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 a metro council in the South East of Melbourne on the recruitment of a Principal Transport Planner. Working within the City and Asset planning department, you will lead transport networking planning policy and outcomes that address the current and future transport needs to the Council area in a professional, collaborative and innovative manner. This is a Band 8 role, seeking someone who can start immediately. This is a contract role which will be ongoing. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in planning, civil engineering, transport, project management or an alternative relevant transport planning and/or infrastructure qualification and/or a related discipline Proven leadership in managing complex transport infrastructure projects with a range of stakeholders Strong stakeholder management skills to deliver collaborative outcomes and productive relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders Benefits include: Band 8 position - hourly rate negotiable Work flexibility, offering full or part time hours Immediate temporary role with a busy metro council 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 are recruiting a Team Leader – Statutory Planning role for a metro council. This is a permanent opportunity, with an initial remote start and then likely to be two days working from home when we return to the office. You will have up to six direct report and will be given the opportunity to take on other portfolios, such as enforcement, subdivision, admin, depending on where your interest lies. You will be joining a team which has little staff turnover. This role is suitable for someone with previous leadership experience or a principal planner, ready to make that next step in their career. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Experienced urban planner with local government experience in Victoria. Strong interpersonal and communication skills. Benefits include: Permanent role, flexible hours available (2 days wfh). Opportunity to step into a leadership role. Busy metro council with mix of planning issues. Monthly RDO. Ongoing learning and development opportunities. Click apply or you can email me on email@example.com . 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.
PSP currently seeking a Senior Landscape Architect to work for a metro council on a contract basis until June 2021. Joining a busy council, you will be working on parklands and streetscape upgraded. You will be working on the design and delivery of these projects. Covering a period of long service leave, you will come on board and have an extensive hand over period. This is a Band 7 role and we are seeking an LA with local government experience who is competent with design, documentation and contract administration. The role will be remote working initially, with a view to returning to the office mid 2021. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. Contract administration and consultant management skills are a must. Previous Local Government experience. Benefits include: Secure work through to end of June 2021. Add to your portfolio with experience in a busy metro council. $50- $65 per hour, with flexible working hours. Remote working initially. 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 seeking a Senior Strategic Planner for a six month contract for a metro council. Covering an internal secondment, you will be working on translating the planning scheme into the new format required by Smart planning program. You will also be working on planning scheme amendments and managing the exhibition and assessment of submissions. You will get the opportunity to work on the development of a new transport strategy and community plan. This is a long term contract opportunity, which could well go beyond six months. On the run up to Christmas the role will be fully remote and coming into 2021, there may be some requirement to attend the office for collaboration meetings, but will be mostly remote based working. We are seeking a strong Band 6 planner with local government experience. Flexible working hours available and competitive hourly rate. This is suited to a planner seeking a new challenge and a long term opportunity. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong communication skills, ability to meet deadlines and work autonomously. Previous Local Government experience at a Band 6 level. Benefits include: Remote working and flexible hours. Six month contract with opportunity for permanency. Competitive hourly rate. Work within a very busy metro council, with a variety of work to sink your teeth into. 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 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 through until middle of January. 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. This is a contract role which is currently until January 2021, but likely to be extended. Given this is a short term contract, the successful candidate will be an experienced Local Government planner who can hit the ground running. You will be provided equipment to get set up to work remotely. 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. Remote working. Flexible work hours and hourly rate negotiable. 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 working with a local council in the South Eastern suburbs on the recruitment of an Environmental Health Officer. This is a contract role which will take you through until the end of December 2020. You will be provided with ongoing support within this role, you will be working in the office alongside a Senior Officer. 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. 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.