Ideally your search for work results in a successful job interview with your fist employer. But demonstrating that you are the most qualified person for the position is not something that can be accomplished overnight. You can and should begin preparing for success in the years leading up to your first full-time job search.
1. Conduct Some Research
Do you know what employers are looking for when recruiting graduates? Explore the labour market to discover which skills are most in demand. If you are not sure how to do this, ask someone in the campus careers centre. Take note of job openings and try to develop the skills required for positions you want. Consider talking to graduate recruiters at least a year before you are ready to look for a position. Then you will have time to develop yourself into a better job candidate that employers are eager to hire.
You can use the law of supply and demand to your advantage by specializing in an area where not as many qualified candidates are available. By putting yourself forward in areas where graduate recruiters are searching for people they really need, your chances of getting a job are much higher. Companies are also more willing to do the necessary paperwork for international candidates who fill a niche that has a shortage of capable specialists.
2. Gain Work Experience
Local experience is always a great asset when it comes to what employers are looking for when recruiting graduates. Getting the right kinds of experience for your future job is an investment of time that will be extremely valuable in your search for work. Take advantage of part-time or volunteer work opportunities that are related to your field of interest. For international students, whatever experience you can get in the local community will be especially valuable. You may be competing against local applicants for jobs, so it is vital you demonstrate that your communication skills and experience are suited to the Australian context.
Relevant experience will enhance your resume and help you get an interview. It also prepares you for the challenges you will face when you are asked tough questions in the interview process. Be sure to explain what your experience has taught you and how it is relevant to what you will be doing in your new job. You can also ask your supervisor and coworkers to serve as job references for you. Having several local references makes a big difference if you hope to land a job at all.
Build connections with people who will be graduating ahead of you and who are currently working in your career field. These people can serve as helpful guides in your search for work. Ask them to tell you what they learned during their search for work and how they got their position. They may even be able to give you a job recommendation or let you know when a job is about to be advertised.
If you think you lack a good network, there are steps you can take to develop more personal connections. First, you should look for one or more professional associations to join. Most associations hold meetings and conferences where you can expand your circle of contacts. Joining clubs and organisations on campus is another way to meet people with common interests. As you build more relationships you will not only add to your network, you gain people skills which are important in any job.
4. Taking the Steps That Lead to Success
While finding employment may still seem daunting, remember that the careers centre at your university is there to help you. The staff offer international students advice at every step and understand what employers want. You can also improve your odds of success when you search for work by asking which employers have a global presence and are likely to value your international background as an asset rather than a liability.
There are many factors you can influence if you are determined to succeed in your search for work. Understanding the demands of the labour market and matching your skills and experience to the positions that are open will increase your odds of a successful outcome. Combining your skills and assets with a network of personal and professional contacts will also give your search for work a winning edge.
Did you find this article helpful? Please dare to share!