Preparing yourself for the workforce after graduation

So, you’ve almost completed your course and you’re getting excited about the possibilities that are unfolding before you with every unit you complete. There aren’t many situations in life that invoke such feelings of excitement and accomplishment, so it wouldn’t be surprising to know that you’ve already started planning for what to do after you have completed your studies. Before you get too far ahead of yourself though, it might be worth pointing out that the job market is still fairly competitive – even for those with a good education – so it’s always a good idea to take that into consideration and plan accordingly.

With these five tips for preparing yourself for the workforce after graduation, you will be well ahead of the pack and working in your dream job in no time at all!

  1. Don’t stop studying just yet. Instead, start studying the job sites and position related company sites instead. Look at job postings for the type of position you’re after to determine how many positions are available, what the requirements are of people working in your field and how much they are usually paid. Do they meet your expectations? Do you have all of the credentials required? Also, have you considered other roles if there isn’t a lot of job availability in the field you want to work in? These are all questions you’ll need to ask yourself.
  2. Consult with a job network or career advisor. By doing this before you complete your course, you can get a good understanding of what’s out there and where you’ll best fit in. Some fields of study have an obvious career outcome; however, others can leave you with so many opportunities that you may be unsure what to pursue, like nursing, for example, where you can choose between general practice nursing, home care, hospital nursing and even different wards within a hospital!

A job network consultant or career advisor can help you narrow down your interests and match you to a job that suits you perfectly. They may also be able to provide other resources, such as career workshops, industry connections and in some cases, even incentive payments for your employer, if you are currently receiving Centrelink payments.

  1. Re-do your resume. This is actually something your job network consultant or career advisor can help you with. You’re going to want to include your new educational accomplishments of course, but also list any other relevant skills you’ve gained during this time, such as ‘being able to work independently’, ‘dedication to your tasks’ or multitasking’ (also known as ‘being able to concentrate on study while simultaneously cooking dinner and bouncing a baby on my hip’, in layman’s terms). 

Also mention any special awards you’ve gained during study and include any other work you’ve undertaken, including volunteer work and work placements. If you have worked closely with – or been commended by – any of your course tutors during your studies, ask them if they’d be happy to be listed as a reference. Make sure you update all existing references too; to ensure they are still relevant. In fact, contacting old references to ensure you still have the right details may lead to job opportunities, which brings us to our next point…

  1. Network, network, network! It can’t be emphasised enough – networking is an extremely valuable method of discovering career opportunities. Many people neglect this though and most do so because they believe it’s too difficult, embarrassing or just a waste of time. Networking is so easy though. It’s as simple as staying in touch with your course tutors and classmates, talking to friends, family and other everyday contacts about your course and future desires, as well as establishing an online presence that lets people know you are interested in a particular role and you now (or will soon) have the qualifications you need to work in that role.

You could also attend networking events, join industry associations or even cold contact potential future employers to let them know you are available.

  1. Practice the job interview process. Whether you have never worked, been out of work for a long time or are actually still working but looking for a new career, it’s never a waste of time to brush up on your job interview skills. Doing so will give you that cutting edge and put you way ahead of any applicants who neglected to prepare.

While you’re researching career opportunities (see step one), don’t forget to also research the company you hope to work for. Having a good understanding of the company’s values and an awareness of where you’d fit into it always looks good to employers, as does the confidence you’ll gain by practicing the answers to typical interview questions. 

The CFS Team
Helping You Achieve Success

Since 2008 We Have Helped Over 500,000 People Learn New Skills

Get a FREE Career Planner