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 working with a local metro council on the recruitment of a Band 5 statutory planner for a contract role. 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 working a hybrid model with 2-3 days per week in the office, the rest from home. This is a fantastic council to join from both a cultural perspective and for career development. 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: Excellent team culture and plenty of support provided. 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.
PSP are currently working with a metro Council in the North Eastern suburbs who are seeking an experienced Band 5 or experienced Band 6 planner for a period of six months. This is a busy metro council, you will be responsible for managing a caseload of applications, along with undertaking phone and counter duty. The applications will vary, you will gain exposure to residential, commercial, industrial and heritage. This is a contract role in a busy council and it is very likely to be extended. Open to part-time or flexible work arrangements, will be a hybrid model with two to three days working from home. 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. Benefits include: Secure a six month contract before end of financial year. $50 – 65 p/h depending on experience. Flexible hours / days to suit you. 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. .
PSP are currently working with a peri-urban council on the recruitment of a Band 5 Statutory Planner for a 6 month contract. You will be responsible for managing a caseload of applications and will perform counter/phone duty on a rotational basis. Your level of experience will dictate the complexity of applications you will be responsible for. This council is undergoing a massive growth and redevelopment period and will be a fantastic learning curve for an ambitious and enthusiastic planner. This council operate a hybrid working model so you will be in the office twice a week, or more if you prefer. The office is based approx. one hour 30 mins from CBD, in the South East. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. High level customer service skills, measured on KPIs in accordance with “Same Day Service” methodology. Some previous planning experience within Local Government, State Government or a consultancy. Benefits include: Enhance your planning experience at a growth area Council on the cusp of Metro Victoria. Secure a 6 month contract. No day the same with a variety of application queries from a diverse community. Great experience and team culture, develop your own career and opportunities. 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 large regional council who are seeking a Statutory Planner at a Band 5 level. This is a 12 month contract. You will join a large planning team covering a large range of applications, residential, industrial, heritage, native vegetation and bushfire management overlays. This is a busy council with a strong focus on customer service. You will be managing a caseload of basic applications, along with phone and counter duty. This is a busy regional hub, and would be a great opportunity for a planner with regional experience who would like to move to a bigger council or to a planner who wants a variety of applications and a change from Metro Melbourne. You can avail of a hybrid model with 2-3 days in the office or can consider a fully remote working set up. 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 Regional planning. Benefits include: 12 month contract. Varied workload with some interesting applications to sink your teeth into. Hybrid working arrangements or fully remote, depending on your situation. 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.
Public Sector People are working with a local council 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 $45 - $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 Current Victorian driver licence. A tertiary qualification in environmental health or equivalent is required and experience in the field is highly desirable however, graduates are encouraged to apply. 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 working with a Council, South East of Melbourne who require a Report and Consent Officer with some experience working within the Public Sector. This role reports into the Municipal Building Surveyor but is suited to someone with a planning or building background. Your core role will be to co-ordinate the Report and Consent (dispensation) function of Council under the Building Regulations 2018, advertise applications when required and follow up and communicate with respondents whilst maintaining the relevant computer database. This is suited to someone in planning or building who wants to transition into the public sector or someone who wants to develop their knowledge of the report and consent aspect of planning and building. Open to fully remote working and/or part-time hours. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong communication skills. Experience using Trapeze is highly desirable. Benefits include: Short contract until 30th of June Option to work fully remotely Round out your experience at a metropolitan Council. $45 - 55 per hour plus super, depending on experience. 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.