Graduate Recruitment Blog Australia

Advice on Graduate and Internship Programs

June 21st, 2016

china event

Working with employers in China on their Returnee (In China employers refer to Chinese Students who have studied overseas as ‘Returnees’) strategies continues to be a hot topic. In Partnership with 51 Jobs who are the largest jobs and employment site in China we organized an event for both of our employer clients in China on Returnees.

Our goal through our International Student Jobs portal GradConnection Campus, is to help International Students studying at Western Institutions increase their employability outcomes. GradConnection Campus allows International Students studying at Universities in Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Canada and New Zealand to connect with employers in their home countries and help ensure they have employment options for a smooth transition back home after their studies. Although China is only one country where International Students come from Chinese students make up over 25% of all international students. Out of a total pool of over 1.7 million international students from the 5 destinations mentioned above 500,000 of these students are from China.

Through having a unique perspective of operating with employers in Western Countries and in China, we do see common misconceptions around what Universities within Western Institutions consider appropriate for the employability of Chinese students back home. Taking this into consideration we have identified what needs to be done to achieve the desired outcome for both parties of increasing the employability of Returnee students.

Our Western Universities Returnee Strategy event on June 17th 2016 in Shanghai allowed us to open up this conversation with the top employers of Returnee Students in China and bring these findings to Western Institutions all over the world. Our research in this space is ongoing, if you would like to know more please register for our event below or contact us at [email protected].

Returnee Event 2016 –

china event

Opening by Mr. He, the Deputy Head of Campus at 51 Jobs. Mr. He thanked the audience for participating and discussed the exciting opportunities ahead for employers in looking to recruit in the Returnee market.

china event

china event

Followed by GradConnection Director Tony Ye who spoke on GradConnection Campus and what we do with Universities and Employers around the world.

china event

china event

GradConnection Director David Jenkins presented on key numbers around where the Returnees are studying and what they’re studying in the United Kingdom, USA and Australia.

china event

china event

Paul Blackmore, the Divisional Head for Student Employability was the keynote speaker. Paul discussed –

Meeting the needs of a global labour market – a University perspective

  • Career development models adopted by Western Universities (common practice between career practitioner communities like AGCAS, NACE, NAGCAS, CACEE) – the importance of early career planning before and as soon as a student arrives.
  • Aspects of western education that make returnee students extremely employable.
  • The importance of extra-curricular engagement by students and what employers might want to look out for.
  • How Universities aim to develop support services further – pre-departure advice, peer-to-peer support, more strategic links with partners (commercial and HEIs) in china and around the world.

Event Conclusion and how Universities can be involved in the future

The 2016 Returnee Shanghai event was a great success with local employers. Over 80 individual Chinese Employers attended, of these employers they are responsible for over 1,000 potential roles for Returnees. However, it’s critical that Universities understand the needs of these employers if they are to have success in helping their international students become more employable when they return back home.

In June 2017 we’re aiming to open up this conversation further between Universities and Employers not only in China but throughout Asia. If yourself or your University is interested in attending, you can join our 2017 Returnee Conference mailing list by completing the registration of interest form below:

Register your Interest in our Shanghai Returnee Conference 2017.

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June 15th, 2016

becoming a master networker

Getting a job is not only about what you know and what you’ve learnt but it is also about who you know, and if you are able to connect with the right people, it will be able to take you to the right places. Although rather intimidating, creating your own network and being able to build it is an essential task for your future employment as it will be useful in terms of setting up your future jobs, business deals and partnerships.

Through your life, there will be plenty of opportunities to build professional and successful relationships. Having those kinds of connections with the right people will help you move up in your career, however it isn’t as easy as it looks. In fact, building your network can be overwhelming and very intimidating, especially with people that hold importance such as top executives or industry leaders.

Having a network helps you in various fields whether it be professionally or not. You never know when you need help with connecting with others and to be connected with someone who already has connections could help you in the long run. Starting a network doesn’t necessarily mean making new relationships, and you can also start before you need it. Your network can even start with your current contacts, whether it be friends and family, they can also help you with your career and get connected with their own connections.

Networking is important to develop throughout your career and there are a few tips that could help you with how to be a networker and developing the skills and confidence needed to be able to approach people and create relationships. These are simple tips on the best way to network which including:

  1. Get involved
  2. To network means to go out to events and reach out to people. Make conversation, engage and involve yourself with others. This is where your social side comes out and you learn about yourself as much as you learn about others. Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone to be able to create new relationships with others.
  1. Have a goal
  2. When building your network, make sure you have a goal before initiating any kind of interaction. Whether it be with a network contact you already have or you’re about to go to a networking event to make connections, knowing what you want out of the interaction would allow you to set the path, lead the interaction, and also have clear communication on what you’re trying to achieve through the interaction.
  1. Be prepared
  2. Being properly prepared would prevent you from giving a poor performance. Before going to a networking event, find topics that could carry a conversation and break the ice. These topics would most likely revolve around your knowledge in what you already know and what you have researched so others can see you have been well prepared.
  1. Focus on a high impact conversation
  2. Focus on the main points of what you want to get through to be able to give an impactful conversation. By developing a quick 60-second elevator pitch to introduce yourself and communicate what you are looking for, it will be enough to grab their attention that is short and succinct. With the short time, you can ask for further contact for the future to let the other know that you are interested. However, as it is a conversation, make sure to ask questions and most importantly listen to what the other has to say. Also remember that networking is a mutually beneficial relationship so don’t get stuck on one person for too long and move on for further contacts.
  1. Create a schedule
  2. To make it effective, networking should be down periodically. Networkers create a schedule in which they’ll devote their time to networking. This way, you can stay organised while also building your connections. This tip can also link to the first tip in which you create a schedule to attend networking events and set a goal on what you want to achieve from your schedule.
  1. Stay positive
  2. Networking can be tiring, especially if you don’t enjoy it. However, the best networkers are passionate about what they do. If you show your enthusiasm and you’re passionate about your field, people would want to hear and engage with you. It can be intimidating talking to employers and those who have a high status, however showing a positive and passionate personality will help you connect and give interest.
  1. Be organised
  2. You are bound to come across a lot of people in a short amount of time during networking events and this could lead to having too much information on your hands. Be organised and keep a list to help you notes down the crucial information of your contact. This could include contact information, who they represent, and their expertise.
  1. Be brave and open
  2. Although networking can be intimidating, you need to be able to be brave and approach others. While you’re engaging in conversation, your speech will also indicate whether you have the confidence or not to interact with people. If you show that you are brave enough, people will embrace it and the conversation will flow easier.
  1. Offer value
  2. Instead of thinking of what you can gain from the potential connection, first think about how you can add value to it. Being able to give value and offer yourself in the relation will be able to build the quality of that relationship. Adding value to your connections will not only show your respect and appreciation, but if it works mutual, the relationship can expose you to numerous opportunities.
  1. Network everywhere
  2. There are no limitations to your network. Creating a network is to expand your connections and that means to have diversity. Don’t just engage with people that are at your level but to people that are of above or below to you as you can be exposed to their own networks too.

Networking is not only about going to events and meeting new people, but it’s about building connections that are meaningful and could help you develop and influence you to grow in your career. What matters is the people that you engage yourself with and although a network is there for you to benefit from, you also have to offer yourself to help your contacts. Make sure that the people you do network with are people that you trust that could lead to you having a valuable relationship.

Pozin, I. How to Become a Top Networker,
Feloni, R. & Lee, S. 2015, How anyone can become a master networker,

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June 6th, 2016


GradConnection would like to give a big welcome to its newest member Daniel Headford!

Daniel started his career as a graduate at BT Financial Group working within Superannuation. After a year and a half, he moved to Westpac Private Bank as an Associate.

The move to GradConnection was prompted by the current market shift towards smaller, more agile companies. Daniel had known about GradConnection for several years as he used it all the way through his university career to look for opportunities whilst still studying and beyond. 

When asked why he joined the team he said: ‘When presented with the chance to work for such dynamic and innovative company I couldn’t say no!’

Daniel will be working as a National Account Manager at GradConnection in Australia. We’re very excited to welcome him to the team and you will be able to catch up with him in person in the near future at industry events.

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June 2nd, 2016

In February 2017, we will hold our third annual Top100 Most Popular Graduate Employer Awards. With these awards comes our third instalment in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) the most widely distributed and read business publication in Australia. 

Over the past two years we have seen the publication of the award results grow from an 8-page spread in 2015 to a 12-page section in 2016. So it’s with a whole lot of excitement that we can now announce that in 2017 the GradConnection Top100 Most Popular Graduate Employer Award results will be published in its own glossy magazine in the AFR! 

In this magazine we will of course be publishing the Top100 list as well as a series of graduate industry pieces curated by the team at Fairfax. There will also be an opportunity for you as an employer to advertise both your organisation or your graduate program in this publication with exposure options ranging from a quarter page advertisement all the way through to a double page advertorial. 

If you are interested to find out more about the awards or how you can be involved in the publication of the GradConnection Top100 magazine in the AFR in 2017 please contact your Account Manager below.

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Early Bird Booking Form

Posted by Reshan Perera

May 31st, 2016

There’s only one month to go before our early bird discount expires. If you haven’t heard yet our early bird special offers a 10% discount to anyone who is looking to book in their packages before the end of the financial year. All we require is confirmation of your booking and we are happy to issue with an invoice whenever is best suited to you. 

To make the process easier, you can now complete the whole booking online with our early bird booking form. Click the following link to use our early bird booking form

Using this form, you will be able to book in everything from your profile package, boosters, front page options and even custom email bundles. 

The early bird discount officially ends on June 30, 2016 so make sure you get in quick! 

If you require the reporting from your last campaign before you make your next booking, please make contact with your Account Manager and they will be able to send you all the relevant reporting.

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How To Make Your Job Application Stand Out

Posted by Dan P , Matter Solutions (Australia), SEO Specialist

May 5th, 2016

How To Make Your Job Application Stand Out

Getting a job sounds like an easy proposition, doesn’t it? After all, everyone else seems to have one, so how hard can it be? Unfortunately, getting a job that you enjoy, that pays well and that offers you something more than 40 hours a week of drudgery isn’t that easy. There are huge numbers of people out there looking for exactly the same thing. When the right job pops up, you have to be aware that you’re not going to be the only person clamouring after it. With so much competition, you need a strategy to make the employer sit up and take a closer look at your CV over the next person’s. We’re going to take a look at some ways you can give yourself a leg up in the job hunt from our own experience.

Don’t Stand Out the Wrong Way

A person standing naked in a public fountain whistling Greensleeves will certainly stand out, but they’re still going to end up arrested for indecent exposure. In the same way, a CV that stands out from its fellows in the wrong way is still going to end up in the paper shredder. You have to work out a way to capture attention without ruffling feathers.

One piece of questionable advice that has been floating around lately is that you should leave out your cover letter when applying. Advocates of this strategy claim that employers never read the cover letter anyway and you’d be better served by making a direct phone call to introduce yourself instead. Let’s take a look at this.

Now, depending on the company a direct call to the employer could indeed be a good idea, but leaving off the cover letter when submitting your application makes no sense even so. Firstly, even if the employer doesn’t read it, having it shows that you have at least taken the time to find out something about the company and personalise your application in some way. Leaving it out and simply submitting your generic CV immediately shows the recruiter that you couldn’t be bothered doing ten minutes legwork to individualise your application for the position. That’s not a good look right off the bat, and many employers out there will just throw your CV in the bin without purusing it further. Sure, you got noticed, but it was for the wrong reasons and got you the wrong result.

Many job seekers think the best way to stand out is to make their CV “fun”. Images, colours, jokes, puns and funny fonts are all popular choices, and all of them are bad ideas. Just don’t do it please!

Okay, maybe that’s harsh, but generally, unless their is a specific reason why the organisation you’re interested in would like that sort of thing, trying to stand out through superfluous aesthetic choices isn’t going to work.

Understand Your Application

So far it seems like we’ve only told you what not to do. But what about things that you should do?

The best way to make yourself stand out is to be the applicant who is most familiar and most invested in the company before you’ve even been in for an interview. That doesn’t just mean taking a squizz at some Linkedin profiles or googling the company goals, it means going beyond that. Keep on top of what the company is doing and what it’s involved in - events it hosts etc. If at all possible, become involved on a volunteer level so that you can show a prior involvement with the organisation if and when an interview does eventuate.

Sounds like a lot of work right? Unfortunately, with so many graduates out there the job market is as competitive as it’s ever been. Obviously you can’t go to such lengths with every single company you apply to, but for the jobs that really pique your interest and that you most want to have a chance with, it’s a very good strategy to employ.

Make Your Online Presence Meaningful

If you’re a normal, 21st century human being then you’ve probably got an online presence. We’re talking Facebook, Instagram, whatever. If it’s online and has your name attached to it then it has the potential to affect your job prospects.

Make sure that at the very least your online presence isn’t going to be harmful to your chances of landing a job. If your personal Facebook isn’t exactly boss friendly then make sure it’s set to private so they can’t see exactly what sort of photos from the weekend you were tagged in. More than one person has lost their job to a wayward Facebook post over the years.

Your CV

Writing the perfect CV is harder than it sounds. You don’t want to sound cliched and boring, yet you also can’t go too far the other way and risk getting ignored for looking unprofessional. With such stringent guidelines governing what is and isn’t okay for a CV, how can you make yours stand out?

It’s a subtle art, but the thing you want to focus on is content over design. Try and blow the recruiter way with what’s written in your resume rather than with what it looks like and you’ll probably have much more success. Without becoming too informal or unprofessional, do your best to inject a little personality into your resume, and particularly into your cover letter. Consider how many others the recruiter is going to have to read through, and do your best to make yours an enjoyable experience for them. Or at the very least, as painless as possible. In your resume, focus on your achievements rather than simply stating your work experience - talk up what you learnt and what you achieved while you were working at Wendy’s from 2010-2014, even if it isn’t much.

The most important thing you should keep in mind when applying for a job that you’re passionate about is how you can make yourself more attractive to the employer. Whether this be by getting involved with the company beforehand, by making any possible online connections you can or simply by writing your resume better than the competition - making yourself stand out in the right way is always a good idea.

This article was brought to you by Uni-Span, a scaffolding, formwork and engineering solutions. They have compiled these tips from 100’s of job applications they have received in the past. The work they do involves engineering scaffolding and formwork solutions for a variety of projects around Australia.

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Posted June 23, 2016, 1:35 p.m.


May 3rd, 2016

A few months have passed since the Top100 Future Leaders Event, and GradConnection caught up with some of the finalists and winners for their feedback on the competition process.

The competition process was designed to emulate the typical recruitment process that graduates or to-be graduates undergo when applying for a graduate program. It covers online applications, psychometric testing, video interviews and for the final Top100, an assessment centre. 

Many enjoyed the application process and reflected that the online test, and interviews were a good way to practice. 

Here are some students’ opinions on different steps in the Top100 process:

Online Interview:

“The online interview was a really great inclusion because so many graduate employers are starting to use online recorded interviews. I have completed three other Vieple interviews for vacation positions. It takes some getting used to so practice is valuable.”

Assessment Centre:

“The Assessment Centre was really a lot of fun. Everyone that I met was great to work with and it was well organised. The representatives from Orica at my table assessed us during the process without making it artificial or awkward.”

The Top100 Event:

“The closing event was an amazing experience, and it was obvious that GradConnection really went all out with it. It exceeded all of my expectations and was a great opportunity to make friends with other young and ambitious students, along with a range of company representatives.”

Post-Event Experience: 

One student was offered a part-time undergraduate position with Jacobs Engineering, one of the Top100 sponsors, and is currently three weeks into the role. She is  currently enjoying her work in the industry and the exposure to a professional environment.

"I really could not believe the opportunity... I am very grateful to both Jacobs and the GradConnection process."

"In my first week, I had to write a tender and use programs I have never used before. This is week 3 and the people are all lovely and professional. I am settling in and am pleased to see practical applications of the material I am learning at University. I now work part time and continue to study part time."

For her, winning the GradConnection Top100 has been a big leap forward. She states: "[It] has provided validation for all the commitment and effort I had put into a career change and it has changed my job, my career and my life."

It has also increased her understanding of the industry, and positivity towards the company. "I applied to do international exchange next semester and Jacobs are supprtive of that to still go ahead. They indiated that I can work remotely out of their Prague Office. Such a flexible company and an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful for."


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Posted May 4, 2016, 6:11 p.m.

Nice Post... Very Informative
I would like to share one Online Job Advertising Board in Sydney, Australia. If anyone wants job in australia they can visit

Peak Graduate Season Closes

Posted by Reshan Perera

May 3rd, 2016

The traditional graduate recruitment season of February through to April has come to a close. Thanks to the flexibility of online resources, we have been seeing an increasing amount of employers move out of this recruitment window. In 2015 we saw nearly a third of all employers go to market for graduates in the second half of the year and we’re expecting this to increase again this year.

We have also seen many employers who went to market in the first half of the year open applications again in the second half of the year as way to make up for any unfilled positions.

We particularly recommend going to market in the second half of the year for employers who are new to the graduate market as it is possible to gain more exposure for your program. As mentioned there are less employers who open their applications in the second half of the year, allowing your brand to stand out and avoid the battle against the noise that occurs in the first half of the year.

If you want to know more about what might an optimal strategy for your program, please contact your Account Manager or if you are new to GradConnection please email [email protected]

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2016 Early bird discounts are here!

Posted by Reshan Perera

May 2nd, 2016

It’s always hard to believe another year has gone by. But it’s that time again, early bird discounts are here!

We are offering a 10% discount for those of you who are ready to book in your package for your next campaign. But make sure you get in quick because these prices will expire on Thu 30 Jun.

To book in your next campaign at early bird prices, please contact your Account Manager.

Did you know we also provide a wide array of campaign reporting? Below are a few of the different reports we are able to generate for you to determine the performance of your campaign.

  • Pageview Report – the number of times users viewed your profile on GradConnection
  • Application Click Report – the number of times users clicked through to apply to your program from GradConnection 
  • Demographic Report – a breakdown of the registered users who clicked through to apply to your program including the registered users’ universities, gender, disciplines and a competitor analysis

We can produce any of these reports on request so please ask your Account Manager any reports you require.

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Posted May 4, 2016, 6:10 p.m.

Nice Post... Very Informative
I would like to share one Online Job Advertising Board in Sydney, Australia. If anyone wants job in australia they can visit

April 28th, 2016

Applying for Graduate Jobs

As a graduate or a student in your penultimate year, you can’t be expected to know everything there is to know and so there are bound to be mistakes made. These mistakes usually revolve around the graduates and students that are looking for or applying for their first graduate job. For those in their penultimate year or have already graduated and are still seeking or starting to apply for a graduate job, there are a few things to look out for to be able to get the most out of it. A few mistakes that students and graduates make with job seeking and during the process of application include1:

  1. Not applying enough
  2. This is a mistake students often make, narrowing down to their preferences and losing great work opportunities.  Although considering the number of employers to apply to that have the same morale views. What is recommended for job seekers is to apply to 30-40 jobs, to look for alternatives and broaden your chances, however do not apply for any and every job available but a job that suits your field.
  1. Only applying online
  2. Students and graduates that are seeking for graduate jobs and applying should know that applying through only one platform, more specifically applying online on their website, would lessen your chances in getting called from the employer. Applying online is not a bad thing but it requires the least effort and doesn’t help with showcasing how you are in person. If you are applying for jobs, it is recommendable to apply through all sorts of platforms for the job, both online and offline applications, and also connect yourself with people that are working with the employer you want.
  1. Not enough networking
  2. It is recommended for students to have your own network with as many people as you can, whether or not they’re from your immediate circle. Staying in contact with lots of people can help you in the long run when you’re looking for recruitments as they’ll become a helpful source in getting you the job. These networks can help you with what you may need for the job (e.g. interviewing, making your resume, etc.). Going to conferences, events, and fairs would be a good start to creating your network.
  1. Using the wrong social media
  2. Although there are numerous numbers of social media, LinkedIn is the social media platform that you should be using if you are seeking for a job.  It is recommended to already have a LinkedIn profile by the time you graduate and it’s even better if you have started building it since you were still a student starting university. Using LinkedIn can link you to a number of people that may be of importance in the future; it could also help you with building your network.
  1. Giving up too early
  2. Applying for jobs means that you will be competing with several other students and graduates that also want the job. For recruiters it becomes a long day and in most cases, you may not hear from them after applying, but this doesn’t mean you should give up. If you do not hear from the jobs that you applied for, it is recommended that you take action to find and apply for more positions. Tap into your own network and ask if there are any job openings where they’re working. Limit yourself also means that you’re limiting your opportunities and applying for other positions that are still in your field may help you maximise your job search.

It is common for students and graduates to make mistakes during the application process and these are a few points that you may be able to reflect on yourself. However, these aren’t the only mistakes that students make.  Communication between a job seeker and employer is usually reflected on their quality of work2.

  1. Be Clear
  2. As a young employee, expressing yourself clearly to employers may be difficult, whether it be through writing or oral. Being able to express, communication and explain yourself and your work etiquette. Having good communication skills does not only does this apply to obvious jobs such as marketing, consulting and other careers that require a lot of communication, but it also applies to many others. Communication is a central part of work to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings between one another, whether it be a workmate or potential client.
    During an interview, make sure not to recite what you’ve written in your resume. Make sure to get your message across without having to repeat your words and be clear about who you are and what you can do. By doing this, you are able to show how well you can communicate in the future with work members, clients and other important people on the job. 
  1. Social Media
  2. Social media is considered to be one of the fastest way to communicate with one another and also the most effective when looking for a job. However, the downside to social media is that it damaged graduates’ the ability of communicating professionally. Social media style of writing is succinct and usually ignores the basic professional writing etiquette. Although social media has changed the interactions between job seekers and employers, it is important not to forget the professional protocol.

These are small, common mistakes that students and graduates do that could be avoided and even help you with job applications. Having communication skills in both oral and writing is also something that can be improved with time and experience, however it is important to be familiar with the professional protocol.

1 Adams, S. 2013, 5 Mistakes College Job Seekers Make,
2 Nguyen, A. 2015, The biggest writing mistakes new graduates make,

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