Experiencing Student Life in Melbourne, Australia: An International Student's Guide

Job Hunting Tips for Graduates

With Sarah Felice, Career Coach and Transition Expert

We were lucky enough to have UC alumna Sarah Felice, career coach and transition expert, talk to our students a couple of years back. She offered some timeless and sound advice about job hunting and networking which we thought we’d share with our extended community in case it may be beneficial. Sarah has 15 years’ experience as a Career Coach as well as 7 years’ experience in graduate recruitment, including 4 years running graduate recruitment for one of the global accounting firms. Sarah is a specialist in how the job market works and she coaches people about how to create the best possible job search. Be sure to give her a follow on LinkedIn au.linkedin.com/in/sarahfelice

Here are some of Sarah’s top tips for Graduates who are job hunting:

1. Network, connect and get market intelligence from reliable sources

Talk to people about what’s happening in their company, industry and market. You will soon discover what is really happening – who has opportunities and where to focus. Networking is how you access the hidden job market which accounts for about 60-70% of the actual job market. Do your research as well – understand the real statistics and data from organisations like IBIS world.

Get your information from credible sources and not from Amanda on Facebook or Joe next door. If people make statements or give you information that they can’t back up, don’t give it any credibility. Remember that Graduate Recruitment into large corporations only accounts for 4% of Graduate roles so don’t focus only on those.

2. Connect with the right graduate resources

This includes Grad Connection and Prosple (formerly Grad Australia) which together list the key graduate recruiters and opportunities and also hold online seminars, and have really useful articles about every subject you need to know about now. For example, choosing your future employer, standing out from the crowd, acing assessment days, etc.

Make sure you also link with the careers advisors at Melbourne University (or wherever you are at university) and the careers online portal if you haven’t already. Don’t forget that graduate recruitment is a two-way process. While you need to impress, the firms also need to impress you and they don’t ever lose sight of that.

3. Have a great resume that stands out

The market is more competitive, so your resume needs to be good and it needs to stand out. The first page needs to demonstrate clearly who you are, what you offer – your unique skills and capabilities – and a summary of your experience in a way that makes the reader either want to read on or want to interview you or both.

Remember, if you put it out there and you don’t get a response (after a reasonable number of applications) it’s not working and you need to take another look at it.

4. Have a Linked In profile

If you are not on Linked In, you’re missing out on an opportunity to promote yourself, access opportunities, connect and build a network and do quite a bit of important research. Linked In is a fundamental job search tool. You can connect with people you’d like to network with (such as UC alumni) and find people who work in companies you want to work for.

To build a good profile, have a look at Sue Ellson linkedin.com/in/sueellson who is a leading expert in Linked In. Take a look at her articles to find one she wrote for Graduates. Click on Activity – Articles – ‘LinkedIn for Students and Future Graduates’ published on January 20, 2020. Everything on her page is helpful.

Feel free to connect with Sarah if you are an Arts Graduate and want help with knowing how to talk to future employers about the benefits of a BA, she can help you with that!

5. Believe in yourself

Work on your mindset. Your mind is your most powerful tool in your job search. Be careful of what you allow in, who you talk to, what you read or listen to and what you say to yourself. It’s often the difference between failure and success. Use this time to listen to great podcasts, follow successful people on Facebook and/or Instagram, read positive books and fill your mind with only good stuff.

Be kind to yourself, don’t watch the news (it’s mostly negative), don’t talk to negative people, be really careful of what you look at on social media. I’m finding good comedy on social media is one of the best gifts to myself at the end of each day.

Remember that there are always opportunities for those who work for them. I am often asked what is the number one attribute for success in a job search. My answer is easy. Persistence. It trumps everything.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill.

Two people collaborating on writing a resume