Career planning is a crucial part of preparing for work and finding a job.

It is estimated that 80% of jobs are never advertised, so it is essential to explore all options and develop your own strategies.

Read our advice and find further resources on:

  • researching the job market
  • finding jobs that are not advertised
  • professional associations and graduate programs
  • your rights at work.

Job hunting: Do your research!

When researching, these questions can help guide your search:

  • What are the growth industries employing in your field?
  • Which organisations seem to be hiring regularly?
  • What’s the latest news and gossip in your dream career area?
  • Which organisations are the key players?
  • Which companies have a culture or mission that appeals?

You can find answers to these questions and more from:

  • organisation websites
  • annual reports
  • professional associations
  • job search sites, such as seek.com.au
  • our Learning Hub jobs board, where you can find jobs that are advertised particularly for VU students.

Learning Hub career services

Search for part-time, holiday or graduate positions on VU's Learning Hub job board.

Current students and recent graduates can access free career planning resources, including:

  • resume builder
  • career assessment
  • interview skills and practice.

Login to Learning Hub

Networking

Jobs are often filled through word of mouth, internal recruitment and direct applications to employers. This is know as the 'hidden job market'.

Networks can play an important part in job hunting and the ongoing development of your career.

Your network might include:

  • friends and family
  • acquaintances from recreation activities
  • workmates and employers from part-time jobs, work experience or volunteering
  • members of associations, clubs and community groups
  • people you meet at career or industry events
  • students and staff from VU.

Professional associations

Professional associations represent most industries and occupations - sometimes more than one. They perform many functions, including:

  • promoting and providing professional and career development activities
  • providing a forum for networking
  • promoting the profession in the community
  • providing career information to prospective students
  • assisting graduates with career planning and job seeking
  • producing regular newsletters or journals
  • maintaining a professional library for members.

We recommend you join a professional association and get involved. Student membership is usually offered at a reduced rate.

Being a member means you can:

  • develop networks with professionals already working in your chosen field
  • increase your knowledge of the profession and industry you’re interested in, which will help you to decide if it’s really for you
  • develop skills through participation in professional development activities.

Graduate Careers Australia has a list of Industry Contacts and Professional Associations across multiple industries.

Graduate & career-transition programs

Graduate programs specially designed for graduates, and usually last 1 to 3 years.

They are offered by organisations with an interest in developing and training graduates for management roles.

Successful applicants work in various areas of the business, in blocks of time known as 'rotations', to foster a better understanding of how the whole organisation works.

The application process can be quite competitive, as graduate programs are in high demand. Applications open begin early in the year around February to April for positions starting in the following year.

Specific information about graduate programs can usually be found on employer websites, including application open and closing dates, and eligibility requirements. Positions are generally advertised online.

VU has its own transition program, Talent Connect, for our final-year students.

Know your rights

Workplace rights for employees in Victoria (and Australia) include:

  • basic rates of pay and casual loading
  • hours of work
  • annual leave
  • personal/carer’s and compassionate leave
  • unpaid parental leave.

The websites below have detailed information about your rights and who to contact if you think they are being breached.

Jobwatch is an employment-rights legal centre which provides assistance to Victorian workers about their rights at work.

This includes issues such as unfair dismissal, ending your employment, harassment, wages, exploitation and other work-related issues.

Fair Work is an Australian Government independent statutory office that can give you information and advice about your workplace rights and obligations.

Its services are free to all workers and employers in Australia.

The Fair Work Commission is Australia's national workplace relations tribunal.

If you are covered by the federal workplace relations system, visit Fair Work Commission website to find information on your current wages and conditions.