working on a contract basis for an IT agency for something like 3 to 4 months? Is it likely to be lucky this way, when you're on a working holiday visa?

Thanks for any thoughts,

Posted February 1st, 2013 - 6:52 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted February 3rd, 2013 - 10:19 pm from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted February 4th, 2013 - 4:58 am by from Vancouver, Canada (Permalink)
I am a developer (~3 years in companies, ~4 years teaching to bachelor students).

I have been actively looking for 2 or 3 months now, both for casual and long-term jobs, both without success. Got 1 interview, that's all. A friend of mine is a PHP developer and he had to move to Sydney because he couldn't find anythere here.

Recruiters ask for local experience (in Australia), if you don't have, it's really hard to find something (but not impossible).

It's a lot easier if you have rare skills in demand (like if you are a Ruby on Rails developer or a SAP consultant). The rule of thumb: if they NEED you, they will not be as picky.

If you try to find a casual IT job, try to not look too overskilled. Otherwise they will think you will be bored quickly and/or leave after few weeks for a better job.

As a WHV without local experience, you start with a malus compared to others. You have to put extra efforts to convince them to interview/hire you. It starts by having a perfect Australian looking resume, calling them (emails aren't effective), being persuasive. I still didn't find the magical words to get a job here ;)

Good luck, PM me if you have questions.

Posted February 5th, 2013 - 5:12 am by from Sydney, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Benoit,

Yeah, a specification like SAP would truly help, but unfortunately I’m more like an all-rounder system administrator / integrator / engineer. So i'm usually looking for things like application specialist, network engineer, administrator, help desk support, service desk analyst, etc. For a lot of jobs you even have to be Australian citizen, for the others it seems you have to be much specialized or even senior to be considered. I have 5 years of solid work experience in a professional corporate environment, but wouldn’t even mind working in a L1 helpdesk position or something less skilled. Probably you’re right when you say you can look too overskilled for such a thing as well. By the way, what makes a CV a “perfectly australian looking” CV? I have experience in an international (English speaking) company in germany, and with a contract role in Tanzania, but how the hell are you supposed to gain local Australian experience if everyone asks you for it first as a requirement.

If I may ask: What did you do instead?

@Theresa: I have had exactly two phone calls with agencies yet. The first was to actually make an appointment, but they simply said ‘hand in your CV to the email address provided, we’ll get in contact with you then’, but no answer ever, and the second one was from another agency just to find out what visa I’m on, when it’ll expire and if I’m working right now, but they said the vacancy is put on hold, and nothing came ever after. It’s frustrating, since I applied for ~40 or 50 jobs now, not seeing any progress.

I’d appreciate to be put in contact with your friend, yes. Thanks 

@Glenis: I’m not sure how fair it’d be not to mention your intention to stay only a couple of months. I’m not applying for a permanent position, but for contract jobs. Leaving someone with the impression to become a valuable member of his team for a longer period would make me feel bad. Apart from that, if they ever had WHV in a role, they can surely figure out themselves that you’re not allowed to work for the same employer for more than 6 months anyway.

I’ve not yet terrorized the agencies with phone calls to convince them of me being the right candidate, I feel a bit shy to do that. Instead, I used all those internet portals like seek and a vast amount of agency websites directly to hand in my CV and cover letters electronically. Would be a shame to find out I bought that suit for nothing, and go do unskilled labor like fruit picking instead… if nothing changes within the next 2 weeks, I’ll have to leave melbs for somewhere better. Maybe Sydney like your friend did.

Thanks for all your answers!

Posted February 5th, 2013 - 5:27 am by from Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria (Permalink)
I have to tell you, agencies are your best bet in that case. But as mentioned, you HAVE to call them about once a week, you need to make it a habbit, like every Monday or Tuesday morning you have to call all of them, just to touch base asking them if something came up for you. With agencies this is the only way, they get hundreds of CV's a week, but most of them never contact them again because there are just not serious enough with their application. So why would they wanna call every single applicant till they find someone (like you) who is atually really commited. YOU need to prove them by calling them, it's their way of filtering people out. I've been working in IT in Germany too, worked in Toronto for two years as a technician, but gave up IT, kind of wanna concentrate on my art etc. now.. but, I still have to deal with agencies, and know lots of people who deal with agencies themsevelves, and it's the same thing. It's like trying to order a beer in a busy bar... you can wait there forever, if you don't reach out to the bartender, wave with your money showing you wanna buy something, or stare the guy behind the bar in his face till he gets really nervous, well, you would go home sober that night.. ; )

Posted February 5th, 2013 - 5:38 am by from Sydney, Australia (Permalink)
hahaha, well explained marco! ;D i see now, i seriously have to get more aggressive...

actually i wanted to give up on IT as well and re-focus, but it's just easy and good money in comparison and i need a bit of that within a short timeframe. But since i now already wasted a whole month searching while i could have worked something different already doesn't actually pay off.

anyhow, the direction is clear: attack them! \o/

Posted February 5th, 2013 - 6:22 am by from Vancouver, Canada (Permalink)
@Marco: great & funny explaination!

@Nils: It seems that Australian resumes contain a lot of details. Starting by a summary about yourself (who are you, what you can bring, what is your project), details your professional experiences a lot (with a company description if needed and "achievement" if needed) and maybe add a skill matrix at the end. And like others said, you have to push harder (ping, ping, ping...). But I know what it is: the more efforts you put on it, the harder it is to give up. Maybe you can get a part time casual job while looking for something else, and maybe you can ask the agencies if you can expect them to have a match within the next 2 weeks. (And enjoy Melbourne meanwhile, so the experience will still worth it!)

Good luck.

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 4:14 am by from Vancouver, Canada (Permalink)
Update: As it can help future Working Holiday makers (PVT: "Programme Vacances Travail" in France), here is my experience looking for an IT/developer job in Melbourne with a WHV in 2013 (you can use it to guide you!).

As I said, finding an IT/developer Job in Melbourne with a WHV can be really hard if you don't have any previous Australian experience. During my 4 months in Melbourne, I met other Europeans having similar stories. Also, it seems to be a little bit similar in Sydney.

I am a C/C++ developer with a Master's degree. I worked for +3 years in companies. I taught C and C++ for 4 years. I also have experience with PHP/JavaScript/Node.js.

I came in Melbourne in November 2012 to find a developer job. I started to apply to job offers mid-November.

First thing to know: in Australia, nothing happens in the job market between mid-December to end-January. It's like August in France ;)

So, from mid-November to end-February:
- I sent ~60 résumés + personalized cover letters to relevant job offers (C/C++) - including rewriting my résumé 3 or 4 times.
- I knocked at the door of ~12 recruiting agencies (and 1 company) to have direct contact with recruiters.
- I pinged back recruiters every ~10 days (emails & calls).
- I attended to networking events.
- I contacted 2 or 3 ex students of my school working here for few years.
- Late-January, I started to look for all kind of IT jobs (help desk, Linux sysadmin, PHP developer, etc).
- Finally in February I started sending applications to other places.

The results of this loooong process

- I got few calls from recruiters, most of them just asked if I was on a WHV then never called back.
- Some recruiters seemed really interested, tried to arrange interviews with companies, but failed to convince them.
- I got 2 interviews with companies in Melbourne. The first one didn't offer me the job, the second one seemed really interested but they finally decided to postpone their recruitment process.
- Finally, I got an interview with a company in another big Australian city (other than Melbourne or Sydney) and I am now working for them as a full-time developer (yeah, happy end \o/).


- There is soooo many IT professionnals here in Melbourne that companies have plenty of choices with permanent residents/Australian citizens.
- There is soooo many WHV trying to find an IT job in Melbourne that there is a looooot of concurrence.
- IT recruiters can receive several dozens of résumé everyday.
- Having a previous Australian experience is a huge requirement to find a non-casual job! Having the name of an Australian university or an Australian company on your résumé will be really helpful. Plus, it will be really easier for them to trust you if you have another Australian employer as a referee.
- As there is a lot of competition, you have to push companies and recruiters a little bit to get called back.
- The recruitement process can be long: applying for a job; getting an interview with the recruiter; getter an interview with the company; sometimes getting a second interview with the company; having the company contacting your referees; negotiating the salary; starting to work for them. It can takes up to 4 or 6 weeks.
- Some skills are in higher demand and I met people having no difficulties getting a job here with a WHV, like Ruby on Rails freelancers or designers (with a nice portfolio).
- There is a lot of competition for casual job either, but it's easier.
- The "window of opportunities" is small but if you are lucky you can get a job in few days, every experience is different.
- Melbourne is an amazing city and leaving there for few months definitely worth it (between November and March is probably the best time to come).

My conclusion

If you don't try you will never get the chance to get what you want.
So, try it! Come here, enjoy, look for a job, maybe look for a casual job in the same time and don't forget to apply to jobs in other places so you get more opportunities! (it's also good to have many choices :))
Melbourne is an amazing place to live and spending few months here definitely worth it.