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A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Jobs for International Students

Finding a job as an international student in a new country can be daunting.

However, having a part-time job is often an essential part of studying abroad. Life can get expensive, so it’s good to have a bit of money coming in. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, gain valuable experience and practise your English!

In Australia, a student visa allows you to work up to 20 hours per week.


finding jobs for international students



Make sure you’re realistic about the work you can take on with your level of experience, but try to pick an area that will help you in your career. Jobs that aren’t in your field can still help you gain transferable skills that will be valuable, and look great on your resume!

Looking for work can be hard in a new country. To make it a little easier, we’ve developed a step-by-step guide to finding jobs for international students.


Step 1: Prepare an impressive cover letter and resume


These are the two essential documents you’ll need for every job application. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, you can still discuss volunteer roles, your position on the debating team, or anything else that’s relevant. If they apply to you, include key phrases such as ‘great communicator’, ‘developed leadership skills’ and ‘excellent interpersonal skills’. Try using an online resume builder to help you with your design.


Step 2: Get some help


Most education providers will have a range of different support services to help international students with employment. Reach out to these on-hand experts, for help checking over resume and cover letter drafts.

Your college or university may even run training sessions on how to find employment. These are invaluable! Speak to staff and see when these sessions are being run.



finding jobs for international students

Step 3: Create a ‘Seek’ account


‘Seek’ is Australia’s most popular job seeking website. Register and create a profile online, and you can use this profile to apply for all your jobs. When you’re setting up your account, you can also arrange to receive a daily email update of any new jobs in your field, based on your search filters. This way, you can be the first to apply when an advertised job is the perfect match for you!


Step 4: Applying online: read the job descriptions carefully


So, you’ve found a few jobs you want to apply for. It’s important you read the job description and instructions on how to apply very carefully. If they’re asking for something specific and you don’t send it to them, they won’t even consider your application.

Ask yourself these questions: is a selection criteria required? Is it a part-time or full -time job? Do they require a reference? Is there a contact number to call and speak to your prospective employer? It’s always a good idea to call and receive detailed information about the role and the type of applicant they are looking for.


finding jobs for international students


Step 5: Submit your online applications


The biggest rule here is to make sure you address people personally wherever possible. Don’t just ‘copy and paste’ the same email introduction; try to sound like a real person! Australians are informal and respond to friendliness.


Step 6: Walk the streets the old fashioned way


Take a few copies of your amazing resume and cover letter for a walk. Visit local businesses close to home, and you’ll be surprised by the results. A friendly face-to-face introduction can often secure you work!

It’s as simple as walking into a café and asking if they are looking for anyone to take on some shifts. When they request your contact details, that’s when you hand over your resume.


finding jobs for international students

Step 7: You’ve got an interview!


That’s fantastic news! But now, what? Don’t panic. Remember, an interview is just a conversation about your work experience. Practise answering some of the questions they might ask you with a friend until you get the hang of it. Remember to look nice and wear smart clothes for your meeting. Good luck!


finding jobs for international students


Follow each of these steps and you’ll be starting your new job in no time at all!


See here for more information about services for international students at the Murdoch Institute of Technology (MIT), and here for more information about courses at MIT.


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