Graduate season open but are you prepared?

Posted by Luana Latham

Graduate season open but are you prepared?

Open Season

The graduate recruitment season has started with many recognized and innovative companies starting their search for Australia’s best and brightest talent to join their workforce.

You’ve finished years of study, let your hair down over the summer but now the hard work really begins. It can be overwhelming to think about what company you would like to join, in what industry, in what role and how will all these decisions impact your career and life further down the track?! Instead of just applying for everything and anything and hoping for the best, it’s important to give some considered thinking to these points as you can bet your HECS debt that many employers will want to know why you want to join their company, why do you want to pursue a career in their industry and why specifically do you want this role and what your longer term career aspirations are.

Consider the tips below so that you are well prepared before you submit that application or head out to that interview.

1. Is your resume up to scratch?

Spell check is your friend, make sure you use it! Keep it short and sweet – include your education and work experience but limit your resume to just a few pages. Your essay writing days are over (well at least for the moment!).

2. Clean up your online presence.

Reputation is everything. Drunk photos of Facebook from Friday night is probably not the best thing for your potential employer to see, so clean up your profile or change your privacy settings and be smart about what you share and with whom.

3. Why are you applying for this role and with this particular company?

(Companies want to feel the love. They want to know that you are serious about working with them and wanting to have a long term career with them and not just hoping to get any old job).

4. How do you see this graduate role fitting into your longer-term career plan?

(Companies want to feel that you have a life plan and direction. It may not be solid yet and a graduate program might be a way of evaluating which direction you want to go in) but they want to know that you have thought logically and longer term especially seeing as they are planning to invest a lot of time and money in training and developing you over the years)

5. Dress for success.

There’s a saying: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. So, make sure you are well presented for your interview. If you have a suit, wear it otherwise make sure you are dressed as a professional businessperson.

6. Listen. Think. Respond.

In an interview situation, listen to the questions you are being asked. Take a moment to think about what the interviewer is trying to find out and then form a clear and concise answer that addresses the specific question. Try to calm your nerves and not ramble.

7. Research and ask intelligent questions.

Show that you are really interested in the company by researching their website and asking well thought out and intelligent questions. It shows you are keen and are taking an active interest in the company.

8. Show your strengths but don’t hog the limelight.

Many employers will hold group assessments or interviews where you will be working (and competing) against other graduates usually by completing a group task or project. Show your strengths, speak up if you have something to say but don’t talk over others or come across as a ‘know it all’. Be a team player and support others in the process whilst communicating your ideas and strengths in a diplomatic and unthreatening way.

9. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

It’s a competitive world with lots of enthusiastic and talented graduates. If you didn’t get that job you went for, then stop, consider your options and don’t lose confidence. Look at what other similar companies, industries or jobs might be available and apply again for the next job.

10. Learn from your experience.

Whether you have been successful or not in getting that great sounding graduate job, take a moment to think about your experience and what you have learnt from it. Could you have improved your interview skills? Your communication skills? What have you learnt from years of study or part time work that will help you prepare for the road you are about to travel. Learn from your experiences and make sure you take time to enjoy them!


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