Times are tough for Uni Graduates Land your dream job with these six strategies

Employment experts tell how to rise above this unfavourable job market.

Our graduates aren't confident in their job-finding capabilities.

Securing a job in your field takes time and the journey can often be arduous for some.

A recent survey by careers organisation Graduate Careers Australia found employment rates for new graduates are at their lowest since 1982, when the first survey was carried out.

Of those surveyed by GCA, only 68 per cent of bachelor graduates from the class of 2014 landed a full-time job four months after graduating.

Clearly, breaking into your field takes time. We asked the experts how to secure a job after you graduate.

Be prepared early on

Dr Joshua Healy is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne. He told The New Daily that given the current job market, it’s important students prepare themselves for the workforce.

Mentors can help graduates decide which is the best path to take.

“Clearly employers have become more discerning about wanting to hire people that have already shown they can work,” he said.

Dr Healy said students should look at attending job fairs to network with prospective employers, utilising university placement services (such as internships) and obtaining part-time or casual work that is related to their chosen field.

Secure a mentor

Adam Shapley, Senior Regional Director of Hays Recruitment in Sydney, advised finding a mentor.

“Look at benchmarking the sort of people that are in that industry at two, three, four years in and assessing what their profile was and how they got there,” he said.

“That would give them [the graduate] a very clear idea of the sorts of steps they took.”

Meeting up with prospective employers can also be beneficial, Mr Shapley said, but only if the candidate has genuine interest, passion and skills relevant to the organisation. He advised emailing or calling a prospective employers, and asking them about opportunities at their organisation.

Develop an online brand

Developing your own online presence will help in the job hunt.

An online brand is an online presence clearly defining your skills, goals and what you stand for. Dr Healy said LinkedIn is an important tool to manage and promote your brand, but advised not to “puff yourself up too much”. He said websites and blogs can also be a useful tool in self-promotion, but are more effective if you’re displaying specific abilities such as your IT or writing skills.

Do your research

Researching a company you hope to work for is important, but there are specific ways to go about it, said Mr Shapley.

He recommended following companies, CEOs or individuals on LinkedIn rather than adding them firsthand, particularly if you’re lucky enough to secure an interview.

If you’re preparing for an interview, Mr Shapley suggested understanding what your prospective employer stands for and the challenges their organisation faces. He said candidates should look to a company’s annual reports to ascertain the direction the organisation is heading in.

Work on your skills

According to Mr Shapely, digital skills are particularly important, and employers are looking for individuals who are “digital makers”.

“A lot of commercial businesses are looking at how tech-savvy graduates are.”

He also said it was important candidates had clearly defined goals and an eye on the future. He cited emotional intelligence as an important characteristic to have, in order to handle relationships with empathy and good judgement.

Source: The New Daily

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