Job Searching Strategy

The employment market is changing at a rapid pace each day. Keeping up to date with trends and expectations often underpins your job search success. To maximise your choices, take both a broad and specific look at the labour market, both locally and internationally.

You are likely to discover opportunities that may surprise you; others may appeal to you, even if they don’t directly relate to the field of your degree. Even so, these jobs may interest you on a professional level.

Building your Soft Skills

Soft Skills are non-technical skills and competencies that contribute to your efficacy in the workplace.  You can develop your own soft skills over time; remember, these are highly sought after by employers.

The following is a list of highly effective skills to help your employability. This is not a definitive list! The most important aspect of soft-skill building is that you follow your interests and gain a variety of experiences in:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Initiative and entrepreneurship
  • Planning and organising
  • Self-management, including time management
  • Using technology and software packages
  • Using social media
  • Learning and upskilling

How can you enhance your employability?

  • Get involved in campus life and extra-curricular activities. This expands your interests and develops employable skills.
  • Place yourself in work experience that builds these soft skills – remember to do it early.
  • Record the skills you gain and activities you undertake. This will help identify your strengths and skills requiring further development. It is also a handy resource for writing your resume or cover letter.
  • Research the skills and qualities that are sought-after by employers within your chosen industry.
  • Connect with Careers and keep on top of what employers are looking for. Careers can help generate new ideas for enhancing your skills and experience and help you make sure you’re highlighting these effectively in your applications.

Building your Experience

Gaining experience in any workplace is valuable to your future career. Graduate employers look favourably on candidates who have already entered the workforce and developed some soft yet transferable skills. These skills could be communication and teamwork. Experience in retail and hospitality may provide you an environment to build these skills. However, think about leveraging this experience into your desired career workplace.

Internships

An internship is a special student or trainee position who is working for work experience or for course credit. The intern who is doing productive must derive a benefit from the arrangement.

Employers regard internships as the best way to assess the employability of students attempting to enter the workforce. Internships add relevant experience to your degree, which is valuable to graduate employers. They help you clarify your career and academic goals by exposing you to new companies, technologies, and positions. Internships are an excellent opportunity to build and strengthen your professional network. In some cases, this leads to part-time, full-time or graduate employment.

GBCA cooperates with companies from different industries to provide internships opportunities and part-time jobs for students.

HOSTING COMPANY INDUSTRIES

  • Airline and aerospace services
  • Real estate & property development
  • Architectural design
  • Information Technology
  • Media & communication
  • Corporate travel

Volunteering

Volunteering is giving your time for the benefit of others in need. Though unpaid, your work enriches the community and can extend your professional network with many like-minded people from all walks of life. Volunteering has many benefits, such as:

  • Giving you an opportunity to work on your values, passions and interests
  • Make new friendships and create professional networks
  • Gain work experience and learn new skills
  • Enjoy new social and cultural experiences
  • Develop your personal skills and build confidence
  • Enjoy better physical and mental health; studies show volunteering makes us healthier and happier
  • Challenge yourself in a supportive environment
  • Feel good about helping your community
  • Using volunteering as a pathway to join a not-for-profit board
  • Have fun!

Volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer. Just a few hours of volunteer work can make a world of difference to your happiness and mood!

How to start volunteering

Sometimes people ‘fall into’ volunteering without much effort – they may start volunteering at their local sports club, for example. Other times, people make a conscious decision to volunteer and then face the challenge of how to start. Here are some steps you can take as you embark on your volunteer journey:

  1. Decide that you want to contribute to your community by helping those in need.
  2. Think about your skills and interests—which of these would you most like to use, improve or obtain in your volunteering activities?
  3. Contact your local Volunteer Resource Centre.
  4. Search for and read about the various roles. Choose those you like.
  5. Contact the organisation/s to indicate your interest. Find out how to apply for available volunteer positions.

If you don’t think you can contribute, think laterally. A communications major may undertake pro bono publicity work or media training for a chosen organisation. An engineering student could help construct machines or playgrounds for in-need children. UC Community Volunteering: https://www.canberra.edu.au/unihub/workgroups/community-volunteering–uc

Global experience

As a student studying University of Canberra course in Melbourne, you have the chance to study overseas as part of your degree.  Whether it’s through a Study Abroad program, a cultural exchange or short-term program, there are many different opportunities to suit your interests. You can also vary the time you wish to spend away. More information about UC Study abroad programs: https://www.canberra.edu.au/current-students/study-abroad

Networking

About 80% of positions are uncovered and filled via networking. You won’t find these jobs advertised on the usual career websites. This is also known as the ‘hidden job market’. These jobs are “advertised” via word of mouth or referrals. Networking is all about being a well-connected professional. And in a world where the majority of jobs aren’t advertised at all, networking is a vital skill for your future career.

Tips from networking experts

Networking is about leaving a good impression stemming from an attitude of “giver’s gain” – you give in order to gain, not the other way around. This means you must follow some essential points of etiquette while networking:

  • If you are going to use someone’s name (a contact) to introduce yourself to another person, always be sure that you have his or her permission to do so.
  • If you want to connect with someone, do not use an unintroduced, “cold approach” – this assumes your time is more valuable than your potential colleagues’.
  • Don’t turn up to a workplace unannounced. It’s not advisable to make contact with people without a referral. Consider networking at employer events and seminars to make contacts.
  • If you do secure a meeting, prepare some intelligent questions. Are you there for occupational information, help, or future contacts? Ask questions that will make a good impression – don’t make the other party do all the work.
  • Keep in touch with your contacts, but don’t harass them! Again, this really boils down to being polite and friendly at all times. For example, you might send a brief email to let them know about a public lecture or seminar they might be interested in – and make it clear that no reply is required so you do not put demands on their time.
  • Be highly selective about when and why you contact your network: spamming a contact via your personal email lists is the quickest way to sever the connection.
  • Returning favours and being open to help others will expand your network immeasurably. When assistance comes, it may not be from an expected source. You need to be mindful of this as you deal with people in a whole range of life contacts.
  • Always send a thank you email or personalised LinkedIn request to anyone who takes the time to spend time with you. Keep the tone pleasant and businesslike – but don’t grovel. This is about being genuine and authentic. The message could include updates on progress you’ve made as a result of your meeting. Keep it personal and professional.
  • Join a local business network – many local councils run their own business networking events.

Graduate programs

Graduate programs are graduate entry positions offered by enterprise-level businesses. These organisations have the human and financial resources to provide more structured support and guidance to selected graduates. Many organisations, along with state and federal government agencies, offer formal graduate programs.

Entering a graduate program is great way to start your career, as they generally include formal training, mentoring and rotations within key business areas. Recruits are considered future leaders in the organisation. These graduates can gain access to opportunities over employees who have entered after graduation.

Recruitment generally begins early in your final year of study. Early entry to some programs links to vacation and internship opportunities. Most employers accept applications from students one to two years following graduation, so if you don’t succeed on your first attempt, simply try again the following year.

Many employers use the following sites and events to advertise their graduate and vacation programs: