Where are the jobs? – Secrets of the Australian job market

Most people spend a lot of time looking at online recruitment sites and newspapers looking for jobs, but if around 70% of jobs are not advertised, shouldn’t we spend more time on the hidden job market to access more opportunities?

How the advertised job market works:-

  • Reactive – You wait for an advertisement before sending your response
  • Employer uses specific job criteria to filter out a high volume of applications (employers can receive 50 to 5000 job applications for one position)
  • Everyone knows about the job, so now you have competition.
  • Human Resources needs to quickly filter and delete applications that do not meet all criteria. (in some cases a computer will search for key words to eliminate applicants that do not meet criteria)
  • Your Resumé needs to be tailored and your skills need to clearly match the criteria in the advertisement, otherwise you will be filtered out and deleted.
  • Local experience is a common filter used in Australia. In some cases ‘local’ may mean the state you are living in such as Perth or Melbourne for example.
  • Very labour intensive for applicants and Human Resources departments.
  • Limited ‘real’ knowledge about job. (If you don’t already work there or know someone who does, how do you know what the reality of that job will be? Online research can only give you the basics)

Just think how much time you have to read all the emails you get. Human Resources are in the same position, if you don’t show exactly how you match the job in your email content, cover letter, and Resumé they won’t read it!

How the hidden job market works:- 

  • Via word of mouth (Who do you know…..and who knows you?)
  • Reputation. (What’s your brand?  What skills and attributes are you known for?)
  • Get to know, and be known by, employers before you have competition.
  • Proactive – it’s all about how you can help others, especially in your industry.
  • Interact with people in your target industry or field (not just the Human Resources department)
  • Best way to get the ‘real’ facts about a job or company via discussion and information interviews of those in your target industry or company.
  • Find out about future opportunities before they are advertised.
  • Best option to create opportunities for work – discover problems that you can solve.
  • Be helpful, be useful, be seen.
Success in the Hidden Job Market is all about Networking.
In Australia, networking has a social and helping focus, compared to other countries.
Good networkers are known for thinking of others, offering instead of taking, finding solutions for others, and creating links between people.  For example, a good networker may hear about an issue that an industry professional has in their business and introduce them to a colleague who has the skills to help with this problem.
It’s not just about finding opportunities for yourself, but building a positive reputation that will benefit everyone. Ultimately, this will be a bigger benefit to you and your future career options.

If you found this article useful, let us know and feel free to share with others using the social media links.

If you would like to know more about the Australian job market or how to confidently build your network, leave your details in reply box below or via the Contact Us page and we’ll get back to you.  (your personal details will not be published)

Security Code:
security code
Please enter the security code:


4 thoughts on “Where are the jobs? – Secrets of the Australian job market

  1. Very interesting and useful article especially for those who career starters.
    As you said local experience plays vital role in selection criteria, I just want to know will networking coupled with Education from TAFE or local university program in the Banking field will bring play significant role in getting job. Your comments and will you suggest any courses / TFAE program for Banker in the field of Investment/Corporate finance

    • Hi Karim,
      Thank you for the feedback.
      Certainly networking plays a vital role in your job search strategy and a local course can help you gain access to a new and related network.
      Even though a course will not get you a job in Australia, it can provide you with local knowledge of laws and regulations for this industry in Australia.

      For the banking industry, I would recommend looking and the Financial Services Institute of Australia. http://www.finsia.com as they provide opportunities for professional membership, access to a great network and often provide professional development seminars.
      For the financial planning sector go to the Financial Planners Association of Australia http://www.fpa.com.au

      Those who already have degrees or post graduate qualifications from overseas may be better to consider professional associations or individual units in University or TAFE to gain local law and regulation knowledge as it is unlikely that you will need another completed qualification.
      The main thing is to prove to the employer that you have the same professional knowledge as someone who is local.

      It’s worthwhile researching your industry in Australia before making course choices. Banking and finance has more labour demand in Sydney and Melbourne compared to other states.

      I hope this helps, Karim. Thanks for posting a comment.

      Kind regards,
      Kim Shaw

  2. Hi Kim,
    I have just read your blog (stumbled upon it in one of the discussion forums on LinkedIn). I think the information and the facts you have shared about hidden jobs is really startling.
    I have more than 7 years of IT experience in BFSI domain. I have spent last three years in investment banking. I got my Australia PR recently and am planning to migrate to Australia in Feb’14. Until now I was searching jobs mainly on seek. But with your blog, it appears that I need to be there and also to build the network before I actually start thinking about a job.
    Can you please let me know how is the IT job market in Australia (I am planning to go to Sydney, Melbourne can be an option as well). I keep getting contradicting views about the job scenario on various forums with majority saying that it is not good.

    • Hi Amit,

      Thanks for connecting.
      There can be a lot of conflicting information regarding job search in Australia.
      The most important part of your research is to connect with your industry and profession. Firstly, you speak the same language of your profession. (rather than speaking with human resources, who often don’t understand what your skills mean)
      Secondly, you obtain factual information rather than listening to people who are often guessing.
      As a career professional, my expertise is helping people develop the skills needed to manage their career successfully. As my background is not in IT, I would recommend connecting the Australian Computer Society and other industry organisations they may be linked to.
      Treat your communications as ‘research’ rather than ‘asking for a job’. In Australia, it is considered rude and lazy to ask who can find a job for you. However, Australians like to help people with information, so it’s a much better way of connecting and networking with people.
      Also when connecting with people on LinkedIn, it is vital that you customise your invite as those who use the ‘auto fill’ invites are often ignored. Australians like to know why you are connecting. Same as in business, your customers need to know you before they feel confident to buy from you. Employers think the same way as customers.

      I should also add, that many IT tasks in Australia are being outsourced to other countries like America, India and Sri Lanka. The banking industry, in particular, explores outsourcing and purchasing software overseas including consulting services for maintenance. It may be useful to also research banking via organisations like FINSIA or Google “Banking and Finance Associations” for other options.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Kim Shaw