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What’s Next? Applying for Grad Programs

February 26, 2015 by Curtin CEL Team

What’s Next? Applying for Grad Programs

Graduate recruitment programs (often one – two years in length) offer a structured introduction to work in a medium or large public or private organisation or an NGO (Non-Government Organisation). They provide amazing opportunities, but unfortunately so many students aren’t aware of them, or become aware of them too late – if you’re graduating this year, now is the time to apply to commence work next year!

Top Benefits of Grad Programs:

  1. Graduate positions offered through a graduate recruitment program often provide opportunities that standalone grad roles don’t.
  2. You’re likely to have an extensive induction and training program.
  3. There are structured rotations through different areas of the organisation which means you can explore a range of career pathways while developing dynamic skills.
  4. You’re likely to be part of a formal mentoring program with senior staff and receive a career development plan.
  5. Grad Programs are highly selective, which means you’re off to a great start for your career, with peers who can share the journey with you.

How to find Grad Programs

  1. Grad Programs are usually advertised on an organisation’s website so if you’ve got an organisation you’re really interested in, check their website and follow them on social media.
  2. If you’re happy to look more broadly, check out CareerHub, Graduate Opportunities and GradConnection (just be mindful that a job advertisement with the heading ‘Graduate’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a graduate recruitment program – read the details carefully if you specifically want a formal program).

What are employers looking for?

Employers usually look for good all rounders. Acceptance into a Grad Program isn’t just about having above-average grades – employers are also interested in any extra-curricular activities you are involved with.

Get involved in activities that offer opportunities to develop and demonstrate the abilities that graduate employers value. These include teamwork, leadership, communication skills, initiative, interpersonal skills, and problem solving skills. These abilities may be enhanced through paid or volunteer work, work experience, community activities and general interests.

Most employers offering Grad Programs participate in on-campus events such as the Careers Fair and employer presentations which offer you a valuable opportunity to ask questions and find out more about an individual employer’s requirements.

The Application Process

  • Once you’ve decided who you’d like to apply to, thoroughly research their products and services, location/s, goals, history, organisational culture and why you want to work for them.
  • Read all instructions carefully before starting your application – mistakes can very easily be made simply from not following instructions.
  • Use your research and understanding of the organisations to tailor your resume and all supporting documents to each individual organisation. Leave yourself plenty of time to complete your application before the closing date as ‘tailoring’ can be time consuming (but is worth it).
  • Once you’ve applied, you may want to start building a portfolio of documentation, projects, activities and achievements to be used in the following stages – these stages can include psychometric testing, interviews and assessment centres.

We do offer all sorts of support to help you through the application process, so please get in touch:

  • Improve your job application skills online via Curtin Challenge
  • Attend skills development workshops – visit CareerHub for details and registration
  • Drop In for one-on-one advice at Building 303, Level 2 Mon – Fri 8.45am – 5pm; call (08) 9266 7802; or email


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