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A Graduate’s First Step: Awareness

November 21, 2016 by Hana Woolerson

A Graduate’s First Step: Awareness

As November comes to a close and the exam period ends, some students may be finishing their university journey this year. Now is the perfect time to be thinking about graduate positions and employment prospects, which can be quite stressful for some people. But fear not—there is plenty of help available to get you on track.

Firstly, gain awareness of what your goals, strengths and preferences are, as well as the relevant opportunities available to you. Then take a look at how this translates into the workforce and the industry you’re interested in.


Taking that first step in the real world requires you to know where you want to go and how best your skills and discipline knowledge fits your preferred career.

To begin, you can follow these steps from Graduate Careers Australia:

  1. Assess the different aspects of your life: eg. work, secondary school study, university study, sport and personal life.
  2. Take note of what each area involves and any significant experiences you’ve had: consider situations where you showed responsibility, time management, communication skills and teamwork.
  3. Consider the skills you’ve developed in these areas.
  4. Consider how these experiences could be applied to the industry: think about the type of position you’re interested in, and don’t discredit relevant skills due to modesty or uncertainty.
  5. Write down each skill and note how it transfers to a workplace.
  6. Familiarise yourself with this list so that you are prepared when applying for jobs and attending job interviews.

Curtin Challenge offers an online module on Personal Branding to get you started on how to emphasise your strengths and skills to prospective employers.

Industry Awareness

Understanding the industry you’re about to enter is critical; and Curtin Career Guides cover all disciplines. These resources feature information on the latest occupational trends, graduate opportunities, career progression and salary indicators.

You can also find more industry snapshots and employer profiles available for students via Glass Door, Graduate Opportunities and Grad Connection.

Finally, if you haven’t thought about any of the above yet, the upcoming Careers & Employment Centre’s Graduate Gateway series covers online and face-to-face networking, job search skills and personal branding that’ll be sure to kick-start your graduate journey.

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