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Tips on grad program applications

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Now that you know that applications for 2024 graduate programs are open, it’s time to put together your winning applications. According to GradConnection, competition for grad programs is very high – they attract the most applications per vacancy but only offer positions to 30% of graduates each year.

This means you’ll need to stand out from the crowd by submitting a quality application. Not to worry, we’ve got some tips to help you get your name to the top of the list:

Tip 1: Know what you want in a grad program

It’s important to take stock before submitting your applications. This means understanding your skills, strengths and weaknesses, as well as the kinds of opportunities you’re interested in. This last point is important.

If you’re going to make a one- or two-year commitment to a grad program, it’s important to have an idea of the type of company you’d like to work for, your desired workplace culture and environment, and if a job description aligns with your interests.

Making a checklist of your needs and wants might help you avoid getting side-tracked by programs that don’t tick all your boxes.

Tip 2: Research and list your desired grad programs

Now that you know what you want in a program and what skills you have to offer, you can start your research. Get to know the employers that offer graduate programs in your field and dig deeper into what these programs entail, referring back to your checklist of needs and marketable skills. From this research, make a realistic list of suitable programs to apply for.

Websites such as UniHub, GradConnection and gradaustralia, as well as Seek and Indeed, are all great places to start searching.

Tip 3: Read the application carefully

In your online application, you’ll be given the opportunity to tell an organisation more about yourself. It’s important to have a clear understanding of exactly what the company is looking for in a graduate. Read the application questions carefully so that you can state how your skills and interests will contribute positively to the company.

Aside from your academic achievements, you’ll be asked to share your experience across several other areas. These could include any involvement in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relevant work experience, leadership roles and/or personal interests.

Understand your worth and the value you bring to a company – what qualities do you possess that will make you stand out from other hopeful applicants?

Tip 4: Take your time but be on time

Applications take time, but deadlines don’t wait. While taking the time to write a winning application is important, it’s also vital to stay on top of application deadlines. Remember that for graduate programs, you’re often applying a year in advance.

You’ll need to get your skates on, as now is the time to apply for programs beginning in 2023! Deadlines will vary between organisations, so be sure to pay attention to the closing dates and prioritise your submissions accordingly.

If you would like additional support, feel free to reach out to your friendly Curtin Careers Team – you can book a Careers Conversation appointment through UniHub.

This article was written by Career Development Consultant, Kelly Kendall-Jones.

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