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.
Public Sector People are currently seeking an Urban Planner to join a progressive metro council with offices based in the CBD. Covering a period of leave, this is a contract role until April 2022. This is a busy team, with a high volume of work with up to 50 applications at a time, working on business signage, liquor licensing, heritage, residential and shop fronts. This role is suited to candidates who can work in fast paced environments, seeking a planner with 1-2 years’ experience in the private or public sector. Great opportunity for a planner who wants to work for a Inner City Council which is highly regarded and will look great on any CV! Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. 1-2 years’ working experience within Urban planning. Available to work 30 – 35 hours per week. Comfortable working in a fast paced environment. Benefits include: Contract until April 2022 $45 p/h + super Work with a progressive council with a great reputation Working a hybrid model with time in office and remotely. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other 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
Public Sector People are seeking a Landscape Architect for a council based in Melbourne’s CBD. Working in the Property, Infrastructure and design branch, you will be joining a team of eleven people. In this role you will be working on a transformative $300 million river walk project. This is a real opportunity to be involved in a project that could shape the future of Melbourne. The Senior Landscape Architect is responsible to provide landscape architectural services including design conception and resolution, detailing, documentation and site attendance to assist in delivering high quality architectural projects on time, to budget and within the scope and quality in project briefs, as a member of the City Design’s team, to achieve the successful delivery of key milestones and high quality design outcomes. The successful candidate will have public sector experience and strong design and documentation experience, with previous experience in urban renewal/ transport and infrastructure projects being desirable. This is an initial three month contract position, likely to be extended. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, or other associated profession. Five to six years’ plus experience in a Landscape Architecture role, ideally within the public sector. Competent in AutoCAD and Adobe suite. Strong stakeholder management skills. Benefits include: $55 - $75 p/h + super depending on experience. Contract through until end of January 2022. Work on a project which will transform Melbourne. Mixture of WFH and office based working. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other 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 currently working with a regional Council located North Melbourne. A Band 5 Statutory planner is required for a period of at least three months while they manage an increase workload. It is likely the role will go for longer due to the volume of work. This is a supportive team and suitable for someone early in their planning career as you will get exposure to a variety of planning issues. You will be working across a range of applications, farming, commercial, residential infill and subdivision, heritage and environmental. This role is suited to candidates who have previous public or private sector experience withing planning. This is a regional council and they have their team back in the office, will be a hybrid model with some days in office, some days from home. Great opportunity for a planner early in their career, keen to develop public sector experience. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Some exposure to Victorian Planning Scheme. Available for a full time contract, five days a week. Benefits include: Three month contract, with potential for extension. $35 - $45 p/h dependent on experience. Regional councils offer a range of applications and candidates benefit from increasing their skills across the board. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other 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 working with a busy, growth area council on the recruitment of a highly motivated and emerging design manager for a newly created role. Drawing on your design, preconstruction project management and well developed client and stakeholder engagement skills, this is an outstanding opportunity to drive the design and development of council’s forward pipeline of growth area Community Centres, and the renewal of Centres in established areas. With a focus on the delivery of high quality, sustainable and user responsive design outcomes you will forge effective partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, manage design timelines, prepare functional briefs and site masterplans, and appoint the architect and technical consultants to design and document these important community facilities. Key Skills The successful candidate will have qualifications in Urban Design or Architecture Project management in a community or capital projects setting Development facilitation Exceptional stakeholder engagement and negotiation skills Benefits Work within a team that can offer ongoing support and development. Can offer a permanent arrangement or an 18 month contract – depending on your preference. Flexible working arrangements. Hybrid office and working from home model. Opportunity to transition into a public sector role. 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 local council in the South Eastern suburbs on the recruitment of two Environmental Health Officers. Environmental Health Officer 1 The Environmental Health Officer will be an intensive program of conducting Risk Based Food Safety assessments at predominately Class 2 and maybe 3 registered food businesses. This position will be for 9 weeks. Environmental Health Officer 2 The Environmental Health Officer will be managing a part-time area and conducting additional assessments to make up Full time capacity at least until the end of the 2021 year. They will be predominately be conducting Food Act activities including Assessments, New business applications ect, but will also need to be able conduct inspections and investigate matters under the PH&W Act. This position will be at least until the end of 2021. 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.