How to apply for work in Western Australia

Whether you have made the leap to Western Australia, or you are already here and are looking to dive into a new job – we have some great tips on how to apply for work like a native West Australian! 


Western Australia has long been known for its resources industries of mining, oil, and gas. It is what has brought, and continues to bring people to Western Australia for generations. But whether you are looking to move into these industries, or just make a move to WA for employment, we have some tips that might help you in understanding how to apply for work, and help you get to the top of the pile!

Do your research

Most companies today have a well-structured HR department that knows the company branding extends past the logo, and into the company culture. If there is a company that you want to work for, or a position that you are looking at, find out everything you can! Learn how their business works in the unique environment of WA, and how you could fit with it.  

Is it resources? Understand how their processes and supply chains work, who their customers are, and what their company ethos is. If they are a sub-contractor assisting a company remove resources by doing it on their behalf, or creating infrastructure that allows this, make sure that you are showing this understanding when you do start writing your cover letters. The customer in this instance is not the resource buyer, it is the site owners.

Is it obvious that the company is keeping their identity quiet by using a 3rd party recruiter to shortlist employees for them? Then play detective! If this is an industry you know all the players in, that will be a lot easier. If not, you should look at what hints they have dropped about themselves. Check out the example below.

Example: Site Manager – Mine Site Construction


What can we gather about the employer from this example?

  • The company prides itself on being a family owned business
  • They are based out of WA
  • They have been operating for over 30 years
  • They design their own mine camp buildings
  • They perform relocations of mine camp equipment and buildings
  • They have long term clients
  • They perform on site construction

A simple google search will turn up many options for who this company might be – and no doubt, many of these key phrases will be repeated throughout their literature. Even if there are multiple candidates, the beauty of industry is that if one company is looking for someone like this, their competitors will also!


Tailor your resume

If you have already held a similar position to the one you are applying for, then chances are you will have the correct layout, information, and keywords that recruiters are looking for. Whether a job advertisement is coming through a HR department for a large company, or a recruitment firm on their behalf, there is a chance that the company will be using applicant tracking software (ATS). This “weeds” out applications by having a “robot” look over your application before it even makes it to an actual person.

The word search robot will look for key words and phrases and will give you a rating based on how closely your resume meets the needs of the client.  With roles that have multiple names (eg; Customer Service Agent, Client Experience Specialist, Guest attendance superstar. These are all titles I have seen used on the one job!), you need to be aware of how your resume will appear to the ATS. You shouldn’t use all those terms in describing the past positions you have had, but you can slip some of those words in within reason to make sure that you are showing you have the required experience.

Another tip is to address the selection criteria throughout your resume. If you have held a range of jobs in different positions and industries, and you believe that the accumulative experience you have makes you perfect for a role, make sure that you convince them of that!

Example: Mining Engineer


If prior to you gaining your mining degree and getting site experience as a pleb, you worked as a store manager at McDonalds, use that to your advantage! Describe your “Supervisory or Management training and experience”. That is the exact terms that any tracking software and recruiter will be looking for when it gets to them. They, like all humans, want to read what they have written. Make their job easier and use their words to frame your experience.

Make your cover letter work for you

The Cover letter is like the closing arguments in a TV court drama. You make your case and point to all the evidence which shows why you are the best candidate for the position. Check out the example below.

Example: Personal Assistant in Mine Company


Once you have addressed the opening information that is relevant to any cover letter (Who you are, what position you are applying for, etc), you then get into those closing arguments and you use each of the attributes that they list in the advertisement as a guide. Even HR people can be a little heavy handed on repeating things, so group “like” items together to cut down on the length of your cover letter also. In this instance, my cover letter would look something like:

To Whom it may concern,

My name is Joanne Bloggs and I wish to apply for the above listed position. I believe I have the following attributes which make me a suitable candidate for this role:

  • High level computer skills: I have an accurate typing speed of 100 wpm, am adept at using all the MS Office suit applications, and have a working knowledge of most commercial document management systems
  • Exceptional communication skills: As PA to the CEO of an ASX listed company in Perth, I have proven written and verbal communication skills. Often, I had the responsibility of communicating on behalf of the CEO to ensure the smooth delivery of information to interested parties
  • Skilled in Time management: I have been responsible for diary management, booking communications and managing the office of “that company”. I have been able to perform all my functions in these busy environments, while maintaining my attention to detail and maintaining all commitments.

Once you have identified attributes that are common to all the jobs you are applying for, you can even come up with your own personal “Attributes database” where you can keep your go-to answers. This cuts some of the work out for you, but will allow you to highlight the experience you want them to see.

Contact a key decision maker

Because of the introduction of ATS, many worthy candidates don’t even make it through the phone call or email round of recruiting. So, double up and cut out the middle man! This amazing tip comes from Jay R. Lang’s book “Breakthrough” where he outlines his amazing experience in assisting people get the jobs they want. He fully explains how to identify the person who has decision making power and how to get in contact with them directly. It is one of those tips that either leaves you thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?” or will leave you asking “Can I really do this!?” The answer is yes! Check out Breakthrough! on (

If you would like to get even more information on applying for work in WA, our in-house writer (Kirsty Holland) also moonlights as a resume writer, and can help you develop the documents you want to try and hook the job of your dreams. Check her out at Then once you have that dream job, let us here at New In Town know how we can help you move here and get started on it!

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