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Tips For Backpackers Working in Sydney

Posted on 28th September 2017 by Katrina Docherty

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The majority of backpackers who come to Australia will work for almost half of their time here. That’s a fair amount of time, so it’s crucial that you know a little bit about how to find a job once you get here.


Backpackers in Sydney should arrive with a CV (Resume) already prepared, and be clear in their minds on what their skills are and be able to explain where their experience has been thus far. This is because most employers will first look for candidates that have existing experience in the same job.


Luckily, there is always work to be found in Sydney, you just have to know where and how you can find it!


Search for jobs in the right places

Here in Sydney, like any metropolitan city, the best place to start your job search is online. While Indeed.com may top both the Irish and UK job board list, it comes second to Australia’s largest and most popular job board, SEEK. The www.seek.com.au site receives over 375 million visits every month and can have over 3 million job opportunities available at any given time. They also have over 100 million jobseeker profiles.


  1. SEEK.com.au
  2. Indeed.com
  3. Careerone.com.au
  4. Fiverr.com
  5. Upwork.com

*(site visitor statistics are taken from their ranking on Alexa.com)


Another site worth mentioning is Gumtree.com.au, Australia’s number 1 online marketplace.


Gumtree connects buyers and sellers in the local community, with more than 2.5 million listings across hundreds of categories you can buy, sell and find just about everything.  Gumtree has 85,000 new ads being posted each day, in categories that include: Home & Garden, Baby & Children, Sport & Fitness, Clothing & Jewellery as well as Gumtree Cars and Gumtree Jobs.


Bonus info: Gumtree is also where you’ll find loads of accommodation options likes share houses and room sharing plus a stack of second-hand furniture to make your new home cosy and comfortable.


Discover job opportunities through Facebook

Facebook isn’t a job board, but you can use its Groups feature to find people posting jobs in and around Sydney. We recommend running a Facebook search using the word Sydney and the word “jobs” to find groups that share jobs.

Some of the Facebook Groups that companies (like us!) regularly share jobs for backpackers are Irish Around Sydney, Backpacker Job Board, and Sydney Backpacker/Travel Group.


You can also “Like” company career pages. Companies create these pages to establish a talent community which serves as a pool of potential candidates and to improve the flow of information to interested candidates.


Don’t be afraid to put a post on Facebook that you’re looking for work. Also, you may discover job leads when friends and people you follow share job opportunities in their status updates.


Get your resume looking sharp

The key to writing a great working-holiday CV is to demonstrate a wide range of skills and experience that can be applied to (almost) any job in Australia – administration, sales, bar & farm work. Sometimes this isn’t easy to do as you may have just finished Uni and have only worked a few jobs.


However, even if you have limited work experience, you can find innovative ways to convince the employer that you are the person for the job!


Your resume reflects who you are and why the employer should hire you. Remember, as a working traveller, it’s important to summarise when you can start work and how long you are willing to commit. 


Often, your first job in Australia will be different compared to your job back home.


Whilst travelling, this is the time to try something new!  However, it is helpful that your employment history is relevant to the position you are applying for, whether it is experience or skills. Be innovative and make it clear that whatever the employer wants, you’re able to fulfil their needs.


For example, if you’re applying for a managerial position but have never previously worked as a manager, emphasise that your previous roles involved considerable responsibility and decision-making duties such as delegation, staff management, training, etc.


Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post ‘Formatting the Perfect Resume’ with detailed information on what the perfect resume should look like!


Additional tips for backpackers working in Sydney…


  • Make sure you can leave employers with your contact details. A mobile phone and email address are the best options. Make sure your phone is switched on!
  • Have copies of your resume printed ready to give to prospective employer or recruiter.
  • Look sharp! Get at least one set of professional business clothes to wear to interviews.
  • Be able to provide proof of all qualifications.
  • Be honest and reliable – let employers know how long you are available and give them notice when you plan to leave. Don’t promise to stay for a set period of time then leave after a short period.
  • Live somewhere close to public transport. If you want to live near the beach at places such as Bondi or Coogee then expect to get a bus to Bondi Junction (around 20mins in rush hour) and a train from there into town (around 15 mins). Buses are unpredictable as traffic can get pretty bad in Sydney so expect to probably double that time on occasion. Smartphone Apps such as Opal and TripChecker will be your best friend!
  • You will need a permanent Australian mailing address to apply for your tax file number, Medicare card and Australian bank account. To apply for a Tax File Number go to the ATO website.

Do you have any questions or concerns about finding work in and around Sydney?  Feel free to get in touch with our team of career experts. We work with people on working holidays on a daily basis and have the contacts and experience to get you hired!