First Year

Steps to employment success

Key employment strategies in first year:

  • Explore your career options
  • Aim for good results
  • Gain workplace experience
  • Volunteer in a career-relevant field
  • Get involved
  • Gain leadership experience

Explore your career options

Researching future career opportunities will broaden your horizons, help clarify your career goals and strengthen your purpose. Start identifying your skills, interests and values. Accept that you won’t have it all figured out yet, building a career takes time. Review and fine-tune your goals as you progress through your studies. Having a sense of where you are heading will help boost your motivation and determination to complete your studies.

What you can do now

  • Identify your career direction and career paths that fit your interests, skills, strengths and personal attributes. For help with this complete the 'You and Your Career' module.
  • Scan current job vacancies listed on online job boards like Seek for ideas, or view the careers section on employer websites like the Queensland Government to see what type of positions are available.
  • Scan the Graduate Recruitment sites, JCU CareerHub, JCU Career Directory and GradConnection for information on graduate positions, internships and vacation programs relevant to your degree.
  • Download the Career Snapshot specific to your degree for information on career paths and opportunities.
  • Visit Your Career, Labour Market Insights and Myfuture for information on numerous careers and quizzes to identify occupations which may match your interests and skills.
  • Attend industry career events, either in person or virtually to hear of opportunities with your degree. Go to JCU Careers and Employability Events for more information.

Attend Industry Careers Events

Aim for academic success

To succeed, devote time to your studies and make the most of the resources and support available. Good results demonstrate high-level competency in your field of study, excellent cognitive and organisation skills, and a strong work ethic – all highly valued by future employers.


Gain workplace experience

Your work and volunteer experiences enable you to build your skills and develop your networks. Plus it provides evidence of your ability to follow workplace policies and procedures. At this stage of your studies, it does not need to be career or course relevant work. Any work will provide evidence of the transferable skills you have developed, such as communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills. These skills are also referred to as soft, work or employability skills and are highly valued by employers.


  • Check JCU CareerHub regularly for part-time, casual, vacation and volunteer opportunities.
  • Check the online job boards, such as Seek, for work opportunities.
  • Contact employers directly.
  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to keep a record of your experiences, achievements and skill development.


Consider volunteering in a career-relevant field as a way to develop workplace skills and experience, build your professional and community networks and demonstrate extra commitment to future employers.

Volunteering Australia, FNQ Volunteers and Volunteering North Queensland are good starting points.

Get involved

Get to know your lecturers, tutors, student mentors and fellow students as they are valuable contacts now and in the future. Participate in activities and events at JCU and in the wider community. Employers look for well-rounded applicants who show initiative and collaborate.

You can get involved by joining a JCU student club or society, community group or community activities and events, joining a sporting team or volunteering in a field that interests you.

Gain leadership experience

Consider applying for a leadership role within your student professional association, club or group, or take on positions of responsibility within your work or community activities. Leadership experience is a highly valued transferable skill that can set you apart from other applicants.

  • Student Mentor - Aim to become a student mentor in your second year to develop communication and leadership skills and prepare for PASS Leadership positions. First year students can apply - selection for the role will be provisional until you provide evidence of successfully completing all first-year subjects. These voluntary positions require you to share your knowledge and experience with new students to help them transition through their first year at university.
  • PASS Leader - Consider applying to be a Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) Leader. These paid positions, available to JCU students in their second, third and fourth year, require you to facilitate group discussions central to helping students gain a deeper understanding of course concepts.
  • Peer Advisor - Peer Advisors are paid positions that are available to JCU students in their final year. They require you to refer students to academic and support services, online support resources (including subject specific LibGuides), writing skills online, maths resources, etc.

Contact JCU Careers and Employability

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