How to get a job in Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa
Whether you want to work in a cafe or an office, Melbourne has lots of job opportunities to offer for people in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. This guide covers the most popular jobs for people on Working Holiday Visas and the best way to secure one.
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What are the most popular Working Holiday Visa jobs in Melbourne?
With Melbourne’s ever-growing foodie scene, there are endless bars, cafes and restaurants in the city and that offer plenty of job opportunities. Hospitality work is very popular among working holiday visa holders as jobs tend to be very flexible with staff coming and going all the time.
However, the main downside is that hospitality jobs don’t pay very well. Although there’s a minimum hourly wage that employers must pay you by law, a lot of them don’t. I worked in two cafes for a few weeks whilst finding other work and got paid under the minimum wage for both. If you’re wanting to work somewhere that serves alcohol you’ll also need to complete an RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol) course which costs around $35.
Retail is another really popular job sector for Working Holiday Visa holders. Like hospitality, great flexibility and high staff turn over make it ideal for travellers. As a lot of shops tend to be part of larger chains, there is more chance that you’ll get paid a fair wage in retail than in cafe or bar work too. But there are definitely less retail jobs around than hospitality ones so you might find them harder to come by.
As you can only work for an employer for a maximum of 6 months on a working holiday visa, the only office jobs you can land are temp roles. The best way to do this is to work for an agency (more on that later), where work assignments can vary from as little as a day to a few weeks or months. Or if you’re lucky you might even manage to nab a 6-month contract.
Most temporary office roles are either in admin, reception or customer service. Though you can also find more specialised roles in areas such as finance and marketing too! If you’re wanting to do some serious savings for future travels whilst in Melbourne, office work is one of the best ways to do it. For standard admin roles, you can expect to earn around $25 – $28 an hour with your hourly rate increasing the more specialised the role.
Construction & Traffic Control
Working in the construction sector is another really popular option with WHV holders, as the hourly rates are also very lucrative meaning you can easily save. As an unskilled labourer on a construction site, you can earn anything from $25 – $45 an hour depending on your experience. Whilst as a traffic controller you can earn between $30 – $45 an hour!
However, in order to do either job, you need to complete the appropriate courses first. For the former, you’ll need to do a White Card course costing $130 and for the latter, you need a traffic control license which can cost as much as $500 to obtain!
The best ways to get a job on a Working Holiday Visa in Melbourne
Recruitment agencies are the best option if you’re looking for temporary office work in particular. Once you’ve submitted your CV to an agency, you’ll get invited in for an interview with them, and then when you’re registered you can start working for them.
However, it’s not always that simple. That’s why my number one piece of advice when it comes to recruitment agencies in Melbourne is to be pushy. If you submit your CV and don’t hear back, resend it again, or give them a call. Similarly, if you’ve registered with an agency but not getting any work through them, make sure to check in with your recruiter a couple of times a week to get any updates. Recruiters will have so many candidates they work with you need to make sure your name stays fresh in their mind. You should also register with as many recruitment agencies as possible to increase your chances of opportunities coming your way. Agencies I had good experiences with were: Robert Half, Hugo Personnel, Interstaffing, Sharp & Carter and Qudos.
Facebook is a great tool for finding a job in Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa. There are several job seeker groups on the platform you can join where people advertise anything from cafe and bar jobs to office and construction work. There’s a lot of spam posts out there too though. So if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. However if you use your common sense and persevere, and you’ll definitely find some good opportunities among the junk.
Handing your resume out
If you’re looking for a job in retail or hospitality, handing out your resume in person goes a long way in Melbourne. This is most likely because managers like to see who they are hiring for a customer facing role. Print out copies of your resume, walk around the city and drop into local businesses to see if they’re hiring. A lot of places don’t even advertise they are hiring, so don’t get put off if there’s no vacancy sign in the window. I managed to get a two trial cafe shifts within a day using this method, so it definitely works!
Seek / Indeed / Jora
Seek, Indeed and Jora are the main search engines for finding a job in Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa. These type of websites are particularly good for office work and construction jobs, with hundreds of new listings put up every day. However, be aware that a lot of the job listings on these websites are by recruiters not the hiring company. I had little success when applying online for roles put up by recruiters, therefore would consider using these websites as purely a job search engine, followed by a call to the recruiter rather than applying online.
Gumtree can also be a good place to find a job in Melbourne, particularly for hospitality and retail work. Like Facebook, use Gumtree with an air of caution and a pinch of salt. You’ll find a lot of spam posts and probably a few odd people on there. Though there a few good opportunities around too (I did find one of my cafe jobs on here), so as long as you use your common sense it can be a great resource.