Working in Perth as an International Student

This article is sponsored by StudyPerth

Perth is a fantastic base for international students to study, live and work. With beautiful beaches, internationally recognised educational institutions, endless sunshine and good employment opportunities, it’s no wonder Perth is a popular destination for students from all over the world.

So, what’s it like to find employment in Perth and what are the best part-time jobs on offer? We spoke with a few international students living in Perth to get their take.

How to find a job in Perth

Luis Fonseca, who is originally from Brazil and currently works in hospitality alongside studying a master’s in marketing and innovation management, found a job in Perth almost immediately.

“I found it pretty easy to find a job in Perth,” he says. “The city is booming and there are a lot of opportunities – I got a job less than a week after arriving here.”

Luis believes the key to getting a job is simply putting yourself out there.

“If you are an international student, you should expose yourself to the market and people, and that way you can learn about opportunities,” he says.

 Acing your job interview

If you receive an offer to interview for a role, there are a few basic things to keep in mind that can help position you as the best candidate for the job. Simple tricks like making eye contact (even if the interview is being conducted via Zoom), appearing confident, making yourself look professional and asking well-thought-out questions can make all the difference to your success. As well, make sure to prepare for the interview, research the company thoroughly, arrive early and calm your nerves.

Remember: not every job is advertised!

We chatted with international student Woody Li from Hong Kong, who works at a go-karting track in Perth and is studying physiotherapy at the University of Notre Dame. Woody shared his thoughts on popular student jobs in Perth.

“The hospitality industry is currently looking for a lot of people,” he says. “Find local references; this is important, because employers will call them up and ask about you.” 

Woody shares a helpful tip for securing references: “The easiest way to get some references [is to ask] professors, friends or people who you volunteer with. For me, it is the gym that I work out at; I have befriended every single one of the staff, and now I am going to interview for a job coaching young children in rock climbing, which I learned about at the gym.”

Utilise your unique skill set

International students bring a unique perspective to the workplace, and it’s an excellent idea to remind potential employers of this. Woody agrees that international students have a lot to offer Australian employers. 

“Diversity, language, culture and creativity is what we bring,” he says. “International students have overseas experiences and skill sets that can help the workplace run more smoothly and efficiently.”

Remember to network 

Carol Galiforni is an international student from Brazil who has completed a Certificate III in Events at TAFE and will soon start an MBA at Kaplan Business School. In her spare time, she works at a Brazilian restaurant in Scarborough Beach. She believes that making connections is vital at all stages of your study and work journey. 

“Develop skills, network, go to events, volunteer. You can meet people or learn something beneficial to help you find your next position,” she says.

Luis offers similar advice. “Go to workshops,” he says. “Job events are also good for networking and can potentially open new doors.”

Browse jobs online

We live in an online world, so use it to your advantage when seeking a job. On most job search websites, you can use the keywords section to filter and find matching jobs. Depending on the type of job you’re looking for, type in a keyword like ‘retail jobs Perth’, ‘hospitality jobs Perth’ or ‘no experience jobs Perth’.

StudyPerth has some great resources on its website to help students find jobs in Perth, including the StudyPerth Jobs Board. Other useful websites include Student Edge,  GradAustralia and GradConnection.

It’s also essential to ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date before applying for jobs online.

Volunteer or intern

Volunteering and interning are fantastic opportunities to get your foot in the door with a particular company. Carol agrees that volunteering is a valuable way to spend your time while you’re looking for a job. 

“I am having a great time volunteering in Perth, which I highly recommend as a starting point if you are looking for a job,” she says. “It is a great way to get some experience, meet interesting people and develop skills that might help you get the job you are looking for.”

Stay open-minded

When searching for jobs, remember to stay open to opportunities you might not otherwise consider. There could be seasonal work in Perth or even night shift jobs that give you the flexibility to study during the day and work at night. 

Know your working rights

As an international student, it’s essential to know your workplace rights in Australia. StudyPerth provides lots of information for students on its website, but the Fair Work Ombudsman website is another excellent resource.