Our Team has interviewed Karine, Founder of Orama Recruitment, to gather key advice for job seekers on the recruitment process in Australia.
Karine has over 10 years’ experience in recruitment and has interviewed thousands of Australian and international professionals.
Find out more about her journey in Australia as an entrepreneur in our testimonial section.
Australiance Team: Given you have worked in recruitment both in Australia and overseas, do you think companies in Australia are using different methods to recruit talents?
Karine: In Australia, we are in a completely different job market and very unusual for anyone arriving from Europe. There are a lot of jobs available and most of the time not enough qualified candidates available. However, it doesn’t make it easier for someone recently arrived to find the right job… I noticed that most of the time, people are looking to change industry or want the exact same level of responsibilities than their previous job in their country of origin when they arrive in Australia. But remember you are in a new country and will first need to prove yourself…
My advice would be for anyone recently arrived to make sure their resume is matching the Australian CV format, get to know the Australian job market and ask yourself the right questions (What are the needs in my industry? Are my skills in line with the high in demand jobs? What difference can I make to an Australian company?…) and be humble!
The recruitment process may look quite similar, but in reality it is slightly different as it can be very informal. Australian people love meeting candidates, and it is not because you have an interview that you will get the job…You need to keep up the motivation as you will hunt for your 1st job in Australia and it will feel exactly like hunting for your first job ever…
There are usually 2 to 3 interviews and you might get frustrated as sometimes you might not receive feedback, even at final stage…
The best strategy I can recommend is to avoid losing too much time in the beginning, would be to accept any role related to your job industry (even a short term contract position) because as soon as you will be able to mention on your resume that you had a first professional experience in Australia, doors will open much more easily for you.
A.T: (How) do recruiters like you use LinkedIn or other ways to identify potential candidates for specific positions?
Karine: Nowadays, LinkedIn is THE main recruitment tool. This professional social network is very big in Australia as it allows us to get directly in contact with candidates and know in a glimpse your skill set and experience.
I would suggest any candidate looking for work to keep their LinkedIn profile up-to-date; to detail their professional experiences and update their skills: Australian recruiters love details and keywords!
Also many companies are advertising on LinkedIn only.
One more thing: feel free to connect with people in the companies you are interested in working for. Don’t be shy, ask them to meet for a coffee, and you will be surprised how quick you will build your network.
A.T: What type of positions are particularly in demand at the moment (IT space)?
Karine: In the IT industry, the positions most in demand at the moment are Software Engineers/Cloud Engineers and DevOps (with open source technical skills). We are currently headhunting them all over the world to get them to work in Australia!
A.T: Can you outline a typical recruitment process a job seeker in Australia would go through?
– 1st interview with a Recruitment Consultant or HR person
– 2nd interview with Hiring Manager
– Eventually a Technical test
– 3rd interview with 3rd level of management and the team
A.T: What makes for you a good (Australian) resume?
In my opinion a good Australian resume is a resume where you make the job of the recruiter easy! Remember that your resume is a marketing tool with the aim to make someone want to meet you. Keywords are the key here.
Your resume need to be at least 2 to 3-page long with a clear “Job title”, and I reckon a first section with your “areas of expertise” and technical skill set (if you are looking for a technical position).
Then in your professional experience, for each experience, detail as much as possible your responsibilities (ideally in bullet points – you can use various job ads on seek.com.au to help you word it) and always add a small paragraph with your achievements (results, things you have improved or simply something you have done and are proud about in this specific job).
If you have personal projects or are volunteering for a cause, feel free to add it to your resume. We always love it!
A.T: How do you shortlist candidates for interview after collecting their resume?
Karine: If the skill set and experience are in line with our requirements, we will generally give you a call and have a first chat with you. Then we will organise a first interview to give you the opportunity to demonstrate us that you have what it takes for the role.
A.T: Are a “coffee catch up” and a discussion over a drink with a potential employer to be considered as a first interview by the applicant?
Karine: These meetings are always a bit tricky for someone who has recently arrived in Australia as they seem very informal… But don’t get fooled… You will probably talk about your choice of coming to Australia, your family, your hobbies and a little about your previous jobs and your professional experience… But IT IS a first interview or at least a way to make your first impression on a manager.
So get prepared to it and have your speech elevator ready; take it easy and most importantly be yourself while keeping your professional hat.
A.T: What are you testing during the interview?
Karine: It will all depend on the role we are recruiting for but mainly we are assessing what was your behaviour in various professional situations, your personality and the culture fit. Not only we want to make sure you have the right experience for the job, but also the right attitude and that your personality will fit with the team & company values.
A.T: What are the common mistakes applicants do?
Karine: Most of the time their resume are not matching the Australian standard which shows that they have not seriously researched the subject. The other main mistake is that they try to look for jobs in a new industry which is not where their core competences are… To get the best chance to secure a good job and get a sponsorship visa, I strongly recommend to candidates to stick to their field of expertise. At least at the beginning!
A.T: What advice would you give to a young professional looking for his first work experience in Australia in IT or Engineering?
Karine: Nail your resume and be confident about your professional experience: internships ARE professional experiences! Try to connect and meet as many people as possible, via Linkedin or meetUps for example. It will build your professional network and train you for your next interviews.
And do not dismiss opportunities with small companies, most of the time they will be the one able to sponsor you when large organisations might be pickier about the subject…
A.T: What advice would you give to an experienced professional looking for his first work experience in Australia in IT or Engineering?
Karine: Do your research about the Australian job market in your industry and find where your expertise fits best.
Be open to any opportunity matching your industry – including contract roles – when you will be looking for your 1st job. It is ok to move jobs if you find something more in line with your skills and experience after a few months and you’ll see that it will make a whole difference once you will have this experience line on your resume.
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