Apply for jobs

Apply for jobs

Student on a computer

Submitting multiple applications without getting interviews is disheartening, especially when you spend time tailoring your resume for each position.  

Before putting together your resume, cover letter, or selection criteria, you must understand exactly what employers are looking for.  A survey from Graduate Opportunities Australia, lists the top 10 skills and personal attributes employers want in graduates:  

  1. Interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral)
  2. Passion
  3. Logic & technical skills
  4. Academic results
  5. Work experience (paid or voluntary)
  6. Cultural alignment / values fit
  7. Emotional intelligence
  8. Teamwork skills
  9. Extracurricular activities  (eg sporting and community activities, active membership of University clubs and societies)
  10. Leadership skills

Notice that good marks arenumber 4 on the list! Most employers are looking for a 'well-rounded' graduate. Other skills to focus on in your resume include

  • Critical reasoning and analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Lateral thinking and technical skills (e.g. programming)

Tips for international students

  • Check your eligibility for the position — particularly for jobs in the public sector/government, applicants must be Australian citizens, or less frequently permanent residents.
  • Be positive — focus on what you can do and what skills you have, rather than apologising for a lack of local experience. Your overseas education and experience are just as valid when addressing the selection criteria.
  • Your cultural background could be an advantage — your experiences of other cultures/languages/countries shaped your interpersonal skills, your communication skills and your maturity/life experience.  Show how this could benefit employers.
  • Check out Study Sydney for further information on how to gain work experience in Australia and employment conditions.

For more tips on applying for work as either a domestic or international student, complete this module on CareerWise.

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