How to fight the “No Local Experience label”? And how to get the job and experience in Australia!


Have you heard this question before or have you heard this several times that you are dreading to hear this again?

If you’ve recently arrived in Australia and have been applying for jobs, you’re sure to face a tough time answering this question. The best time to find a good job is the time you already have it…. although it sounds weird but that’s how it is, unfortunately!

So what is this local experience and how do you get one if this is your first job?

Before getting to that, let me relate a small story as it happened with us.

“In early 2008 my husband landed in Australia. Knowing very little about Australia and not being used to the cold weather also may be due to jet lag he was feeling drowsy and slept for most part of the day.
It was one of those days, when he got the very first phone call from a recruiter; it couldn’t have come at a worst time than this.
The recruiter was very keen to pitch the dream job to a prospective job seeker and when she hears on the other side of the phone a sleepy voice, sounding very tired and lethargic, as a normal practise (or may be because she was unsure) she asked “Is this the right time to talk?” My husband who was still half asleep and did not know how to respond, he replied back in an honest and innocent tone. “I am sorry I am just getting up from sleep so can you call me back in some time?”

My husband, who was very excited to get the first phone call, quickly got dressed, ran through his notes and was ready to take the call.
He waited and waited. But, the recruiter never called back!”
Lesson we both learnt from this was

  • Recruiters do not need us; but we need them.
  • When you’re in the job market be prepared to attend phone calls at any time as opportunities strike only sometimes. Never miss an opportunity

The four aspects to focus,  in order to fight back the "No Local Experience" label…

  1. Find a professional to review your resume
    Although you must have heard this several times, but resume is the most important aspect of your job search. It might be worthwhile to get your resume reviewed by a professional resume writer so they can australianise your qualifications.
  2. Don't give up and be persistent in your job search
    Be persistent in your job search. Do not get demotivated seeing the “Your application is unsuccessful at this stage” mails. You will keep getting those emails but put them behind and move forward. Broaden your job search and try to know how and where to find jobs.
  3. Voluntary work or working as an apprentice.
    By offering to work voluntarily you can find a way to get the local experience and the reference needed for a job. Don’t be in a hurry to get paid on day one; there is no harm in working voluntarily to get some local experience and then start applying for jobs.
  4. Creating your own work or freelance till you find the right job.
    Last but not the least; the mantra that worked for me was to create my own work.
    I started working as a freelance web designer and started my portfolio site. I had small clients who, when happy with my work referred me to some big clients and eventually I ended up finding a good job with my freelance experience and references.

Small tip from my experience: No job is big or small, accept the first offer that comes your way and work very hard to prove your worth, better opportunities in bigger companies will soon follow!

Remember don’t let anyone put you down for lack of experience or for being overqualified. Stay positive, focussed and motivated and you are sure to succeed in your job search.

Good luck and for any feedback or your own stories about job search please feel free to share it with us at








Comments: 3

  1. Sai November 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm Reply

    yes it happened almost 5 years back. Thanks for the narration and bringing old memories back.

  2. Anonymous February 18, 2013 at 3:54 am Reply

    Waking up everyday with 'sorry your are unsuccessful at this stage' mails could never be more disappointing for an active job seeker. How do recruiters expect to get local experience if they are not willing to give a first break. I am so discouraged to apply for jobs any further because I don't know the reason for my previous unsuccessful applications. A professionally done resume` is also not helping me..I don't know whats happening but I am in utter state despair…

    • Neelima February 19, 2013 at 11:51 am Reply

      Thank you for stopping by my blog and for posting your comments.
      I know it’s not easy to get the first break. Trust me we have all been through a similar experience. But definitely you will get it if you don’t lose hope and try to continue with optimism and hope. Also, it will be worth while to take up a voluntary job just so you can end up having some good references in a new country and also helps to get you new contacts.
      Good luck with your job search and am sure someday you will be on the other side of the fence. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join the mailing list

Check your email and confirm the subscription