By Alex Hargreaves
Companies are recruiting now for their 2017 graduate intake
To all our final year students, it probably feels like you have lots of time left for your job hunt. While this may be true for some, for those wanting to land a job at Australia’s biggest companies (think the big 4 accounting firms, government departments and multi-brand conglomerates like Colgate and Nestle), you need to start preparing for the graduate recruitment process now.
If you leave your future career decisions until just before or after you graduate, you run the risk of missing out on a great opportunity. Graduate programs are fantastic as they offer well paid positions with rotational opportunities usually lasting 12 months, meaning you rotate through different departments within the organisation and gain a broader understanding of how each area contributes to the overall success of the organisation. It will also enable you to figure out what area is best suited to your skill set. If you are successful upon completing the graduate program, most companies will allow you to choose what area you enjoyed working in the most and offer you a position based on your choice, depending on operational requirements. Another great benefit of graduate programs is that they offer extensive training and mentoring to the successful candidate. The aim of the program is to prepare you as thoroughly as possible to work competently within the organisation.
Often, recruiters for graduate programs will employ students that have already been a part of their vacation program. Vacation programs run during the major holiday periods throughout the year and are a perfect opportunity for penultimate year (and sometimes first year) students to get a head start in the employment race.
Application closing dates differ depending on which recruiter you are interested in, but some companies will want you to submit your application as early as March. Other employers recruit all throughout the year. It’s important to keep track of the due dates for all of the companies you are interested in through sites like GraduateOpportunities and GradConnection.
Unfortunately, in most cases these positions are only open to Australian and New Zealand residents. For more information on opportunities for international students, please see this page from GraduateOpportunities.
In most cases, recruiters need you to submit your Official Academic Transcript, your resume and proof of Australian or New Zealand. The initial application usually consists of a cover letter, a tailored, professional resume and answers to selection criteria. You can find further information about all of these topics on our website (and read here for tips on applying for graduate programs from a Queensland Government graduate recruiter). It is critical that you do extensive research on each company you apply with and ensure each application is unique and targeted to the specific company and their graduate program. Fewer quality applications will get you further than many sloppy applications sent out to every graduate program.
You can also book an appointment with a Career Counsellor to have your application documents looked at. You can book this online using your CareerBoard account.
If you are lucky enough to progress to the next stage, you must be aware of the time consuming recruitment process involved. This usually consists of a mix of the following activities:
Graduate programs are extremely competitive – and hard work to apply for – but if you do your research, keep track of due dates and have an outstanding application which reflects the values of the company you are applying for, you may just be one of the lucky candidates for 2017.
** Don’t forget, you can network with these employers at the 2016 Gold Coast Careers Fair and the Brisbane Big Meet! Read our blog post on how to get prepared for these events and maximise your networking opportunities.