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Graduate skills – a gateway through the application process

October 27, 2017 by Storm Crow

Graduate skills – a gateway through the application process

With semester two almost over, this time signals the end of an era at Curtin University for some students. Soon you’ll be heading off into the professional working world; but before you do, we can’t stress enough how important graduate attributes are to finding that dream job.

Several large, well-known organisations across a variety of industries have revealed that more and more grads are lacking the essential skills to get them through the door at application. They’ve mentioned skills like spelling and editing, an ability to address selection criteria, and knowledge of the business and current market as the keys to being considered in that first employment stage.

We’ve put together five pointers to help soon-to-be graduates write worthy applications for grad programs and full-time positions.

You should proofread it and then proof it again.
Your resume and cover letter are the first hello you offer to an employer or recruitment officer – so make it count. Ensure that all text has been proofread for correct spelling and any grammar mistakes. Recruiters tell us that any spelling errors land you in the ‘no’ pile pretty much instantly. For some insurance, get some feedback from friends and family.

Address ALL components.
Find out exactly what the selection criteria is and whether these qualities are essential or desired. Pay attention to any application instructions. Employers will instantly reject your application if you don’t follow what they’re asking for e.g. a specific word counts or timeline. Then write a paragraph for each of the essential criteria, as a minimum, which strategically answers with examples of relevant skills, experience, and personal qualities. Or, you could complete the Selection Criteria Module online through Curtin Challenge to learn how to effectively demonstrate your ability to do the job you are applying for.

Do you meet the minimum eligibility requirement?
Each role or program has different requirements, but most request the same basic attributes for eligibility. These are things such as a relevant qualification from University or a TAFE equivalent, an ability to work in Australia, a minimum credit or distinction grade, and you must have become a graduate within the last 2 years for most grad programs. In order to be considered at application for the position, you must satisfy all eligibility requirements.

Do your research.
Find out what the organisation does, its goals, who leads the team, and the company’s values. Try to blend this knowledge subtly into your application in a way that relates to your personal brand. Demonstrate your awareness of the business or department, instead of a general application that illustrates your eagerness just to find any job. Show some interest in the employer and they may show some interest in you.

What’s on in industry.
It’s a good idea to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the labour market. Be up on current industry trends, news, and events, so that you can demonstrate your level of engagement extends past the theories learnt in your units. Follow some industry bodies or companies you’re interested in working for on LinkedIn, subscribe to some online industry newsletters or read relevant industry debates and news sites to keep in the loop.

Unsure if your application packs-a-punch within the competitive graduate talent pool? Drop into Careers, Employment & Leadership for some professional industry advice in Building 101 Curtin Connect. Or, if you can hold out, get ready for the Graduate Gateway series coming up next month.

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