10 actions you should be taking now to land a job when you graduate

The effects of the global pandemic on the job market have created a competitive environment for new graduates. At La Trobe, we are dedicated to supporting you to prepare for the workforce before you graduate, so you’re ready to put your best foot forward.

Here are 10 ways you can bolster your applications, get ready for interviews and build transferrable skills to give you a competitive edge.

1. Create a LinkedIn profile

For most careers, a LinkedIn profile is now essential for networking online and establishing your professional online brand. Create a LinkedIn profile and login using your free La Trobe LinkedIn Learning account to watch this video tutorial breaking down how to optimise your profile for recruiters. Hit a wall or need a little more help from a human being? Make an appointment (by Zoom or phone call) with a careers adviser via CareerHub, join our LinkedIn webinar or post your question online.

2. Update your resume and work out who your referees are

Creating your resume is definitely not something you want to leave until the last minute. A quality resume takes time, so get a head-start on yours as soon as you can. Online resume support is now available via CareerHub. Access online support to learn how to write effective and targeted resumes and get 24/7 automated feedback. Request personalised feedback from a careers advisor.
We are also currently offer weekly resume webinar for help and feedback.

Consider who you might like to include as referees on your resume. Remember to ask your referees permission to be listed and to give them the heads up when you’re applying for jobs so they know to expect calls from recruiters.

3. Research your Career Options and target your approach

Which industries are you interested in? Which companies would you like to work for? If you’re unsure, it’s time to knuckle down and do some research. The job search on sites like LinkedIn and Seek can be a great place to start. Another great way to discover your options is to hear from past La Trobe students who launched careers in different fields. Watch their video presentations online from here. You may also be interested in our How to research your career options webinarAttend or watch the pre-recorded version on demand.

4. Attend Careers Essential workshops

Whether you’re searching for a part-time job and need a little guidance, planning your career, researching your career options, developing your experience or writing job applications, La Trobe has 11 types of Careers Essentials workshops to shape up your employability. Each online workshop runs for 45 minutes and they’re on most days, so check out the calendar of events to see what’s on. You’ll also receive resources at the end of each session and will be credited with a Career Ready Advantage Professional Learning activity.

5. Do a few LinkedIn Learning short courses

One great benefit of being a La Trobe student (or alumni) is that you have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning – online short courses delivered via video tutorials. Learn everything from how to use excel or Adobe suite through to building emotional intelligence and leadership skills. Courses can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and are a great way to build that foundation of knowledge recruiters may be looking for.

6. Join in on job application information sessions on CareerHub

Are you in the process of applying for a job and need to write a cover letter? Not sure if your resume is presenting your experience and skills just how you intended?

Learn how to best communicate your skills, experience, and motivation to potential employers with the Careers team’s weekly workshops. They’ll get down into the nitty gritty of what to do (and what not to do) when putting together an application.

7. Research the organisation well before you apply

Understanding the organisation you’re seeking to join is critical to nailing your application and interview. It’s something employers really notice and letting your understanding shine through will increase your chances if framed in the right way. If you’re not sure where to start with researching organisations in your chosen field, don’t stress. The Careers team will take you through it, sharing tips and resources to help you on your way. Join one of their regular 30 minute workshops that are suitable for all students, no matter your degree.

8. Bolster your experience through volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to boost your resume and career prospects. You choose to volunteer for an organisation or group that aligns with your values or interests, and employers value the skills you develop through these experiences, as volunteering:

  1. Provides you with hands-on professional workplace experience
  2. Strengthens and develops your transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and leadership
  3. Gives you opportunities to meet new people, build relationships, and expand your professional networks.
  4. Enables you to discover tasks you enjoy and are good at and this will support you in exploring career options
  5. Boosts your resume with new experiences and referees you can use when applying for other opportunities, and
  6. Gives you practice finding and applying for opportunities.

Find out how you can get involved in volunteering at La Trobe, or volunteer in your community. Your volunteering can also contribute to your Career Ready Advantage accreditation that goes on your academic transcript.

9. Undertake a placement or internship, and connect with industry mentors

La Trobe offers opportunities for all students to undertake elective placement subjects which will help you gain practical, real life work experience and make valuable industry connections. Students can enrol in elective placement subjects, including the Future Ready for Work – SHE3FRW subject for those in SHE College, and those in ASSC can enrol in the Work Placement Program – ASC3WPP. While undertaking a Work-Integrated-Learning experience, you’ll put theory into practice and develop professional skills on-the-job while earning credit points towards your degree.

If you’re keen to gain an insight into your future field, or sharpen your professional skillset and build connections, get involved in the Industry Mentoring Program. It’s an opportunity for La Trobe students to connect with an Industry Professional who may also be a La Trobe graduate (alumni) in a 12 week guided but flexible mentoring relationship. You’ll be matched with a mentor based on key interests, education and career aspiration alignment.

Not sure how to organise a WIL placement? These FAQs are a good place to start.

10. Check in regularly on Employer Connect and Career Hub

Looking for part-time or casual work that fits with your Uni schedule such as tutoring, babysitting, or gardening? Keen to see who’s looking for volunteers? Need to gain work experience but not sure how to find opportunities? You’ll find all these things and more on Employer Connect CareerHub. Plus search for graduate roles, paid internships and vacationer programs. Make sure you are registered on these platforms and remember to keep checking them regularly as new opportunities are added all the time.

Hear from students about how they enhanced their employability while studying: