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Finding a Job

by Chirag Thakkar

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Before understanding how to earn dollars whilst studying on the lands of Oceania, first let’s get the do’s and don’ts in place. You must be paid minimum wage as per your age, duties and experience. To check if you are being paid appropriately visit Fair Work Australia.

  • Your employer should deduct tax from the salary you earn and ‘Paying Cash-in-hand’ without debiting tax is illegal.
  • If you earn more than a certain amount your employer is obliged to pay superannuation in addition to the wages. Superannuation are the funds given by your employer to the government to help you save for your days after retirement.
  • Working for free – can be unlawful. Employers are not allowed to offer you goods or services (including food) instead of pay. Check out what’s lawful and what’s not: video about common types of unpaid work
  •  A student on a student visa can work not more than 40 hours per fortnight (14 days) when enrolled in a semester. However, one can work for unlimited hours during semester break.



Volunteering and helping in community events – not only improves and adds skills but also enables you to build your network. Volunteering can be an advantage when you apply for professional roles. Get involved as much as you can because Seva (selfless service) – never goes in vain.

Apply TFN

Now that you are aware of your rights and the organisations to contact ifyou are in trouble at work, let’s start a job hunt. In order  to be employable you need to get a Tax File Number (there is no charge to get an TFN). Click here to apply...

Casual / Part-time Roles

Making resume and getting referees

Making a resume is crucial and can make you look unprofessional if it is not in a way an Australian resume appears.

Sample template

Make sure you add referees if any from past employers and have asked permission from them to be contacted by your future employer. Your referee could be anyone you know you well and has worked with you.


Looking for opportunities

Hospitality and the retail industries are the largest employers where most of the students work as casual or part-time employees. Every institution has a career hub or an online page to post job openings.

Cafés, bars and restaurants often advertise vacancies at their entrance. Walk-in and ask for if they are still hiring and what skills or any specific license they require the candidate to have.

To help you find openings and vacancies posted by the employers there are many apps:

Adzuna, SpotJobs, Seek, CareerOne

Make good profiles with great content to create a personal brand. Then use advanced searches to filter the region, type of job and check the box of job alert reminders to never miss an opportunity.

Once you have found a job and applied for it, there comes a never-ending wait to hear on your application. But don’t hesitate to ask the employer on when you would be contacted. There may be times when employers are dealing with busy season/ heaps of applications they might take time or forget your application. It is then always good to follow up with a very polite email or walk-in if that’s the café you personally went in to apply. But don’t SPAM employers.

Few licences or checks one may have if working in hospitality or retail:

RSA – Responsible Service of Alcohol

RSF – Responsible Service of Food

WWCC – Working With Children Check (Click here for Victoria)

Police Check

RSA and RSF can be obtained from various institutions around Australia. Just Google and look for any nearby institution which is convenient to you, check their reviews and enrol yourself.

All the best!