Our 7 tips for International Graduates: Getting your first job

You’ve finally completed your degree congratulations!

Now it’s time to put your hard-earned qualifications into action and find employment in your chosen career. If you plan on working in Australia, this guide will assist with your job search, help sharpen your interview skills and help you land that perfect job.

1

Begin The Search

The first step is to look for job openings, but where should you begin? Popular websites such as SEEK* have a vast directory of jobs in Australia. Social network sites such as LinkedIn allow you to build a professional identity, make connections with others in your field, and possibly get some referrals. Signing up to a recruitment agency may be helpful, where agents can find roles that best suit your qualifications. Lastly, declare to the world that you are job hunting. You never know where a job may come from, so let your housemate, neighbour and friendly shopkeeper know that you are on the lookout.

2

Review Your CV

So, did you find some interesting jobs to apply for?
Now it’s time to send off your CV. Guidelines for what makes an acceptable CV are different in each country. Australian employers prefer it to be no more than 2-3 pages - any longer might turn them off. Carefully consider the position you are applying for, and tailor your CV to suit the job. Make sure the layout is clear, simple and that there are no written errors. It’s a good idea to ask a native English speaker to check your spelling and grammar before sending your CV to future employers. It’s encouraged to include a brief cover letter as well, introducing yourself and highlighting your most relevant skills and experience.

3

Preparation Is The Key

Just as you studied for uni exams, a little interview preparation can go a long way. Write down a list of possible questions you might be asked, and carefully consider how you would answer each one. Don’t memorise your answers – you don’t want to sound like a recorded message! Find a supportive friend who is willing to run through questions with you as practice. This is a particularly useful exercise if English isn’t your first language, and will help you gain confidence for the interview.

4

Local Knowledge, Local Experience

You have a valuable commodity: an Australian tertiary education. It means that your professional training is local and relevant, which can improve your career prospects in this country. Highlight your Australian degree in your CV and discuss your university experience in interviews. As a new graduate, you may not have had much work experience in your field yet. Perhaps you had a casual or part-time job during your studies. Don’t worry if your previous work wasn’t related to your chosen career, holding down a job while studying shows that you are committed and hardworking. Focus on the experience you gained during university internships and practicums, which gave you useful insights into the Australian job market.

5

First Impressions Count

Make no mistake – the first five minutes of an interview are crucial. Walk into the interview room with confidence (even if you’re shaking inside!). It’s appropriate to greet your interviewer by firmly shaking hands - save hugs and kisses for friends! In Australia, maintaining eye contact indicates that you are listening and engaged in the conversation. Remember to smile – it shows that you’re a friendly person and someone who will work well with others. Australians generally don’t mind a little small talk before getting down to business so don’t be afraid to share a little about yourself… but don’t overshare! Always keep the conversation appropriate and professional.

6

Become The Interviewer

It’s a great idea to research as much as you can about the company beforehand. During the interview, bring up specific things that you admire and ways in which your expertise could benefit the company. Prepare some of your own questions to ask about the company and the position, showing you are both proactive and interested.

7

Don’t Forget To Follow Up

If you haven’t heard back from the company after a few days, give them a call and politely enquire about the position. If you miss out on the job, ask for feedback - this may guide you for future interviews. There are dozens of reasons why you might not be selected for a specific job, so don’t be discouraged. Job seeking is a process, and every interview will bring you a little closer to landing a successful and fulfilling job in Australia.

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