For urban and regional planning graduates, the most difficult part of graduating is trying to land your first paid role afterwards!
As a jobseeker, the first thing you need to invest time in is your resume (or CV).
When you are scrolling through Netflix and trying to choose what series to binge on next, you will click and read the synopsis before deciding to watch it or not. Think of your CV as the synopsis!
Your resume should encourage the hiring manager to want to find out more about you, and (hopefully) invite you to an interview. As such, you can’t just spend ten minutes on it and hope for the best.
As a recent graduate, nobody expects you to already have two or three years’ planning experience under your belt. You may just have your education and no practical experience, and that’s fine. But you need to make sure that your resume screams ‘I am a planner!’ at the reader.
Put your education on the front page and provide substantial details on any practical projects you have completed – I would aim for three. For those who have completed a Masters, ensure one of these is your thesis.
Break it down for the reader:
You can then outline your previous professional experience in chronological order. If you have a background in retail or customer service, skills picked up in these roles are super transferable, so don’t leave it out. Through this, you’ll have experience dealing with members of the public on a daily basis, and this will demonstrate strong communication skills.
Now that you’ve got your resume down pat, let’s look at the application process.
It is important to be realistic and understand that you might not land a job the minute you graduate. Some of your peers might be lucky enough to land a role straight away, but do not compare yourself to those. It is extremely competitive for graduates - for every role that you apply for, think of the number of your classmates who might also apply.
Do not be disheartened if you feel like you are applying constantly and not getting any feedback (positive or negative) though, it just takes some time.
Please read the advertisements before you apply - there is no point applying for a senior or principal role if you are fresh out of uni with limited experience. Serial appliers are recognized and, if an organization knows your name from applying for any and all roles, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Be flexible. Yes, we all want to work in the inner city… who doesn’t? The inner metro councils are generally considered the ‘sexiest’ but, as a result, are the most competitive. Initially you might need to acknowledge that you may have to travel that little bit further to get your foot in the door. Open yourself up to outer councils or regional councils who will not be inundated with applications. You also might need to consider contract roles, instead of holding out for your “dream” permanent position.
Maybe you really want to work in strategic or transport planning… so does everyone else! Consider taking on a statutory role in order to transition into the strategic, community or environmental-focused role you’re looking for.
Lastly, if you have too many restrictions on what you’re willing to do, you could find that it’s been a year since you graduated and you’re now competing against new graduates – and some who have a placement too. All of a sudden, you graduated four years ago and can’t get into the industry.
Don’t forget - keep an eye on Seek, look at the PIA job board, set up a LinkedIn profile, join the ‘Urban Happiness’ group on Facebook and use your network! Your friend working in an organization can keep you posted on when they are hiring and put in a good word.
I have placed a significant number of graduates within councils, in both metro and regional areas. Most of the time, graduates start in a contract role but are then taken on by the council in a permanent capacity or their initial contract role is extended. Often, they find themselves with a solid six months of council experience. This opens the door to so many other opportunities and you can quickly become hot property.
I can assist with your resume and offer advice on what to cut or what to add. I can also go through some interview preparation - what to expect and how best to prepare. I will offer some insights into what to expect from your first role, what your core duties will be and where your salary expectations should sit.
Most importantly, I can assist you to land your first role – so connect with me here.
PSP are working with an inner metro council on the recruitment of a Senior Placemaking Officer for a contract role. The Senior Placemaking Officer will manage the delivery of Placemaking projects including the preparation of place plans, concept design for key proposals, engaging with key stakeholders and coordinate the implementation of various placemaking initiatives. The position will involve reviewing community and consultant inputs, preparing spatial plans and strategies, developing urban design concepts, and writing placemaking related reports. The role will also involve collaborating with internal & external partners to make great places, including the organization of creative activations, community events, internal working groups and external stakeholder workshops. This is a great opportunity for a Landscape Architect, Urban Designer or Planner who wants to transition into placemaking. There will be a mix of working from home and office based work. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in landscape architecture, urban design or urban planning. Excellent communication skills, including report writing, visual presentation and oral communication skills. Demonstrated experience in community consultation processes. Good project management skills including managing project tasks, resources & timeframes. Benefits include: Entry into a placemaking role Work in a busy council with a variety of projects to get exposure to. Flexible working hours. Attractive hourly rate. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
PSP currently seeking a Senior Landscape Architect to work for a metro council on a contract basis for a three month contract. Covering a secondment, it is likely this role may be extended beyond this period. Joining a busy inner council, you will be working on the design and documentation of a number of open space and public realm projects, including a dog parks, pocket parks and a mixed-use plaza. This is a Band 7 role and we are seeking an LA with local government experience who is competent with design, documentation. You will be working a mixture of remote and office based. The offices are easily accessible from all directions and surrounded by plenty of coffee and lunch options. This role is paying between $60 - $68 p/h + super. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. Design and documentation skills. Previous Local Government experience. Benefits include: Add to your portfolio with experience in a busy metro council. $60- $68 per hour, with flexible working hours. Remote working and office based balance. Will consider part-time hours For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP on (03) 8535 3111.
Public Sector People are working with a local metro council on the recruitment of a Band 5 or a Band 6 statutory planner for a maternity leave contract. The contract is until December 2021. This council are undergoing massive growth and this is a great opportunity for a planner seeking exposure to growth area planning. You will be joining a team with an excellent culture, very friendly and supportive. This council have a strong customer service focus, so would suit a planner who knows the importance of providing a first class service to applicants and residents. You will be managing a caseload of basic applications, residential, industrial and commercial. This role is suitable for someone with at least six months local government experience. You will be continuing to work from home with one or two days in the office for the foreseeable. This is a fantastic council to join from both a cultural perspective and for career development. This council have plenty of opportunity for permanent positions coming up, so a great time to get your foot in the door and potentially secure a permanent role. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Local Government experience, ideally within Victoria. Excellent customer service skills and ensure a great experience for applicants. Benefits include: Long term contract role. Excellent team culture. Working from home and Office balance. A council with diverse planning issues, not just rescode. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
Public Sector People are working with a central Victorian council on the recruitment of an Environmental Health Officer. This is an initial three month contract but likely to extend. You will be able to demonstrate your excellent industry knowledge and previous experience working for a Local Council as an EHO. You will be able to competently complete registered premises inspections whilst communicating with local proprietors in a professional manner. This role will pay $50p/h + super for candidates at a Band 6 level with previous local government experience. You will be working on Customer complaint investigations Public Health and Wellbeing Act inspections Food Act inspections Pandemic Team support Health promotion support and program implementation and development Customer engagement and setting expectations Requirements include: Suitable qualifications – Bachelor of Applied Science or Health Science (Environmental Health) – or recognised equivalency Recent public sector experience as a practicing Environmental Health Officer, or membership with Environmental Health Australia Current Victorian driver licence. Previous Local Government experience as an EHO. For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other Environmental Health roles within public sector, please contact Emma Murphy on (03) 8535 3111 | Emma@publicsectorpeople.com.au.
Public Sector People are currently working with a council in Central Victoria in the recruitment of a Band 5 or Band Planning Compliance Officer. Our client is looking for previous planning enforcement experience within Local Government. Planners who have enforcement experience are also encouraged to apply. An average day will include investigation of planning complaints, conducting on-site inspections to ensure compliance with permit conditions and gathering information / evidence for enforcement purposes. Given the current climate, social distancing precautions will be in place. This is initially a three month contract and would suit a planner with enforcement experience or an enforcement officer who are out of work due to Covid. Requirements include: A full valid Victorian Drivers licence. Ability to gather evidence and conduct investigations to achieve planning compliance, including for prosecutions and enforcement orders where required Ability to listen and to communicate effectively with all relevant stakeholders to handle stressful situation in relation to development disputes Benefits include: Pick up some work in a council which often extend their contractors. Gain valuable experience in a regional Victorian council. No two days the same, this role promises a varied workload and opportunity be a part of a face-paced and dynamic team. $45 - $50 p/h depending on experience. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
Public Sector People are working with a Council, North East of Melbourne who require a Public Notice Officer one day a week for a period of six months. The primary responsibility of this role will be the installation/display, maintenance and removal of public notices displayed on land for which a planning permit application has been lodged. This is a six month contract and a fantastic entry level role for anyone studying Planning at the moment. You will be given the opportunity to learn about the Victorian Planning Scheme and deal with general incoming enquiries. This will give you local government experience to add to your CV, along with professional planning related experience. Ideal for anyone still studying or recently graduated. Requirements include: Full, valid drivers licence Ability to manage your own time effectively. Excellent customer service. Benefits include: 6 month assignment – potential for extension. Entry level role into planning for those still studying. Opportunity to work more days within Planning enquiries unit. Develop your CV with experience in a metro council. The previous candidates in this role have secured permanent roles off the back of their experience in this council. Hourly rate of $33.20 (+ super). For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below
PSP are currently working with a Council located on the cusp of Melbourne who require a Senior Planner, on a part-time basis for some report writing. Joining a growth area council, you will be coming on board during a particularly busy period and assisting the team with excess work. We are looking for a planner who can commit to two days per week, within business hours. You will be provided with laptop and equipment to get set up working from home. You will be able to work fully remotely, you will just need to attend the office on the first day to collect equipment, etc. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Local Government experience within Victoria. Must be at least a Band 6 statutory planner. Benefits include: Competitive hourly rate on offer - $50p/h - $55p/h + super. Part-time hours Immediate start Secure work through until EOFY Remote working For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
Public Sector People are working with a regional council who are seeking a Senior Statutory planner for a six month contract role. You will join a large planning team covering a large range of applications, residential, industrial, heritage, native vegetation and bushfire management overlays. The workload has been largely unaffected by Covid and this is a busy council. You will be provided with laptop and equipment to get set up working from home but will be required to do one or two days in the office. Part-time hours will be considered. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Local Government experience within Victoria, ideally with exposure to heritage and/or growth area planning. Benefits include: Competitive hourly rate on offer. Six month contract. Varied workload with some interesting applications to sink your teeth into. Working from home/working from office balance. Can offer full-time or part-time. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.