Essential Tips for Graduate Job Search Success

If this is your final year of study and you hope to be working in a graduate position next year, there are several things you need to be doing between now and the end of the year.

Start early

Many graduate employers start the recruiting process in the first semester. Visit your university’s careers service, get registered on the jobs database and learn how to participate in graduate recruitment programs. Check the university careers website and any jobs bulletins often to keep up to date on the latest employer information sessions, careers fairs and job search workshops.

Identify career paths

Find out where graduates in your major subject area have become employed. Visit the careers service to look at graduate destination reports or access them online via Grad Jobs and Dollars.

Identify your skills, values and interests

If you haven’t done so already, ask if any self-assessment tools are available to help you learn more about yourself – for example, GCA’s Your Career and You publication, CareerQuest, Future Selves, Card Sorts and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Explore all career options

Browse through your the careers service resource library at your college to research companies, check out scholarships opportunities, consider postgraduate study or work overseas. Visit the Graduate Opportunities website.

Get work experience

If you haven’t had the chance to gain much work experience, consider doing so now. Look at working part time or volunteering to get the experience you need. Talk over any skills gaps with a careers advisor and make a plan to develop the required skills.

Balance your life

Employers look for all-rounders with interpersonal and social skills as well as technical and/or academic skills. Get involved in activities other than study – join a club, take up a sport or hobby, work in the community, tutor college students, volunteer around campus, become involved in student radio or the student newspaper. Find something you’re interested in and do it!

Prepare for job applications and interviews

Don’t wait until you find the ‘perfect’ job. Start preparing a basic résumé and learning interview skills now. Look for career workshops, pick up handouts, look at resource books and watch videos. Get a careers advisor to check your résumé and role-play an interview.

Meet the players

Attend careers fairs and employer information sessions. Some are held on campus, others are off campus. Times vary from lunchtime to evening presentations. Find out what employers are looking for and identify the ones you are most interested in.

Exploring career opportunities can be fun and exciting if you don’t leave everything to the last minute. Avoid stress by taking the advice above and starting your preparation now.

Don’t hesitate to ask your university careers services staff for help at any stage of the process – that’s what they’re there for!

(This article was written by the Careers Advisory Service at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. While it was originally developed for a New Zealand audience, we believe that graduates in Australia will also find the information relevant and useful.)

Further Resources

Graduate Opportunities

Victoria University of Wellington
Check out the excellent resources available on the Victoria University of Wellington’s Careers homepage


Future Selves