Ten ways UNSW will help to boost your future career
1. Identify your career goals
Research shows the earlier you start to plan and build up your skills towards your future career, the more employable you become.
Take time to think about what you want to do beyond university, what you are passionate about and what you are good at doing – and then consider the best way to achieve your ambitions.
UNSW can help by giving you access to a career consultant who can give valuable advice about becoming as employable as possible.
2. Improve English language and conversation skills
International students who engage in a broad range of activities outside their language group have a greater understanding of Australian culture and are more able to communicate effectively – thus making them more employable.
English language skills are vitally important during the interview process for jobs, as well as ensuring a smooth transition into workplace culture.
UNSW can provide access to informal student groups such as those within the Language Exchange Program and International Student Development Discussion Groups.
3. Sharpen up your resume and cover letter
A resume and cover letter can often be the first impression you make on a potential employer, so it’s important they help you to shine.
Remember that each position you apply for is different and your resume and cover letter should be tailored accordingly.
UNSW careers consultants offer specific advice about the content and lay-out of your resume, as well as seminars on subjects such as “Strategies for Successful Job Seeking.”
4. Enhance problem-solving skills
Employers expect graduates to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, which are vital in many industries.
Gathering information, analysing it, communicating with others, utilising logic and imagination and working well in a team are all skills that help solve problems.
5. Gain work experience
Work experience not only improves your future employability by building your skills, but also gives you an insight into Australian workplace culture.
As an international student, you are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight (visit Department for Home Affairs for the most up-to-date information on student visa work rights).
UNSW students can gain access to thousands of full-time and part-time jobs via the UNSW Jobs Board.
Volunteering in a UNSW club or society or in a community group outside of university or at a not-for-profit organisation is a great way to gain experience and acquire new skills which look great on your resume.
It will also increase your Australian network and give you a valuable insight into Australian lifestyle and culture.
UNSW offers a list of hundreds of accredited volunteering and professional development opportunities, via the UNSW Advantage program, that can then be added to your Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (AHEGS).
7. Explore work integrated learning
Work integrated learning (WIL) gives students specific work experience as part of their university course.
The work placement is fully credited towards your degree and is organised and supported by your faculty – giving you valuable insights into Australian workplace culture and helping build a range of skills focused on your discipline.
UNSW can help thanks to the work integrated learning opportunities available in many courses. Check with your Faculty Student Centre for full details of what is available.
8. Develop your professional skills
Good communication, the ability to work in a team, emotional intelligence and time management are all interpersonal skills that make you more employable.
Hard skills, such as your qualifications, are most often used to identify potential employees – but professional (or soft) skills then play a major role in determining which person is a “best-fit” for a specific company, team or position.
International students can improve their employability by taking part in the Professional Development Program that involves a three-day seminar on business communication, customer service skills and recruitment processes, plus a 50-hour office workplace experience program organised by UNSW Careers and Employment.
9. Improve your social and professional network
Having a strong personal and professional network of contacts will improve your employability by giving you increased access to the so-called ‘hidden job market’.
That means learning about roles and positions through word-of-mouth or personal recommendation, rather than via formal advertising – which can be more difficult for international students with smaller networks.
10. Target your dream job
With all your skills in place, it’s important that you do your research about potential jobs and also manage your expectations – you may have to start at a lower level and work your way up within your chosen profession.
Consider if you wish to apply for graduate programs in Australian organisations – which are highly-competitive – or if your career path would benefit from starting at a small-to-medium sized business where you can often be handed bigger responsibilities much quicker.
UNSW can help you take the best first step thanks to our special International Students Careers Week, plus regular Careers and Employment Expos.