How to survive the job hunting culture in India

The job hunting scene in India is on another level compared to Australia. According to Gulf News, 426 million Indians were looking for work in 2018. Compared to that of Australia, where there are 183,900 available positions and 666,700 unemployed Australians (according to Australian Unemployed Workers Union). But do not let that deter you from breaking into the job market in India. Here are some tips on the culture and how to survive the job hunting scene.

Interviews: India edition

Unlike job interviews in Australia where we have multiple types of attire depending on the company’s preference, the process of what to wear is much easier in India. Due to how diverse the weather is in India, it is expected that people wear lightweight clothing. Men in lightweight suits and women are preferred to wear slacks over pencil skirts. However, in more traditional sectors such as banking, expect that to change. Expect meetings to start and end late – but that does not mean to arrive whenever you want. Be punctual – Indians foster trust and strong business relationships.

Language is key

Language is also different. English is the business language in India. Unlike in Western culture where suffixes such as Mr or Ms is used the majority of the time, you will hear Sir or Madam. The suffixes Mr or Ms is only used for seniority and ji can be used more commonly for someone more senior in rank and age.

In Australia it is common for people to say “no” straight up and be more direct – but in India it is considered rude. You will hear, “we’ll see” or “I will try” as an indication of the answer being likely as “no”. One suggestion is to rephrase the question to be less direct.

Be careful of job scams

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Due to the high amounts of unemployment in India, scammers are cashing in on this new market with fake letters and asking for money in return for employment with well-known companies. If a company asks you for money in regards for an interview or job offer, refuse.


It is heavily recommended, if not heavily encouraged to have a professional passport photo of yourself on your CV when applying for jobs in India. The resume should be summarised in five different sections – personal information (name, contact information, LinkedIn), key competencies (relevant to the job), work experience (including volunteering) and education (university, languages, training certificates). Make sure that your resume is not longer than two pages as in most cases Indian recruiters do not accept CVs over two pages (sometimes they accept up to three pages).

Best job websites

While it is universal to use the LinkedIn job search feature, there are numerous websites that you can search for job advertisements. Some include Jobs – Fresher Jobs India – Govt Jobs – Part time Jobs, Naukri, Glassdoor, Instahyre, AngelList, Indeed, Monster, TimesJobs, and Shine.

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Sinead Simpkins

Sinead has graduated from a Bachelor of International Studies at Western Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in International Relations at Macquarie University and a Master of Arts at the University of New England. Sinead has worked and volunteered at NGOs and Government departments. She first went to India on a New Colombo Plan scholarship in 2017, undertaking a two-week study tour. Since learning from her classes and her study tour of India, Sinead loves what India has to offer.

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