Student to student advice on the graduate recruitment process.
Phase 1: Be prepared and get to know yourself
• Think about the kind of work you have done so far and enjoyed – why did you enjoy it?
• Ask yourself what you would like to be doing (if you need ideas ask family and friends what job they could imagine you doing)
• Prepare an ‘elevator’ speech – this is being able to introduce yourself in an interesting way in the time it takes to ride a few floors up in an elevator
Prepare a basic CV (to be modified and targeted at a later stage)
• Make it short and to the point (2 pages)
• Include volunteer work
• Don’t just list jobs say what skills you learnt from them
• Attend a CV workshop at Vic Careers and get your CV checked
Clean up your personal appearance
• Check what comes up on Google about you (use a random computer) and change/delete if you need to. Employers are likely to check.
• Look employable on Facebook and other social media
• Have a professional email address and voicemail
• Get a professional haircut and even plan an outfit
(side note: – professional does not mean boring!)
Phase 2: Researching suitable Employers
Attend Careers Expos and Employer presentations
Talk to the employers and ask questions
Make a note of the clothes they wear and the language they use
Search employer websites
Phase 3: The Application Process
I’m going to be honest with you, the application process sucks! It can be very time-consuming and disheartening but it’s a good learning curve. At best you will be offered lots of jobs and at worse none! However you will know yourself better and be prepared for the next time. Just do it! Apply!
• Check you fit the criteria before applying
• Have someone proof read your application
• Tailor your basic CV. Include company values in your applications (you should have learnt about these in phase 2)
• Use your (now) professional voicemail if it is an inappropriate time to take their call and ring back promptly when you are ready
• Treat all incoming calls professionally
• Sound enthusiastic when you talk to them. They want to hear in your voice that you want the job
• Put aside time to do practice tests
• If you are applying to multiple companies do the ones you are least interested in first as practice
• Do the tests at your most engaged time of the day and in a place where you wont be disturbed
• Be prepared with paper, pen, calculator and online dictionary
• If you can’t answer a question, move on – the clock is ticking
• Go with your gut feeling on psychometric tests. Don’t over analyse
Face to face interview or workshop
Congratulations you look good on paper, sound good on the telephone, passed their tests and now they want to meet you in person! The majority of doing well at this stage is based on planning. Make sure you look the part and have done the other steps and you should be fine, or you won’t be (one of the two!).
• Be prepared with practice interview questions from Vic Careers
• Get a good night’s sleep
• Dress for the part and feel comfortable. If you haven’t the finances to buy an outfit then the charity ‘Dress for Success’ can help women, which they did for me.
• Arrive early for the interview
• Ask the interviewer relevant, insightful questions
• Be enthusiastic
Phase 4: The Outcome
If you don’t get offered the job, ask them why. This way you know where to improve. If you do get offered, that’s awesome. Make sure you read over the contract before you accept it.
This is my collection of advice – hope it helps.
Written by a Victoria University BCom Information Studies and e-Commerce graduate who is about to start her graduate role at KPMG.