Enact Your Job Search
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Review your current job search approach
There is a lot of work involved in conducting a successful graduate job search. How confident are you that you are prepared and organised? Are you ready to find out?
Action: Go to your downloaded workbook and complete Activity 4
Know when to apply and accept an offer
Do your research to ensure you are applying or potentially accepting a job that fits your goals and credentials, and is a good cultural and motivational fit. Read the job advertisement and position description closely, and prepare interview questions that will clarify what you are unsure about in relation to the job and the organisation.
- Does the organisation offer you the specialisations or position that fits your career interests and goals?
- What are the key responsibilities of the position? Do they fit with your interests and skills?
- Will the job move your career in the right direction, and will you be satisfied?
- What is its primary mission/work, culture, reputation, and working environment?
- Will you be supported as a graduate?
- Does the company invest in their employee’s career development? Does it offer in-house training, mentoring and seminars?
- What benefits and perks are offered e.g. flexible work arrangements, paid study, overtime pay
- What is the salary? Does this fit your expectations? Is the remuneration package acceptable?
Research the company website, and speak to current and past employees through your networks to determine what it is like to work for a particular organisation. Clarify any questions/concerns during your job interview, and read company employee reviews available on SEEK, Prosple, Glassdoor and Whirlpool.
Be realistic – it is unlikely that you will love every aspect of your work all the time. However, you do need to feel a sense of alignment with the organisation and position in relation to your preferences, priorities, and values.
Stay positive, flexible, and resilient
Job searching can be a stressful, intimidating, and frustrating process, particularly when things do not go to plan. You may not be offered the job, the recruitment process may be laborious and lengthy, employers may not get back to you, the role may be withdrawn, or an internal candidate may be placed in the position.
Try not to get overwhelmed with the process as it takes time. Focus on maintaining a positive attitude and being persistent. Know when it is time to stop doing things that are not working. Do not push yourself so hard that you give up on your job search or lose the ability to present your best self to employers. Employers are looking for positive, energetic, and productive staff, so it is important that you present as confident and positive.
Remember to take care of yourself, take a break and do something different that you enjoy. Commit to activities which help you maintain your mental well-being. Meditation and exercise have both been proven to combat stress, control anxiety, and foster a sense of well-being.
Reach out to your support networks. Identify friends and family members who are supportive as they can be a great support while you are going through the job search process. They can give feedback and support and keep you positive and on track through the process. Connect with others going through the job search process, and stay in contact with your professional network, so that you are up to date with what is happening in your industry and have access to their advice and support.
Finally, be aware of your inner critic. Negative thoughts (I’m not good enough, I’m terrible at interviews) will drain your confidence, increase your stress, and reduce your ability to present positively and confidently. Challenge your critical thoughts and replace them with positive and affirming thoughts – I have a lot to offer this employer, I have unique strengths, I am not there yet, but I am getting there. Remind yourself of your strengths and abilities and what you can bring to the employer and position.
If you do not get the job you are really hoping for, do not take it personally. There are many reasons you may have missed out, such as a more qualified, experienced person may have applied.
- Learn from the application experience
- Ask for constructive feedback
- Reflect on whether there was anything you would do differently next time, and then make a firm commitment to move on.
Try to take something positive that you have learnt from every part of your job search. Each job application increases your labour market understanding and application skills, and brings you closer to your desired result.
Support available through JCU Careers and Employability
Good luck with your graduate job search. JCU Careers and Employability is here to support you successfully transition into graduate employment. An appointment with a team member could provide the focus, practical steps, and motivation you need to make things happen.
JCU students and recent graduates are welcome to speak with a Careers and Employability staff member in-person or via phone or Zoom. Appointments can be booked via JCU CareerHub. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with career or employment questions, or to gain support and advice about a job application.
Visit JCU Careers and Employability to find out more about the services and resources available to support you.