Frequently, my first interaction with a prospective client starts with, ‘Can you get me a job?’
What I can hear in these words, more than anything else, is frustration. To initiate a conversation with such a desperate plea demonstrates that the person has probably exhausted all their known avenues to employment.
Why does the recruitment system favour applicants with local experience?
Answer: Because it does.
Solution: Find alternatives to the ‘recruitment system’.
There are enough theories floating around as to why it is so difficult for applicants without local experience to penetrate the Australian recruitment system– lack of local referee, cross-cultural issues, etc. – but unless you’re planning to do a PhD thesis on the subject, then such contemplation is really not a productive use of a your mental energy, and probably detrimental to your mental health too. It’s far better to concentrate on factors over which you have control than to analyse systemic problems.
It is a brave decision to leave one country to start a new chapter of your life in another, often leaving a well-paid position overseas, not to mention family, friends and your cultural roots. There may be times when you question whether you’ve made the right decision. At these times it is important to remember why you came, and draw on that same courage you had when you decided to emigrate, to help you face the next challenge. Be honest with yourself and don’t avoid the hard questions, because blaming the system is futile, however right you may be.
Here are 20 tough questions that really cut to the chase:
- How many professional peers have you spoken to since arriving in Australia? Not necessarily to ask for a job, but just to have a chat about your industry in Australia.
- How vast is your network in Australia and what are you doing to build it?
- How confident are you articulating your experience to someone you’ve never met before?
- How impressive are you on the telephone? Are you able to explain succinctly, who you are and what you’ve done?
- Are your documents (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc.) error free and impressive?
- Have you listened to how you sound on your mobile phone? Have you recorded a professional voicemail message?
- Are you able to approach technical managers and hiring managers (not HR) in companies in a professional, culturally appropriate manner?
- Are you convincing when you speak? Do you sound like the professional person on your resume?
- Do you exude confidence?
- Do you have a deep understanding of the company and advertised role before you apply for the job?
- Are you targeting companies you’d like to work for, even if they’re not advertising? Do you know how to do this?
- Can you name 50 Australian companies in your industry?
- Have you applied for jobs outside metropolitan areas?
- How are you approaching the ‘overqualified’ issue?
- How current are your skills and experience and are they relevant to the local industry? How do you know? Who’s providing you with this information?
- Are you good at your job? Will you be able to pass a coding test or write a test case efficiently, when asked by an employer at the first round interview?
- If you have been a ‘manager’ for the last 10 years, do you have any relevant hands-on skills that would enable you to do a less senior, more technical role?
- Have you come to Australia with enough money to sustain you while you are unemployed? Fulltime ‘survival’ jobs can severely impinge on your job seeking.
- Have you had practice doing mock interviews?
- Are you maintaining a positive outlook in the face of rejection?
After more than 10 years of interviewing and advising over 3,000 overseas born professionals, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s very difficult to achieve all of this without support.
Not everybody is facing the same barriers, so it’s important to identify early which barriers you need to overcome and implement an action plan for doing just that. Early action can save you time and money in the long run.
Register for a FREE webinar or visit our website to see how OBP Australia may be able to help.