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How to get a job on your Working Holiday Visa in Australia: Finding a job

Landing A Job On Your Working Holiday In Australia | Part 1 : How To Find Work

So you’ve got your visa, packed your bags and said your ‘see ya laters’ ready for your working holiday Aussie adventure. But how exactly do you land a job when you arrive in Australia? From applying online to hitting the streets with your CV, read on for our tried and tested methods and top tips for finding and getting a job on your working holiday visa in Australia.

6 Ways To Search For Job Opportunities On Your WHV in Australia:

1. Hand out your CV in person

BEST FOR: Hospitality (bar, restaurants, cafes); Retail jobs

Particularly good if you’re looking for work in a city, we’re big fans of the old fashioned face-to-face work scout. That’s right… print out a few CVs, don your best smart-casual outfit and hit the streets. It may seem like a more time-consuming way to find work, especially when we’re so used to finding everything we need online. But this is a great opportunity to explore a new city, meet locals and get chatting to potential employers – you never know what opportunities might pop up along the way!

Our top tips:
  • Keep your eyes open
    Recruitment can be expensive for employers, so keep your eyes peeled for vacancies advertised in shop, restaurant and bar windows.
  • Speak to the right person
    Wandering around the big smoke and spot somewhere you like the look of? Ask to speak to the manager or person in charge of hiring to enquire about any jobs that might be available. This is a great opportunity to show your interest in the company, and suss out whether there are any positions up for grabs. If there are no positions now, this puts yourself at the forefront of their minds when a position does become available.
  • Applying
    Have a few CVs at the ready but better yet, ask for the hiring manager’s contact details to email over your application. Follow up with an email later that day to reintroduce yourself and your interest in the role, along with a personalised resume (CV) and a cover letter.
  • Be prepared
    Keen to work in the hospitality industry? Be prepared. Most employers will ask whether you have completed your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) course. This is a mandatory course you must obtain before working with alcohol in Australia. Why not complete your course beforehand so you’re all set and ready for work?
  • Expect a trial shift
    You may be invited for a trial shift so your employer can see you in action before committing to offering you the job. This is a normal part of the process when applying for jobs in restaurants, bars and cafes, and should always be paid.
  • Shine!
    Remember to relax, be yourself and let your personality shine through!
Whether you want to work in hospitality, accommodation (WFA), an office, or as a digital nomad freelancer, read our tips and best practices for getting a job in Sydney and Australia on your working holiday visa.

2. Apply Online

Best for: Most jobs, particularly sales and office jobs; Retail; Larger hospitality brands.

Applying for jobs online via job finding websites means access to hundreds of positions across a wide range of industries with new jobs going up daily. Some of our favourites include:

  • Seek – Australia’s Number 1 employment marketing place, and career advice platform (free account)
  • Indeed – Job search, resume and application tools (free account)
  • Jora – Job search and job alerts (free account)

Whilst these are awesome tools for careers advice, application tips and seeing what’s out there, these websites generally don’t cater as much for backpackers and working holiday visa makers. Why? Your working holiday visa allows you to work for each Australian employer for up to 6 months. This makes it perfect for casual and temp roles as opposed to permanent positions. You may still find your dream job this way, but just keep your visa working conditions in mind when applying.

One of our favourite online jobs portals for backpackers, Travellers At Work (TAW), lists jobs specifically for backpackers in a range of industries from sales and hospitality to trades, farm work and fruit picking. TAW offers a free basic membership to search for jobs, as well as a more in-depth membership option (12 months access). This paid membership includes job alerts, CV review, backpacker resources, discounts on training courses and even a one-to-one session with a recruitment expert on the ground.


Searching for accommodation while on your working holiday visa in Sydney, Australia? Wake Up! Hostels provides a perfect base for long-term accommodation.

3. Search on Social Media / Facebook Groups

Best For: Travel industry roles; Hospitality (cafes, bars and restaurants); Au pair work; Fruit picking

Whether you’re keeping an eye out on Facebook’s Job Search tool, joining industry groups or scouting LinkedIn for positions, social media can be an amazing tool for finding work with up to date listings.

Our top tips: 
  • Facebook Groups
    Join Facebook groups that are relevant and specific to the type of positions you’re looking for. Cocktail-making guru looking for work in Melbourne? Check out The Melbourne Bartender Exchange. Looking for an au pair job in Sydney? Check out Sydney Au Pairs. Keen to head to the outback for farm jobs or fruit picking work? There are heaps of groups for that too…Head to the ‘groups’ section of Facebook to do a little research.
  • Clean up your profile
    We suggest doing a bit of a Facebook and Instagram audit before you start applying. Got some pics of you living your best life at Side Bar’s ‘Wild Wednesday’ on your feed? Depending on the job you’re applying for, you may want to change your privacy settings so only your nearest and dearest can see your wild and wonderful online personality 😉
  • Keep it real
    Don’t go mad on ‘selling yourself’ on social media. You want to come across as personable, proactive and knowledgeable, not spammy. So keep your group posts relevant, friendly and professional.

4. Get Talking – Word of Mouth

Best For: All jobs! Particularly great for farm work recommendations and working at your hostel

Some of the best job opportunities will come from the people you meet on your working holiday, especially if you’re mingling with other travellers on the daily and staying in a hostel. Someone in your dorm just finished their farmwork? They might have a good farmwork contact for you. Get talking, put the feelers out there and see what happens…you never know what opportunities might arise.

For all round community feels, why not see if the hostel you’re staying at has any work opportunities? The perfect backpacking hub, your hostel may have various flexible, casual, part-time or full-time roles up for grabs. 

At Wake Up! Hostels, we’re always on the lookout for energetic personalities to join our team. Positions can range from reception, in the housekeeping and maintenance team or tour guide positions to run our social activities including city and beach walks and market tours. The best part? You’ll be working with a team of other travel lovers and adventure-seekers. Chat with our reception team or plan ahead by emailing bookup@wakeup.com.au with a CV and a little bit about you.

Looking to get a job on your Australian Working Holiday Maker Visa (WHV)? Here are our best tips!

5. Freelance Work

Best For: Graphic Design; IT; Website development; Digital marketing; Writing and more.

Dreaming of road trippin’ your way around Australia? If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that given the right skills (and a good WiFi connection), a lot of jobs can be done from anywhere. If you’re a freelancer in your home country, why not use your skills to work and travel around Australia? Some of our favourite freelance sites include:

  • Upwork – One of the most popular freelance sites for all types of freelance roles; everything from development and IT to copywriting, marketing and graphic design.
  • Fiverr – Great for beginners and newbies to the freelance world

Reminder: If you will be paid for your services, you will need to register for an ABN (Australian Business Number) to legally operate. As you will be self-employed, you can lodge your own tax return at the end of the financial year.

How to land a job on your working holiday visa in Australia - from freelance and temp work, to hospitality and office jobs, we cover it all.

6. Temp Agencies

Best For: Short-term temp roles in offices; Administration; Sales and call centres

Want to make some quick dollary-doos? Sign up to a temping agency. Here you might secure a temporary position, anywhere from 1 day for last-minute cover, to 3-6 month maternity cover roles. Generally best for finding work in the city, temp agencies are hired to fill roles quickly. So if you’re flexible and available you could land yourself a sweet short-term gig between travelling or whilst you search for a longer-term role. As these roles are generally more corporate and you are filling a temporary position you can expect to be paid more than the minimum wage – ka-ching!

A quick google search for ‘temp agencies or temp roles’ in the city you’re in will bring up a whole host of temp recruiters. Give them a call, send over your CV and they will match you to any positions they may have. 

Top tip: If you live close by, some temp agencies even organise a ‘morning tea’. This is where you can head into the agency – essentially ready for a day’s work – and if any positions pop up at the last minute, you’ll be first in line for a day’s work.

Wake Up! Crew’s Top Tips

Stress not, friend! Whilst it can be stressful searching for work on your working holiday visa, remind yourself that it’s all part of the experience. You can 100% have fun with it and enjoy the process! Australia is set up for backpackers and working holidaymakers, with heaps of job opportunities (particularly in the current climate). So stay positive, be proactive and keep those applications flowing.

Keen to learn something new? Your working holiday is all about exploring, stepping out of your comfort zone and most importantly, having fun! Keep an open mind, be ready to move around, try new things (within reason of course!) and apply for roles you might not usually consider. Remember the world is your oyster, so grab each and every opportunity on your working holiday in Australia!

So there you have it, our top tips for finding and getting a job on your working holiday Down Under. Planning a working holiday but unsure where to start?

Take a look at our backpacker resource blog with EVERYTHING you need to know about travelling and backpacking in Sydney and Australia.

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