Starting your career as a fresh graduate - Spare Staff Blog

Starting your career as a fresh graduate

Starting your career as a fresh graduate
Sharon Lee

Here at SpareStaff, we are huge supporters of your careers and success. As a Spare Staffer, you can access career guidance that can aid your job searching journey. In this series of Spare Staffer Stories, read and get inspired by some of the experiences that our very own users have had. This time, we have a story about a fresh grad looking for her first graduate role in Sydney, Australia.

Meet Lina. Lina has just graduated from Macquarie University, finishing with a Bachelor of Commerce. She came to us during her job hunt, looking for career advice and ultimately, to get a job. As an international student from South-east Asia, she is currently on a 2-year post-study work visa. Hoping to kick start her career as a Business Analyst, she thinks Australia is a great place to begin.

So why was Lina struggling to find a job? Here are a few problems that she’s come across.

Problem #1: Employers want people with relevant experience in Australia.

Lina focused on her studies and extracurricular activities while she was in Uni, and didn’t have the time to work on her career. While she does not have relevant experience in Australia, she spent a few semester breaks at admin positions in her home country.

The current job market is getting more and more intense, and a lot of people consider an early start crucial for their careers. For job sectors like management and finance, having a competitive edge would certainly help you succeed.

Still, Lina has experienced life in a workplace, and carries herself well within it. She sees herself as someone who pays attention to detail, and is a great communicator. We just need to help her find her way into something that can get her that edge.

Problem #2: Employers usually want candidates who are Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Lina came to Australia as an international student, and is now on a two-year work visa. She is unfortunately neither an Australian citizen nor a permanent resident.There’s not really a way around this, unless…

Nope, that seems enticing, but no. The issue right now is that employers won’t know Lina well enough to consider her for long term positions. Since Lina’s work status in Australia is temporary, employers might not find hiring a migrant worker worth it for their company. This gives Lina a limited time frame to find a job before she runs out of time on her visa. What we can try for her is to find something where she can demonstrate her commitment to the position and the company. That way she can build on her future with the company and her career as she goes on.

Problem #3: Employers look for adaptability

Lina isn’t all too familiar with the Australian job market, nor the hiring process. Sure, it might essentially be the same everywhere else: you apply, you interview, maybe interview again, then you either get hired or not. But the culture and the whole process would need a little getting used to. You don’t know what other people are like, and how you should be acting as a candidate among many others.

That’s where Lina is lacking a bit. She’s finding it hard to present herself on her resume and cover letters in the way that employers want. With this unfamiliar environment, Lina needs to learn what she’s worth and how she can show employers her best.

Using laptop to work

 Here’s what we know about her. Lina is eager to learn, and adaptive to new surroundings. She was passionate about her studies and worked hard to reflect that. Outside of work, she is a great lover of nature and frequents the many bushwalks that Sydney has to offer. She reckons that Australia is a great place to start off her career, wherever that leads her to in the future.

So how did we help?

We offered a few tips as a solution to Lina’s work search struggles. First, we provided her with some profile building guidance that could really make her stand out. This profile is essentially her resume. With her free profile on SpareStaff, she learnt to create a great profile that matches with the desired skills for jobs that she’s looking for.

Creating a profile that reflects your strengths and weaknesses is a great way to present yourself as an outstanding candidate to employers. Highlighting your technical skills is also something you should do on your profile. Know what you’re capable of. Then turn that into information that employers can catch immediately. Equipped with this career advice, Lina better familiarised herself with the job searching process and optimised her profile.

The Verdict:

Lina put herself out there, and got 3 interviews by matching with employers. She eventually managed to get an internship where she’s able to learn and enrich her skills.

2 students working on a laptop

At Spare Staff we are dedicated to helping your job search, whether you’re looking for full time work, flexible work, or if you’re thinking about a career change. We can offer career guidance to build an attractive profile.

A lot of people in the job market experience similar problems that Lina did, and we have some tips for when you’re looking for your next job. Here’s our tips on how to manage your job hunt.

Shift your focus by keeping busy

Job hunting is, to say the least, stressful. You constantly feel like you’re on an immediate deadline to your doom. Waiting for replies and going to interviews can definitely put a toll on your emotions and wellbeing. With that said, you might want to use your free time to take care of yourself. It might sound a little cheesy, but self care is important.

Rather than obsessing over your job applications or whether the interviewer liked you or not, why not enjoy other things. Maybe start a new hobby! Of course you should be putting an effort in your job search, but doing something that can take your mind off all this job search stress can be quite beneficial. So when you’re not writing a cover letter or preparing for an interview, maybe watch some movies, or learn to bake or cook. This could really help you stay in touch with yourself and take a break from all the stress.

Connect with others

Another important thing to know about job hunting is that you’re not alone. Tons of people are on the same journey, in all kinds of industries as well. Maybe you have friends who are also looking for their next job. Connect with them and share your experiences. Share your woes and struggles in your job search, learn to accept that these are things that many people go through.

In the same way, you might be able to gain or share some tips or helpful advice, so you both come out of this stronger and more confident. Staying connected is also a crucial step in keeping yourself sane in the whirlwind of job searches.

Work on your other skills

Now that you have a bit of downtime, consider working on your other skills, or mastering some new ones. It’s always a good thing to have new skills, especially technical skills that could benefit you as a job seeker. Technology is always evolving, there’s always some new software or apps that might come in handy.

See yourself as a lifelong learner for the pursuit of knowledge and self improvement. Not only does this sustain your personal development, it can also give you that competitive edge and enhance your employability. That’s what winners are made of.

Put yourself out there

Most of us enjoy the safety that our comfort zones give us, which makes them hard to get out of. It usually comes out of this fear of rejection that often comes out during a job search. Rejection is undoubtedly hard to face, especially when you’re trying to present the best form of yourself to people. Simply because of this reason, having the confidence to step out of your comfort zone could be quite beneficial.

Applying to opportunities that you’re interested in is great and all, but why not put yourself out there and post your profile for employers to see. Let yourself be known and show people what you can do.

On SpareStaff, you can post a job profile for free and let employers come to you. We are dedicated to creating a convenient and safe work community for both job seekers and employers. Once you’ve created your profile, all you need to do is list your skills and experience, along with anything you want employers to know about you. This is the first step to your next job! Sign up for a free account today.


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Are you looking for jobs?

Find your matched jobs on Australia’s best Free job site (including jobs with Walk-in interview)

Find jobs

Are you an employer?

Post a Free job ad and start getting matched applications (no credit card required)

Post a Free Job Ad