Final Year

Steps to Employment Success

Key employability strategies in your final year:

  • Prepare early in your final year for graduate employment
  • Job search strategies
  • Explore graduate programs and positions
  • Follow employers’ social media
  • Know your value to potential employers
  • Explore innovative graduate opportunities
  • Undertake professional development
  • Polish your interview skills
  • Pull it all together

Prepare early in your final year for graduate employment success

Identify employers and positions of interest and their recruitment practices and deadlines. Develop a job search plan and devote time to it. Broaden your search for opportunities based on your skills, not just your degree title. Employers are increasingly recruiting from a diverse range of degrees.

Job search strategies

  • Identify employers of interest and familiarise yourself with their recruitment practices.
  • Scan the careers section within employer websites to identify recruitment opportunities and time frames. Many employers commence recruitment early in the year for employment the following year.
  • Scan jobs of interest to identify employer expectations, priorities and organisational values. Work on gaining the experiences, skills and knowledge you need to get the job.
  • Check the graduate recruitment directories JCU Career Directory, JCU CareerHub and GradConnection and sign up for their Facebook posts and email alerts on job opportunities.
  • Complete the 'Graduate Job Search' module in JCU Employability Edge to gain confidence in your job search approach and ensure you are applying the most effective job search strategies.
  • Reconnect with your networks - let them know what you are up to professionally and seek their advice and support. Work on growing your professional contacts.
  • Read your course-specific Career Snapshot for ideas on future employers relevant to your degree.

Follow employers’ social media

Explore graduate programs and positions

Government and large employers may offer structured graduate employment programs which include on-the-job training and mentoring. Programs are advertised throughout a student's final year of study for commencement of employment in the following year. Alternatively, smaller to medium size organisations may not offer formal graduate programs and will recruit when a position arises.


Explore innovative graduate opportunities

Be future orientated, read about innovations, predictions, forecasts and the entrepreneurial nature of future work. Investigate start-ups and network with the entrepreneurial community - attend meetups, start-up weekends, and hackathons. Many employers seek innovative, forward thinkers.

Read Deloitte Australia Business Outlook and industry forecasts for facts, figures and insights on Australian and world growth prospects.

Undertake professional development

Attend industry events and complete online courses to gain extra skills and knowledge. These can increase your competitiveness and address any gaps you've identified through your job search. Employers will be impressed with your commitment to ongoing professional development.

Go to LinkedIn Learning via the JCU Library website for free access to over 5000 online courses. Investigate professional development that may be offered through your career relevant professional association (e.g. Australian Association of Social Workers AASW) or professional body.

Keep a record of your professional development and add it to your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Know your value

Polish your interview skills and shine in your interviews

  • JCU's Big Interview combines training and practice to help improve your interview skills and build confidence
  • Practice answering the following questions so you can talk confidently about them to employers: What inspired you to pursue your degree/career? How have your experiences to date (volunteer and placement experiences) shaped your values and preferences? What are your strengths and skills?
  • Complete the 'Contemporary Recruitment Processes' module in JCU Employability Edge to develop confidence with your interview skills.
  • Identify common interview questions for your industry area and gain advice from your contacts working in the field on how to best answer them.

JCU Big Interview

Pull it all together

Ensure you are confident and capable of producing winning applications and gold star interview performance.


  • Have your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn checked to ensure they are effectively marketing you.
  • Check your referees are current and prepared to receive enquiries.
  • Employers will google you, so ensure that your online presence is professional and highlights your skills, qualifications and experiences.
  • Review the privacy settings on your social media accounts to ensure employers' access what you wish them to see.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and relevant to your future career plans.
  • Use the JCU Careers and Employability resources in particular the JCU Employability Edge modules and the course specific resume templates, cover letter example and Big Interview for help in applying for graduate jobs.
  • Organise an appointment with Careers and Employability staff for personal assistance with job search, applications and interviews.