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I have been granted permanent residency in Australia (i.e. I can live and work there). I intend to relocate from Ireland in October. Ideally I could have a job line up before I go, as it's a high-risk and potentially expensive move if I have to support myself and family for a period of unemployment.

Is it possible / likely that I could secure employment before I go? What are the best ways that I could go about doing this? Should I just start applying for jobs on the Australian jobs websites? Should I contact recruiters directly? (this isn't exactly appealing because recruiters tend to ignore you if it makes their job difficult)

For what it's worth, I have a BSc in Computing (Software Development), with 8 years experience in .Net development. I'd prefer Melbourne if possible.

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Did you managed to find a job remotely? – PHPst Feb 18 at 15:17
No, I didn't. I got talking to a few recruiters about a week before I made the move and had a couple of interviews lined up within the first week after arriving. I was lucky enough to get the first job I interviewed for! – DaveDev Feb 19 at 1:04
Glad to hear you get a job so quickly. – PHPst Feb 19 at 5:01
Could you share the details of any of the recruiters you met? – Richard Everett Jun 16 at 12:36
Not really, unfortunately. Recruiters are a dime a dozen, and unless they're looking for you the generally don't answer the phone. IMO recruiters are desperate scumbags and I give none of them credit for getting me any job. The credit goes to the websites (e.g. seek.com.au) and for the employer for giving me a chance. – DaveDev Jun 16 at 21:52
up vote 13 down vote accepted

I'm an IT worker (software dev / test automation). I moved to Australia last year.

Seek.com.au is the biggest jobs site (disclaimer: I'm contracting there at present). If you create a profile on there, it'll go a long way - recruiters will also contact you as a result of your profile being active and searchable.

For random 'spot jobs', Spotjobs is up and coming, but probably not ideal for you.

It's always hard to get a job before the companies have seen you, but if your linkedin profile is up to date, you have an available phone number and email on your profiles, you stand a better chance.

In addition, join a meetup for the city you're aiming for, and contact some of the people on that - software developers, Agile groups, geek groups, and so on. Many of them will know of opportunities, and given they may get bonuses for referring someone, may be very keen to help.

Get yourself onto many recruiters' books. Don't harass them, but a simple email with your resume and contact details should suffice, and then check back in when you arrive in the country if nothing has happened yet.

Furthermore, make it VERY clear on all your applications, profiles and contacts that you have permanent residency and the right to work in Australia. This is one of the highest priorities that IT recruiters are looking for (outside of the obvious skills matches).

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It's certainly possible to arrange employment before arriving in your new country, although employers are likely to want to meet you in person before actually extending an offer (particularly if the position is not a remote working position).

Before moving to New Zealand some years ago, I had located a job offer on one of the job web sites, and did a telephone interview before arriving in the country. After arriving, I did an in-person interview and everything proceeded from there.

Employers of expats will generally want to be sure that the prospective employee has the right to work in the country. In your case, you have been granted permanent residency with the right to work but you aren't actually in the country yet. It is possible (though unlikely) that you could be turned away at the border and not admitted to Australia. An employer will probably want to make a copy of your passport with the work authorisation for their records, which they can only do with you present.

Talking to other workers in your field and establishing a network of contacts will certainly be useful, and is something you can do from anywhere. For example, the mailing list for the local Python User's Group often has introductions from migrants who haven't actually arrived in the country yet. It's obviously not a job search service, but such contact can be useful in locating technology-specific jobs.

Finally, an option to cover the uncertain period would be to secure a remote working contract with somebody, perhaps in your home country, where you can do some work for a short time until you find local employment.

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