Top 10 Employability Tips from a Graduate Recruiter

By February 7, 2018Employment Skills

Are you graduating?

If you answered yes, then you’re likely to fall into one of two groups including (but not limited to) “those who know exactly what they want to do” and “those that have no idea.” Regardless of which group you fall in and whether or not you are chasing your dream job or simply looking to apply your newfound skills, this article is for you.

Fortunate to have established a rewarding career and business in the world of graduate employment, this article shares my top 10 tips that will put you in a league of your own when it comes to graduate employability.

Our top 10 tips for graduate employment are:

1. Experience Experience Experience
We all know EXPERIENCE IS KING when it comes to graduate employability.
Take action with the following steps:

Normally last 2-3 months (part-time) in duration, Internships are one of the most popular
ways for student and graduates to gain experience and apply their skills.

Micro Contracting
Advertise your services free through job marketplaces and directories including sites
like; Airtasker, Gumtree, Facebook groups, noticeboards and freelancer.

Volunteering with charity
Charities are always looking for an extra set of hands, just be clear on the type of
the experience you’d like to have to make sure it’s relevant to your area of interest.

Approach your employer
Most students and graduates miss often miss the opportunity to approach their current employer for experience. The easiest way to do this is offer to complete work outside your normal hours at your own expense.

Your personal network
Don’t just reach out your own friends. Often times your parents will have great connections in their immediate or extended network, it’s simply a matter of asking them to make an introduction for you or getting permission to contact their friends directly.

Start a business
Australia’s small business & startup community is growing rapidly, now is the perfect time to set up a business and provide the flexible support and great services these business need to grow.

Graduate programs
Graduate opportunities are offered by most large companies and government departments. If you haven’t applied for any graduate programs jump online and find graduate employer directories and get going.

2. Invest In Yourself (DAILY)
Investing in expanding your knowledge about yourself, others and the world around you is something few people ever do.

Examples of tools you can use or access to improve in this area include; biographies, seminars, books, audio programs, vlogs (video blogs), podcasts, coaches, training courses, blogs & networking groups.

Take action with the following steps:

  • Read the book 17 Laws of Success – Napoleon Hill (then read it again)
  • Complete free self-assessments & psychometrics assessments free online (be sure to include the results in your resume)
  • Include any and all self-improvement activities in your resume (under professional development)
  • Take any books/discuss any professional development (where appropriate) at interviews

3. Engage Your Industry
Show your prospective employers you’re passionate and engaged in your industry. Ways you can get involved in your industry include:

  • Join or get involved with industry associations, peak bodies, member organisations
  • Read articles, journals & social media to stay informed about relevant news
  • Write white papers on relevant news/events
  • Create & post information on your personal blog
  • Follow industry/thought leaders

4. Quit Your Part Time Job
You probably don’t know it but your part-time job is hurting your employability. Seriously.

If your part-time job isn’t offering the pathway into the career you want or at least an opportunity to apply your tertiary skills – leave immediately. Use your time to gain relevant industry experience (refer to points 1 & 3).

5. Live With Clarity
People are attracted to those that know where they are going – plain & simple.

With most people spending more time planning their holidays than what they want for their lives, sitting down for 5-10 minutes (each day) to get clarity about your direction in life and career is vital to your health, wealth & happiness. This is particularly relevant for all stages of job hunting as employers want you to be able to communicate (both written & verbally), what specifically interests you about the role and how it fits in with your future plan.

Action steps – be sure to clearly communicate your career direction in your cover letter and personal statement (resume) with details on how each position fits into your plan.

6. Pick Up The Telephone
Recruiters see hundreds of resumes a week. Give your application a face – pick up the phone.

Despite the growing ways to connect & communicate in our fast-paced modern world, telephone & face to face are still the fastest, most effective ways to build & maintain lasting relationships.

7. Apply Apply Apply
When applying for employment, consistency, quality and follow-ups are essential. Add structure to those long days by applying a simple schedule:

Action steps:

  • Treat each day as if you were being paid for it
  • Get out of the house. Work from your local library or cafe where possible
  • Keep a spreadsheet and diary to track ALL of your applications.

8. Be Visible
Use social media to your advantage and grow your presence and professional profile online.

Action steps:

  • Set up a LinkedIn page
  • Build a personal website
  • Create career only accounts on social media
  • Include all social media links clearly on resume (contact information)
  • Create a digital/visual portfolio summarising your experience (PDF format)

9. Upskill
It’s no secret, the job market can be tough.

To ensure you stand out in an increasingly competitive world, broaden your experience and skill set wherever & whenever you can.

Action steps:

  • Look at typical jobs in your industry – identify skill gaps
  • Teach yourself new skills with online tutorials (free on youtube)
  • Take short courses
  • Learn Microsoft Office to an intermediate level
  • Have friends and family teach you skills where possible)

10. Stand Out From The Crowd
After qualifications & experience comes cultural fit. You’ve got the skills and experience, now it’s time to help the business picture you in the role.

Action steps:

  • Handwritten letters sent to the hiring manager before or after an application or interview. Find free examples online.
  • Video resumes – Everyone loves video, why not record your application and send digitally.
  • Dress for success – Study the dress code of your prospective employer & copy it.
  • Take a hiring manager out for coffee
  • Courier your applications & ensure hiring manager signs on delivery (the going rate in Melbourne is around $8.95).
  • Keep in contact – Regardless of the outcome of your application, if you are genuinely interested in the role, ask the hiring manager for permission to keep in touch every 3-6 months to stay informed of future opportunities.

Industry Placements Australia is a specialist internship & graduate recruitment agency based in Melbourne, however, manage placements throughout Australia.

1300 729 501

Leave a Reply