What makes a job application or resume stand out? Is it design? Content?
Both! The content is obviously important but a good design can make all the difference for the application reviewer being able to find content of interest easily. A clean, clear and well formatted CV can go a long way. Cover letters that have been individually written for the organisation also stand out over generic letters.
What skills do you hope to see in graduates?
We look for solid communication and interpersonal skills, first and foremost. Demonstrated initiative and the motivation to learn are also really important.
What would you recommend students do to make the most of work experience placements/situations?
- Try to get exposure to as many different aspects of the work as you can
- Ask questions about the work you are involved with and ask for feedback
- Volunteer to get involved in other tasks/projects in that workplace that interest you
- Use the opportunity to build some contacts and relationships with people in the professional workplace
Do you think it’s important for students to begin career planning at the start of their degree? Or is that something that can be considered closer to graduation?
I really do think it depends on the individual but the earlier you can start career planning the more likely you are to maximise opportunities throughout your studies and be able make the most of work experience situations. In my experience, students who graduate with some practical and relevant work experiences are far more employable than those who haven’t.
What advice would you give to students who may not be confident in networking situations?
Take a buddy! These situations are far less daunting when you’ve got someone to share the experience with you. If you’re not confident with what to say in these situations, just ask questions of others. It’s all about establishing connections and building relationships. Ask people about themselves, their jobs, their career history. People are generally pretty happy to talk about themselves!