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 a Health and Amenity Officer for a large council, in South West Victoria about 1 hour from the CBD. Working within the Health and Local Laws department, this position assist with technical support and investigations for the team, emsuring compliance to legislative controls addressing the Public Health and Amenity Protection. You will assist the Local Laws officers to ensure compliance to relevant legislation, Acts, regulations and Codes of Practice. You will provide assistance to Investigate complaints received in relation to the nuisance provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, support the preparation of relevant documentation and institute legal proceedings as directed in relation to breaches within the area of responsibility. You will also provide support to access and process relevant Local Law provisions as they relate to health and amenity matters including camping, animals, noise, refuse, footpath trading and others. Requirements: Tertiary qualification in Environmental Health or statutory compliance, or other regulatory field. Minimum one year experience in an EHO, or Compliance/Local Laws field. Must have experience with investigations and enforcement in a compliance or regulatory role. Previous public sector experience desirable. Benefits: Start ASAP. Contract role very likely to be extended. Secure Local Government experience within a busy council on South West coast of Victoria. Apply for this role using the relevant links, using an updated copy of your CV. 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.
Public Sector People are working with a South East council in metro Melbourne who are seeking a Landscape Draftsperson on a contract basis. This is a busy council with large developments happening, so will bring with it an interesting and varied workload. You will be working from initially and likely continue to work from home for majority of the contract due to Covid capacity restrictions. This is a Band 5 role so suitable for a designer with 6 months – 2 years experience. Role To assist the Landscape Design Team with drafting and documentation of a wide range of projects including streetscape plans, precinct plans, recreational, playgrounds, open space and park planning projects. Ensure all landscape design packages meet acceptable standards of viability, practicality and design, in accordance with Council policy and relevant legislation. Support the delivery of the Landscape projects though high quality drafting support in preparing full Landscape documentation packages for Tender/Construction. documentation, in a professional, time efficient and customer focused manner. Prepare Landscape Documentation Plans for Tender and Construction using AutoCAD software platform Prepare construction details using AutoCAD 3D modelling and massing models using Rhino and Sketch up software Concept development and preparing plans for consultation and presentations. Prepare project visualisations and documents for public display using Adobe Suite software Requirements Demonstrated relevant professional experience as specified. Valid Driver’s Licence Excellent proficiency using design software including AutoCAD, Rhino, Sketch up, Adobe suite and MS office National Criminal History Check and Working with Children Check to be undertaken if successful in role. Apply for this role using the relevant links, using an updated copy of your CV. 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.
Public Sector People are currently recruiting a Sustainability Officer for a contract position within a regional Council approx. 100 km North/North West of Melbourne. Working within the Environment and Waste team, you will promote sustainability best practice across the organisation and the shire through the provision of expert advice on sustainability issues to Council. You will be working on Council’s solar panel program, energy assessments and developing a strategy for reducing road emissions and green house gasses within the local area. You will be working closely with the community, providing education and advice, stakeholder management is key to success in this role. This is a contract through until end of March but likely to be extended. This is a great opportunity to gain further experience within sustainability and build on community engagement skills. Requirements: This position requires formal tertiary qualifications and extensive practical application in environmental sustainability. Demonstrated stakeholder management experience. Demonstrated ability to project manage. Benefits: Start ASAP. Contract through until end of March, likely to be extended. Work in a beautiful part of Victoria known for its gourmet food and wine and natural mineral springs Hourly rate is negotiable dependent on experience. Please apply for this role using the relevant links and an updated copy of your CV. 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.
PSP are currently working with an outer ring Council in the North East suburbs who require a Senior Planner for a contract role to start ASAP. This is a large metro based council but you will see a different caseload to other metro councils, you will be working on ‘rural’ planning issues, such as, sheds, bush fire management, vegetation overlays, etc. You will be mainly report writing and working on VicSmart applications to assist with the volume of work. Given this is a short term contract, the successful candidate will be an experienced Local Government planner who can hit the ground running. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Experience working with Victorian Planning Scheme, ideally in a metropolitan context. Available for an immediate start. Benefits include: Secure work to start ASAP. WFH and Office based work as Covid restrictions ease office capacity numbers. You will be provided with laptop and equipment. Please apply with your current resume. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP (03) 8535 3111.
Public Sector People are currently working with a council located in Melbourne’s Inner-Metropolitan area to a recruit a Band 6 planner for a contract role while they undergo recruitment of a permanent position. 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. 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 Immediate start Will be WFH/office based as Covid restrictions allow. 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.
PSP currently seeking a Project Landscape Architect to work for an inner metro council for a six month contract role. This council have an increased volume in projects and there is plenty of opportunity for this role. This is a Band 5 role and you will be responsible for the concept design and masterplan development and implementation of landscape and urban design projects, such as playgrounds, parks, gardens, streets, open space and related projects. This is suited to an LA with 1 – 2 years’ experience, local government experience is desirable but not a necessity. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. AutoCAD, Illustrator, InDesign proficiency Strong skills and experience in graphic representation to communicate various concept, detailed and masterplan designs. Benefits include: Secure a six month contract. Add to your portfolio with experience in an inner metro council. Start ASAP! 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 inviting applications for the role of Environmental Health Officer to join a regional council in Alexandra. Given the current Covid-19 situation, you will be working autonomously. You will be provided with training and an onboarding process, while maintaining social distancing. You will ring each site prior to inspection and run through safety questions to your satisfaction before booking in and conducting any site inspections. You will be working two days in the field, with three days working from home. This is a contract role with an immediate start. $42 - $48 p/h + super. Requirements include: Suitable qualifications – Bachelor of Applied Science or Health Science (Environmental Health) – or recognised equivalency Recent Victorian experience as a practicing Environmental Health Officer, or membership with Environmental Health Australia Current Victorian driver licence. Must have local government experience. 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