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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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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.

There have been 1 comment(s) on this Blog, click here to see the full discussion.

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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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April 15th, 2016

writing a cover letter

When seeking for jobs, there are a few situations where employers expect you to not only bring in a CV or resume, but you may also be told to bring a cover letter. In other cases, cover letters may not be required, but including one may differentiate you from other applicants and help your chances.

Cover letters and resumes are almost similar to their purpose of having to prove that the experience and skills that you’ve obtained is useful and meet the requirements for the job that you are applying in. However, there are some distinct differences to the structure of a cover letter and a resume, and should be viewed individually but complement one another.

Resumes are document used to summarise your employment history with information that covers the jobs you’ve had, your education, certifications, accomplishments, skills, and other background information that you’re able to add in to show your qualifications. Your resume should highlight what you have done in the form of bullet points.

Cover letters are structured differently to resumes as it is in the form of paragraphs, including a greeting, a body with several paragraphs and a closing. When writing a cover letter, repeating what you’ve written in your resume and formatted to be written in paragraphs is a common mistake that many job seekers make.

As employers don’t have much time to read numbers of applicants’ cover letters, a cover letter should be concise, possibly no longer than 250 words to convince the employer that you’re the right person for the job.

Employers want to know more about you and why you are applying for the job. A cover letter is not only written to highlight your qualifications, but it is more importantly a way to introduce yourself and prove to the employer why you qualify for the job you applied for. While a resume answers the facts of who, what, when and how; a cover letter gives you the opportunity to add the explanation of why. Writing a cover letter follows a simple format and should preferably only be one page.

  1. Review the job requirements
  2. Make sure you have gone over the job requirements to find out what you can highlight from your resume and explain in your cover letter how you meet their criteria
  1. Get straight to the point
  2. Make your cover letter short yet concise. Use the two to three paragraphs needed for a cover letter to explain and prove yourself to the employer without having to add information that may not be relevant to the job qualifications
  1. Sell yourself
  2. A cover letter gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and use persuasive language to why you want the job and why they should consider you as a potential employee
  1. Use a simple font
  2. Ensure that your cover letter and resume have the same font and font size that is easy to read. The last thing you’d want is for the employer to not be able to read what is written. The most common font for resumes and cover letters is Times New Roman, size 12 points in black
  1. Double check and spell check
  2. Double check, and even triple check your letter in case for spell checks or grammar errors. After you’ve checked your work, make someone else that you trust check it as well. Sometimes poor English may make or break your chances
  1. Tailor your cover letters
  2. Cover letters should be unique for the different jobs you apply in. This way it is personal and also allows you to highlight the proper qualifications that are suited for the job. One way to make your cover letter personal is to properly address the employer. Do background research to find the name and title of the person hiring to show effort
  1. Format your paragraphs
  2. Make sure you know the important information you want to put in and leave out the rest that would only add words to your letter and put them in the right paragraphs to make it look organised
    • Paragraph #1
    • This is the opening paragraph after your greeting. This is where you give the reason to why you’re writing the cover letter; what and how you came to know about the organisation or position, basic information of yourself including your current title and experience
    • Paragraph #2
    • This paragraph explains in brief detail why you’re interested in the employer and type of work that you’re applying for. This is where you try to persuade the employer into why you’re the right candidate for job by communication your understanding, relating your experience and education, and state what you can bring to the table that differs from others. You may be able to add bullets of the highlighted skills that are useful for the position, however do not repeat what you have written in your resume
    • Paragraph #3
    • This is where you close your letter and indicate that you’d like to have an opportunity to talk with the employer about the position or other possible opportunities for you. You can also offer to provide addition information (portfolio, auditions, and referrals) and lastly thank them for their consideration in reading the cover letter and to contact you in the future


The format of the cover letter can apply to most cover letters as there is more than one type. Knowing the different type of cover letters would be easier for you to know what kind of cover letter you want to write to deliver your message through to the employer. There are generally 5 different types of cover letters, including the application letter, networking letter, prospecting letter, referral letter and value proposition letter2.

  • Application: A cover letter written as a response to apply for a specific job opening that was advertised or recommended, stating why you meet their requirements and be fit for the job
  • Networking: This is a cover letter that you send to a contact you were given for advice and assistance on job seeking in hopes that they may be able to recommend you to a company based on your past experience
  • Prospecting: A prospecting cover letter is also known as a letter of interest or cold contact cover letter. This cover letter allows you to inquire about possible job openings at a company that you may qualify in and meet requirements to
  • Referral: If a person, whether it be a family member, friend or acquaintance were to recommend you to work with them, a referral cover letter can be advantageous as it mentions the name of the person who referred the job to you usually before a job has opened
  • Value Proposition: This cover letter is a brief statement of roughly 100-150 words to prove what makes you a unique candidate


Knowing these different types of cover letters may be able to help you when you’re looking and applying for jobs to focus on what needs to be written and also ideas on how to write cover letters in other forms.

1, 2016, The Cover Letter,
2 Doyle, A. 2015, 5 Types of Cover Letters for Jobs,
Doyle, A. 2015, What is the Difference Between a Cover Letter?,
Micah. 2010, 5 Types of Cover Letters,

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April 10th, 2016

Inclusion and diversity have always been fundamental to Accenture’s culture and core values, and a powerful catalyst for success. As such, Accenture is committed to a workplace that recognizes and embraces the unique strengths of different and diverse individuals that bring about exceptional performance - women included.  

Last month, Accenture celebrated diversity, and the importance of encouraging a culture that empowers women on International Women’s Day (IWD) by hosting and live broadcasting a series of discussions around gender equality and advancing opportunities for women.

Accenture has recognized IWD since 2001, and their partnership with IWD this year attests to their long-running involvement with, and commitment to supporting and encouraging women to make the most out of a career in Technology.

More recently, Accenture has set a new goal on their mission of inclusion, diversity and equality by pledging to grow the percentage of their new women hires to 40% by 2017, a concrete effort to increase the number of women in the workforce and the amount of female role models in STEM.

Initiatives in Supporting Women

Access to support in the workplace is paramount in balancing out the gender disparity and helping women in their professional development. The following are a list of Accenture’s existing range of initiatives and programs that help empower women.

  • Women’s mentoring
  • Accenture’s Women’s Network
  • Women’s Local Community
  • Maternity Returners Program
  • Defining Success Forums
  • Employee Resource Groups

“Today, there are more resources, sponsors and supporters of women in the workplace than ever before and these challenges are no longer insurmountable,” says Jane Livesey (Managing Director of Accenture Technology in Australia & New Zealand).

Jane Livesey is just one amongst a larger cohort of women at Accenture who have encouraging stories, and inspirational life lessons to share. 

‘Women in Technology’ series - Graduate Opportunities!

Each year Accenture hosts a ‘Women in Technology’ series, travelling coast to coast around the country hosting a range of events bringing forth inspirational stories from women in the tech industry and from students and graduates.

A recent initiative from the series includes: Women in Tech Insight Day, a day featuring presentations from Software Engineers and attendees, with opportunities for attendees to apply for Accenture’s Graduate Program in Software Engineering. 

Find out more about the Women in Technology events here

Benefits of Workplace Diversity 

Thus far, Accenture has visibly benefitted from their commitment to and implementation of inclusion and diversity, one such benefit being better performance. Marge Magner, Lead Director in Accenture’s Board of Directors comments in her online piece, Performance Improves with Diversity, the importance of having different voices and thinking in an organization.

“Women, when they lead, have a tendency or inclination to be more inclusive. So leading allows for more discussion and more input and more variability of what’s going on in the discussion.”

“Women need to have a place at the table because having people who have different experiences and think differently creates a better result. I do speak with authority on that because I’ve lived it and seen it.”

To find out more about Accenture or opportunities to join their diverse workforce as an intern or graduate, click here.

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QUT IT Society Networking Night

Posted by Andrew Purchas

April 4th, 2016

QUT IT Club and Networking

QUT IT Club & Networking Events

QUT IT Club is a QUT affiliated club that aims to provide members with valuable experiences and social aspects that allow them to network with students, potential employees and industry experts. We host several events each semester for our students. We’re also considered the largest IT Club ran at QUT with an active paying member base of approximately 350 students that study not only IT, but Engineering, Law, Maths and Business disciplines. We have an ever increasing number of female members which is great not only for the IT Industry, but for our club’s diversity and club focus. Students who join our club are usually attracted by the casual networking/social aspect or the experiences and official networking nights that we offer!

This semester so far we have had a very successful PC Building Workshop (sponsored by MSY) and a Social Event which overflowed the two rooms we had booked and a Bar Networking Night which allowed members to network in a more casual, relaxed manner (without getting out of control!). We have an upcoming Networking Event for IT orientated companies offering graduate programs with companies such as Deloitte, Halfbrick, REA and Suncorp expressing interest in attendance!

Regardless of this, we are always looking for companies willing to support us in a variety of ways so that QUT IT can expand and provide more valuable experiences for our students via collaboration. This not only increases awareness of your company to potential graduates but also allows your company direct engagement with our members be it by sponsoring our club, attending Networking Events and collaborating on events that provide experience to our students or even challenge them to hone their abilities. This not only gives companies access to our students, but to a pool of graduates who are extremely interested in IT and motivated enough to gain experience, skills and knowledge that isn’t compulsory to their course, by being an active member of our club. If you’d also like to take a further look at our student reach, feel free to look at our two facebook groups ( & with over 2,800 members and growing.

We are primarily looking for companies and organisations that have a strong investment in the IT Industry that offer graduate programs or hire graduate students. However, we implore all companies interested to contact us regardless. We’re also still looking for a few more companies to attend this semester’s Networking event, ran on the 29th of April at 5pm.

If you are interested in attending our Networking Event, discussing collaboration, sponsorship or have any general enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact me! You can reach me (Jack Buckman) at our club email: [email protected]

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Top100 2017 – Expressions of Interest

Posted by Reshan Perera

March 31st, 2016


The team at GradConnection would like to extend our thanks to those who participated, sponsored and were nominated in the Top100 Awards recently held at The Ivy Ballroom in Sydney. It was a great night and we are excited for 2017!

This brings us to opening the award sponsorships for expressions of interest much earlier than anticipated, due to a high number of enquiries. Further, we have decided to directly involve you in the awards that we will have available for sponsorship.

You asked - we listened!  Now we’d like you to let us know what award – based on the students you are trying to reach – you would like to sponsor.  Or, let us know the students you would like to target.

Email [email protected] by Wednesday 11th May with your award preferences/interests and we will come back to you all with the categories we will be going ahead with.  We've had quite a few responses thus far- thanks to those who got in nice and early!  

We will then be opening the confirmed awards to those of you who show interest in this initial stage before going out to anyone else. If you would like to proceed, we will be seeking confirmation by May 31st.

You will be guaranteed 5 finalists per award and each award will be offered at sponsorship rate of $7,995 (ex GST).  Once your award is locked in, a sponsor pack will be sent to you outlining what is required from you. If you would like an idea ahead of time, please let Rita know using the email above and she will come back to you.

Look forward to hearing from you! 

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GradConnection at Careers Fairs!

Posted by Reshan Perera

March 31st, 2016

Careers Fairs

Graduate careers fair season is finally coming to close which means that majority of us can stop flying around the country and stop living out of suitcases!

2016 saw the trend of employers being increasingly more strategic with the careers fairs they attended continue. Gone are the days where we need to attend 40 fairs in March! This was particularly relevant in Melbourne where the vast majority of universities chose not to host their own careers fairs this year, opting to funnel students into the Melbourne Big Meet at the Crown.

As a result, the Melbourne Big Meet saw a record turnout of students and from the feedback from employers who attended this was the most valuable Big Meet of the season.

Maybe unsurprisingly, the general consensus at many of the careers fairs this year was that there is still an increasing amount of international students attending despite the knowledge that the domestic opportunities available to them are few. As always many of these students approached the GradConnection stand hoping that we could assist.

While we were able to provide advice to many, it was the students who attended the universities who have taken on our International Student Job Portal, GradConnection Campus, that we were able to provide real support to. We’re hoping that GradConnection Campus will be able to provide a real solution to the pressing issue of international student employability.

Finally, our advice to employers is to make sure that each careers fair that you attend is providing you with a strong return. Each careers fair is going to cost you in registration and logistics fees, time and all the additional assistance of past graduates and ambassadors.

Be strategic, select key university fairs and Big Meets to provide bang for your buck. But above all have fun, in the end this is a branding piece more than anything, students will judge an organisation on the representatives that are present!

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