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 recruiting an Environmental Officer for a Water Authority on a contract basis. The Environmental Officer works within the Environment team, assisting the team’s role as a business advisory service and with delivering ongoing improvement in environmental management and compliance. The Environmental Officer provides integral support to the Manager Environment & Climate Adaptation and Environmental Advisor roles. This role is suited to a graduate who has had some professional experience, e.g. a student placement or internship and who is ready to build on their experience. Key Responsibilities and Duties Administer key water quality monitoring programs, including Blue-Green Algae, the MID Nutrient Monitoring program, Regional Environment Improvement Plan and other environmental monitoring programs. Assist with the organization's obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003, including ongoing implementation, annual reporting and stakeholder liaison. Providing support for environmental services to business units, including project environmental management, environmental incidents and environmental auditing. Selection Criteria A degree in an appropriate field (e.g. Environmental Sciences, Natural Resource Management etc) Understanding of natural resource management principles and concepts, in particular as they relate to the management of water resources. Competent in the use of the Microsoft suite of products. Additional knowledge of software such as GIS will be highly regarded. Benefits Immediate start. Full time role Location is negotiable Opportunity to build your experience within a Water Corporation. Please apply using the relevant link with an update resume. For a confidential discussion regarding this role, contact Emma Murphy at PSP on 03 8535 3111.
Public Sector People are working with a metro council in the Western suburbs on the recruitment of a Senior EHO. 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 is a contract role running through to the end of the year and paying $46p/h + super. We also have roles across a number of councils in metro and regional Victoria, if this role isn’t suitable for you but you are available for contract work on a full-time or part-time basis please contact us or apply following the link and we will reach out. 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.
PSP are working with a metro council in the East on the recruitment of a Senior Urban Designer. Joining a newly established design team, you will be working on broad and varied projects, this is the opportunity to champion better design outcomes and generate rich placemaking initiatives in a large LGA. You will be working on major activity centres, revitalization of public spaces and have a strong focus on community engagement and consultation. This role is suited to a Senior Urban Designer who is passionate about making a difference through place-based human centred design. Can offer a contract or permanent arrangement, depending on your preference. Open to full-time or part-time hours. Requirements include: Qualifications in, Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture or related discipline, and strong experience in the delivery of related programmes of work. Experience in Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, SketchUp (or equivalent related graphic and 3D modelling packages), and sound understanding of Local Government Skills in working with consultants, leading a team and engaging with internal stakeholders, government and industry bodies and the community. Benefits include: Flexible working hours Hybrid model remote and office based arrangement Can offer contract or permanent role Band 7 remuneration 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.
Public Sector People are seeking a Senior Strategic Planner for a growth area council in the South East of Melbourne. This role is within the City Planning & infrastructure team, you will be responsible for conducting research and consultation, managing projects and developing strategy policies for significant land use, built form issues, corporate and community planning and organisation-wide issues. You will be primarily working from home, open to part-time applicants. This is an initial three month contract with opportunity to be extended. $50 - $55 p/h + super. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Experience with developing land use and development strategies, assessing and administering planning scheme amendments. Demonstrated experience in project managing development/contribution plans, and representing Council at Planning Panels would be an advantage 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 Band 6 Landscape Architect (2 days) to work for a Northern metro council for an initial 6 month contract period. This council have an increased volume in projects and there is plenty of opportunity for this role to be extended or to transition into a permanent capacity. Reporting directly into the coordinator of landscape and design, you will develop innovative and sustainable landscape architectural solutions for both private and public realms, within established, renewal and urban growth areas ie. transitioning urban design from a planning phase into implementation phase. You will manage complex projects and project teams involved in concept and design development, consultation, preparation of contract documentation including cost estimates and specifications, tendering of construction works, site supervision and project management. This may also require managing external consultants, including project scoping, technical brief preparation and procurement. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. AutoCAD, Illustrator, InDesign proficiency Demonstrated experience in design development and project management with proven skills in delivering project outcomes within specific timelines and within allocated budgets. Benefits include: Secure a long term contract Add to your portfolio with experience in a growth are council. $60 - $65 per hour, two days per week. 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.
Public Sector People are currently working with a council located in Melbourne’s Inner-Metropolitan area to a recruit a Band 6 and a Band 7 planner for 3 month contracts (very likely to be extended). Your core function will be to manage a caseload of applications and produce the delegate reports. You will be dealing primarily with Clause 54s, Clause 55s, 5-6 storey apartment blocks and liquor licences. Due to a substantial increase in applications our client requires you to assist one of three planning teams, ensuring that applications are being serviced and producing reports in an effective and efficient manner. This is a Senior role and we are seeking an experienced planner, ideally with previous experience in inner urban Melbourne. You will be using Trim, Pathways and Trapeze. Flexible hours, part-timers encouraged to apply. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Experienced Local Government planner. Ability to work autonomously and manage your time efficiently. Benefits include: Gain valuable experience in an Inner-Metro Council as a senior team member. Competitive hourly rate offering $55 - $65 p/h + super Immediate start Will be WFH/office based as Covid restrictions allow. Flexible hours, happy to accommodate 3 - 4 days per week. 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 seeking a Landscape Architect for a council based in Melbourne’s CBD. Working in the City Design branch, this is council’s centre of excellence for design. It includes Urban Design, Landscape, Architecture and Industrial design teams. In this rile you will be responsible for planning, organising and delivering landscape architecture projects on time, to budget and within the scope and quality in project briefs. Responsibilities are across the full project development lifecycle from concept through to delivery including project scope and specifications, procurement/tendering, managing consultants, contractors and stakeholders (internal/external) 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. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, or other associated profession. Three years’ plus experience in a Landscape Architecture role, ideally within the public sector. Strong design and documentation experience Benefits include: Flexible working hours. Contract through until December. Work for a council renowned for its focus on achieving good quality design outcomes. 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.