Finding a graduate job can sometimes seem like a challenging task, it can feel daunting knowing where to start, where to find the best jobs and in today’s climate it can feel like securing your dream job is unachievable.
After leaving university and it’s structured ways of learning behind, it’s completely normal if you feel a bit lost when it comes to applying to graduate jobs on your own.
However, after having put in the hard work and commitment to completing your degree, job hunting should be an exciting next step in your life and you deserve to show potential employers all your experience, qualifications and skills to secure an amazing graduate job.
Whilst job hunting may initially seem scary and hard, when you know the right techniques to implement it can be successful and enjoyable.
We’ve put together our top 10 job hunting tips for graduates to help you enjoy the experience and ensure each of your applications are as strong as possible.
Job hunting in Australia and job hunting Sydney and in need of job application tips? Check out our top job-hunting tips for graduates below…
1. Have a rough idea of the role and industry you want to apply to
One of the most important graduate job hunting tips, is to spend some time thinking about the type of role and industry that you want to work in.
It can be hard initially knowing what graduate role is right for you, so to help you have more of an idea, it’s a useful to think about factors such as:
- What aspects/modules did you enjoy during your degree course
- Where your skillset lies
- Hobbies you enjoy/ particular passions in life
- What motivates you
- The type of working environment you work best in
It’s ok if after thinking about the above aspects you’re still unsure of the exact role, but considering what you enjoy doing, what you’ll be best at and what job would motivate you is a good start to finding a role and company that you’ll suit.
After having worked in your first or couple of graduate jobs, you’ll begin to learn what you enjoy and what you don’t so much in a role and can use this going forward to have more of an idea of your career plan.
So don’t stress if you don’t find your dream career in your first graduate job, you will find it overtime, but it is important to find a graduate role that interests you and that you’ll enjoy.
Our top tip – Reach out to your network
Another way to find out more about an industry and role is to reach out to your connections.
Have a chat with friends and family and find out more about their graduate jobs, from how they got into the role, how they’re finding their job and what they enjoy.
If you have a similar personality and interests to a connection, this is a useful way to determine if a graduate job will be suited to you.
2. Know what you want from a graduate job
Before applying to any au jobs, it’s also important to consider the aspects you want from a graduate job and a future company.
Whilst it may seem tempting to take the first graduate job that comes your way, you may discover you are unhappy with certain aspects later down the line and may leave prematurely.
Have a criteria in mind that you want from your ideal graduate job. To help make one, consider factors such as:
- The minimum salary you’re willing to take
- What the progression of the role is like
- Opportunities for further training
- The office culture
- The location of the role and costs of living in the area
- If the company and it’s product interest you
Having a job criteria is a useful way to narrow down the graduate jobs to apply to, and discussing this criteria in an interview is also attractive to employers, demonstrating that you have certain expectations and goals from a role and company and won’t be willing to take any graduate job.
3. Spend time boosting your employability
If you find you’re often lacking in experience when it comes to the graduate jobs you’re interested in, don’t apply for the role anyway knowing you don’t meet the requirements.
Instead, put your time and energy into upskilling and boosting your employability.
Whether it’s returning to education to complete a masters, completing an internship or taking part in a free online course, have a look at what you need to do in order to meet the requirements of the graduate roles.
It can feel disheartening to not having the required experience and skills for your ideal graduate job, but there are always way to boost your employability and make your applications more attractive to employers.
If you want to boost your applications by taking part in a free online course, visit our blog for some of the best free online courses for students and graduates.
4. Create a standout graduate CV and cover letter
One of our top job-hunting tips for fresh graduates applying to au jobs, is to make sure you have an up-to-date and standout graduate CV and cover letter.
Most jobs will require you to submit a CV and cover letter, and this is your first chance to impress an employer and ultimately what progressing to the next stage of a job depends on.
Spend some time building a CV that sells yourself in the best way possible, include your education results, hobbies and interests, previous work experience, skills, and any software you’re experienced with.
If you’re applying to more creative roles, also be sure to spend some time making your CV look attractive, there are plenty of free CV templates to download online.
Be as concise as possible and avoid rambling on your CV, it should be no longer than two A4 pages – you want an employer to easily be able to see your skills and qualifications and not have to look hard to find them.
Our top tip: Tailor your CV and cover letter to each role
It’s important to tailor your CV and cover letter to each role you’re applying for. Whilst this may seem time consuming, making small changes can help employers instantly see you’re a great match for their role.
Here are some ways to tailor your applications:
- Do your research on the role and company to find out exactly what they’re looking for, visit their website and social media pages to gauge their tone of voice, company culture and what current employees are like.
- Study the job description carefully and emphasize on your CV the skills that are required of the role, demonstrating where you’ve developed and used these qualities in situations.
- Add in a sentence into your personal profile section that shows you want to work for a company type similar to theirs, such as: ‘an enthusiastic graduate now looking for start-up opportunities’
- Study the job description carefully for buzz words and include these if not already on your CV/cover letter, for example if they’re looking for experience in a particular software etc.
5. Boost your LinkedIn profile
Another of our top job hunting strategies, is to make sure you have an impressive LinkedIn profile.
Many recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary research tool, so it’s essential that your LinkedIn profile is professional, sleek and showcases all your achievements.
Don’t be afraid to sing your own praises on your profile, this is your opportunity to list everything you’ve accomplished and sell yourself to potential employers.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is professional, you have a strong personal profile and you’ve listed your relevant previous experience mentioning any skills/qualifications.
Our top tip – Be an active LinkedIn member
To really catch the eye of recruiters and hiring managers it’s useful to be an active member on LinkedIn.
Re-share any interesting articles you’ve read and share your opinion on them, share any personal updates, whether you’ve completed an online course, partaken in any relevant work experience or activities and what you learnt from them.
This is a great way to showcase your personality to recruiters more than you can do through a CV/cover letter.
6. Be realistic about your targets
It may sound obvious, but once you’ve implemented the above job hunting tips for students and graduates and you’re ready to apply for graduate au jobs, it’s important to set aside time for your applications.
If you’re a recent university graduate and have all the time on your hands to apply for jobs, it may be tempting to job hunt 24/7.
However, applying to jobs can be time consuming and hard-work, so it’s useful to designate a few hours per day to applying. This way you don’t risk burning yourself out and taking a long break from applying.
Or, if you’re applying to graduate jobs whilst in full-time employment, make sure to organise your schedule and designate a few hours a day to applying also.
Applying for jobs can feel like a full-time job, so it’s hard to manage this on top of a current job, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but set achievable goals, such as “I’m going to applying to one job every evening”.
Our top tip – Keep track of all your applications
It’s easy to sometimes lose track of the jobs you’ve applied to, so it’s a useful idea to create a spreadsheet and log where you’ve applied to, the date you applied, the status of each job and any action you need to take.
If a company hasn’t got back to you in a while, you can then see who to send a follow up email to.
7. Register to a recruitment agency
Applying to graduate jobs can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task to take on by yourself, a useful way to share some of this responsibility and to seek job hunting help is to sign up to a recruitment agency.
Once you register with Give A Grad A Go, you’ll receive help every step of the way with your job applications, from helping you decide what graduate career is best suited to you, to receiving job match emails as soon as a job you’re a great fit for comes through, to graduate CV tips and interview preparation.
Our top tip: Be professional from the start
It’s important to approach a recruitment agency as you would an employer and communicate in a professional and appropriate manner. Building great relationships with your recruitment consultants goes a long way in helping you secure a graduate role.
8. Actively look for job postings and contact companies directly
In today’s competitive job market, one of our top graduate job hunting tips is to look for vacancies in less well-known places.
Don’t solely rely on job boards and recruiters, but research companies online that you are interested in working for and look at their careers section on the website for any open vacancies.
Our top tip – Don’t be afraid to reach out to companies directly
If a company doesn’t have a careers section, find an email address and contact them directly to enquire about an graduate roles, this demonstrates to employers you have great initiative and it’s a good way to apply for roles that don’t already have hundreds of applications.
You never know a company could be thinking of hiring before posting a job advert, and by contacting them directly you’ve grabbed their attention and got ahead of the game.
9. Prepare for each interview and do your research on the role
To successfully secure a graduate role, it’s crucial to standout against the competition and make a great impression during an interview.
Key to impressing an employer in an interview, is spending time preparing for each interview. Research the company and the role thoroughly, read through the job description and highlight the key skills and values mentioned.
In your interview answers, make sure to mention these required skills and provide evidence to show where you’re previously obtained and developed these skills/qualifications.
One of the best interview tips is to prepare answers to some common interview questions, this is a great way to get used to some of the generic interview questions you may be asked and to practice promoting yourself and your qualities.
For more useful ways to prepare for graduate job interviews, check out our blog for how to stand out in an interview.
Our top tip – Follow up each interview with a thank you note
A great way to leave a good lasting impression on an employer and to show you’re serious and passionate about their role, is to send a thank you email to the interviewers a day after your interview.
It may seem like a small act, but expressing your gratitude and re-confirming your interest in the role is a great way to show you have a great attitude and can help give your application the edge.
10. Learn from each application
Your graduate job hunt will most likely never be all plain sailing, there’s likely to be bumps in the road and you may be rejected from roles and miss out on securing a graduate job you really wanted.
To avoid falling at the same hurdles and to make your applications even stronger, it’s beneficial to ask for feedback from recruiters and hiring managers on why you didn’t secure the role and what you could do to improve.
Listen to their advice and implement it to your next applications, perhaps your CV needed a bit of polishing or you needed to prepare more for interviews, whatever aspect you need to work on make sure to take criticism constructively and put it into action.
Our top tip – Don’t be too hard on yourself
Applying for jobs can be an intense task and constant rejections can take a toll on your mental health.
It’s important to celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small, whether it’s finishing your graduate CV, applying to the job you said you would in a day or securing an interview.
Try to focus on yourself and to not compare yourself to others, everyone is in their own lane and time frame when it comes to graduate jobs.
By implementing the right techniques and preparing in the right ways you will secure your ideal graduate job in your own time.