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Frequently Asked Questions About Career Development

 

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What is Career Development?

Career development is a service to students and recent graduates from both the vocational and higher education sectors.

Many schools and universities assist you develop the skills to create and review your career plan, search and apply for jobs, prepare for job interviews and review your performance. Generally these career departments also provide resources to help you develop other valuable skills alongside your studies. These are part time and casual work, volunteering opportunities and gaining international experience working overseas.

 

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What is Careers Counselling?

pCareer counselling involves working with a careers counsellor who will assist you to clarify ideas, provide support in decision making, advise on developing a career plan and provide you with a different perspective on career related issues.

Career counselling is focused on you and your needs at the time. Common issues discussed include:

  • Checking resumes and cover letters
  • Practicing interview skills
  • Assisting to identify individual skills, values and abilities
  • Discovering employment opportunities in a particular area
  • Developing job search strategies
  • Planning your career to ensure you have high employability potential
  • Exploring postgraduate study options

 

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Is it possible that my school will help me get part time work while I study?

While student career services usually don't engage in finding a job for you, they do help you through the job search and preparation process. To do so they offer a range of online resources related to searching for a job. Many colleges and universities offer access to an online jobs portal. They also run seminars and workshops on various aspects of finding a job.

 

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When should I start looking for a job?

As soon as you begin your study it is wise to begin thinking about career outcomes from those studies, and to start developing your career plan. While you are studying it is also a good idea to get involved in other activities such as part time and volunteer work which can help you develop workplace skills employers are looking for.

If you are considering applying for graduate programs you need to begin preparing to apply towards the end of your second last year of study. This preparation should include researching interesting opportunities. Make sure you visit the student careers centre at your campus and pick up a copy of Graduate Opportunities in early March of your final year. You can also visit the Graduate Opportunities Website to research your options and employers who might be interested in your academic skills.

The majority of graduate recruiters recruit up to a year in advance, so you need to prepare early. It is always a good idea to take the opportunity and get in touch with the career service at your school and discuss your plans with a career practitioner.

 

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What are graduate recruitment programs?

Graduate recruitment programs are just one the many ways larger organisations employ new staff from a range of disciplines.

If you are successful in applying for a graduate program, you generally are rotated through positions in a variety of divisions of the organisation to get an overview of its activities. There may also be regular in house training, a mentor program or a peer support network.

 

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What can I do now to start preparing for my career?

Studying your course is the first and most important thing you need to do to prepare for your career.

To supplement the discipline specific skills you will develop during your studies the career service at your school can refer you to a number of additional career building activities. These activities will provide you highly desirable skills not necessarily developed in the classroom. These may include the skills you develop from casual work, volunteering or going on an international study tour.

 

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What skills are employers looking for in a graduate?

Studying your course is the first and most important thing you need to do to prepare for your career.

In addition to the qualification you will receive through completing your course, employers look for a range of other skills, many of which can be developed through activities you undertake alongside your studies. Some of them are:

  • Interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral)
  • Work experience
  • Leadership skills
  • Passion / knowledge of the industry / drive / lateral thinking / technical skills
  • Emotional intelligence (including self-awareness, strength of character, confidence, motiviation)
  • Activities - both intra and extra-curricular
  • Cultural alignment and values fit

For more information refer to the Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) Graduate Outlook Survey

 

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How can I find out about working overseas?

Working overseas can be an invaluable experience as well as an attractive addition to your resume.

If you are happy to pay for a great service, we recommend you register with Going Global. But before you do so, check with the career department at your school, many schools and universities incorporate access to Going Global in their services for free.

The database not only includes job opportunities in a wide range of countries, but also provides guides about conditions and culture in many of those countries.

 

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How can I find out more about self-employment?

Self-employment is a career choice available to anyone who has specific expertise, knowledge and resources they are willing to exchange for profit. We suggest you either talk to your career service about your options or get in touch with Business Australia to find out more about your options and legability.

 

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How can I find out about work experience?

Studying your course is the first and most important thing you need to do to prepare for your career.

Work experience, whether paid or unpaid, is highly valued by prospective employers. Volunteer work can also provide valuable work experience and may be an important step to a full-time or part-time job in your chosen industry. Links to many volunteer and work experience opportunities are available from our special volunteers page.

 

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How can I find out about voluntary work?

Volunteer work is a good way to get valuable work experience which may be an important step into a full-time or part-time job in your chosen industry. Links to many volunteer and work experience opportunities are available from our special volunteers page.

 

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Who can help me write my resume / cover letter / key selection criteria response?

There are many private services available outside education. Many special agencies and recruiters are happy to do this for charge. But before you utilise any of these services, check with the career department at your school - they might provide you with the opportunity to have your application checked for free.

But don't expect them to do the work for you. Once you've done your best to come up with a useful application, ask the service if they are happy to run over your application with you. Make sure you bring the job advertisement along. Putting your application into perspective with the job advertisement will give the career practitioner a better overview and you will learn more from the responses you receive. This will help you continuously improve your applications and get better feedback from employers and recruiters.

 

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Can you help me prepare for a job interview?

Preparation is crucial to success in job interviews. We provide you with links to a number of resources to help you start your interview preparation. One of the online services we can offer for free is "Be My Interviewer"."Find out more here.

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