This course is a must-take for any graduate ready to apply for a graduate program or for a recent graduate position. Internship applicants will also find it invaluable as you learn how to overcome the 12 hurdles of the graduate recruitment process. What you learn will surprise and even shock you. Insider knowledge from an international graduate recruitment expert will help you overcome the hurdles to win your dream graduate job.
The course explains how employers go about graduate recruitment and what they really look for. It includes how they assess graduates and a detailed explanation of the 12 hurdles used by employers to screen out applicants. There are examples of questions and answers to the 8 most popular behavioral skills assessed by employers. There are self-assessment exercises to understand where you need to strengthen your application. And the course includes work around strategies to overcome the 14 most common graduate job application pitfalls. The course concludes with a 5 point personal action plan.
The course is more than two hours of insights, tips and insider knowledge from the leading international expert in graduate recruitment. You can pick and choose which modules that are relevant to you. You will learn the secrets of employers.
The course structure is:
As a graduate or intern you should take this course to maximize your opportunity to get your ideal job. Whether you’re a top graduate looking for that edge in a highly competitive graduate program. Or a graduate who is unsure why they haven’t been successful and wants to turn that around. Or someone who needs insider help to get beyond first base and win that graduate job.
Competition for graduate roles is fierce. If you don't take this course, chances are your competitor has!
Imagine two people each going to the same car dealer to buy a new car. Both have never bought a new car before. But one has a good friend who works at another dealership who has explained how the selling process works, key negotiating tactics, dealer margins and how much a dealer will discount.
Who will walk away with the best deal?
It's exactly the same for graduate recruitment. Insider knowledge is power. Learn the insider's graduate recruitment playbook from an international graduate recruitment expert.
Learn the three most common reasons why graduates are unsuccessful in applying for graduate jobs. And it's not just because you have competition.
An exercise to evaluate your background against the 5 criteria used by employers to assess graduates. Learn your strengths and where your gaps may be. This will help you to identify improvement areas.
An introduction to the 12 Hurdles used by employers.
And the first hurdle, the Online Application. It’s pass or fail based on hard data to screen you out including degree, grades and quantifiable questions. Don’t fit the cookie cutter and you’re rejected.
And there can be subjective questions too. For example an employer may ask "how do you rate your leadership skills relative to your peers? Check the box for Top 10%, Top 25% or Top 50%."
Guess what? For an employer to ask that question, it means that leadership is very important. So if you want to progress, it's likely they'll take candidates who checked Top 10%. Remember, this is only a self-assessment so no-one can dispute your rating. And who knows how your competitors are self-rating!
If you really want this graduate job, you have to get past this first hurdle.
How well do you stack up against the 5 major assessment categories of academics, behavioral skills, work and extra-curricular experience and cultural fit?
Your resume should showcase your achievements.
How did you perform academically? Is your degree and major relevant to the employer?
What does your resume say about your behavioral skills. Is there strong evidence of teamwork, leadership, initiative etc?
What career related work experience do you have? Is it in your chosen field? Did you do anything special?
Employers expect a certain level of extra-curricular activities. Were you in leadership positions or a participant?
Overall, does your resume suggest you will be a good cultural fit with the employer?
A lot of this can be subjective assessment. And when a recruiter is reviewing hundreds of resumes they're looking for easy ways to knock out candidates.
When required, Cover Letters are a powerful statement. Well written they say who you are, why you want a career with the employer and why you're a strong fit. This includes a free template for a cover letter. It's simple, compelling and it's exactly what employers want to see.
Do your grades meet minimum requirements? In most cases, a knock-out blow if they don't. But not in some!
If there are valid reasons why your grades weren't great, have a compelling story (explanation). Some recruiters will take this into consideration ... if you can get through to them.
An easy screen out tool especially for organizations receiving thousands of applications. Cognitive skill testing is common - numerical, verbal and abstracting reasoning. Yet too many employers can't explain the relationship between the minimum scores they set and the candidate's probability of success in the organization.
So what is the purpose of testing? It's an easy screen-out option. And that's backed up by the fact that many employers (including some of the biggest graduate employers out there) get you to do testing in an unsupervised environment. It means you can have your "test wizard" friend complete the tests for you. If the employer was serious (and some are), they will get you to complete the tests under supervision (in their offices).
Most employers find it difficult to communicate to graduates what cultural fit is for their own organization. But it’s assessed throughout the application and assessment processes, screening out applicants along the way.
Here are some examples.
You’re evaluated for verbal communication and other behavioral skills along with a genuine career interest in the organization.
First and foremost employers are looking for candidates to show enthusiastic interest in joining the organization. But you need to have strong examples at hand to answer behavioral questions.
The number of applicants is still high, so these are shorter interviews to screen out and narrow down the numbers!
Don’t take these lightly. The format and purpose is similar to a screening interview. Video submissions are time savers for recruiters. The recruiter can view it at any time and if you're strong, share it with hiring managers.
So your video needs to convey an overall professional image. That includes the background which is visible to the recruiter.
When recruiters are under pressure to screen out candidates, it's easy to choose a candidate whose overall image looks sloppy or unprofessional. They'll figure the person couldn't be bothered putting in the effort, so the candidate is moved to the reject folder.
First impressions make the difference. We’ve all heard it and it’s true. Within 2 minutes the interviewer will have formed an opinion of you - good or bad. After that, the rest of the interview is validation of their initial assessment.
Expect questions on behavioral skills and relevant technical skills. And then some more to confirm if you're a good cultural fit. Examples may be strengths and weaknesses, personal interests, why you want to work here and your career objective.
Make sure you're prepared with one or two questions to ask the interviewer at the end.
Give yourself a moment to feel good that you reached this stage. But quickly snap out of it as you’re a 1 in 3 or 4 chance of making it beyond the assessment center. When you consider the amount of effort you put in to be invited to one of these, you should fully prepare yourself for the day. You don't want to be among the majority who are rejected.
This lecture outlines what to expect.
This will likely be the first time hiring managers are involved in the recruitment and selection process. They are the final decision makers. Be proactive and interact with them during the breaks. And remember you're being observed and assessed during every minute of the assessment day. That includes the "informal" coffee and lunch breaks. It may be relaxed and appear informal but it's all part of the plan to decide who progresses and who is cut.
How to maximize your performance at an assessment center.
Employment references, social media review, drug & medical tests, police checks, credit checks. Hmm, what can go wrong?
And you’re asking how can this be a hurdle? How you manage a job offer can lead to it being withdrawn!
Employers are hoping you are excited and over the moon when they make you a job offer. If a candidate doesn't come across that enthusiastic, the employer assumes you don't really want it or there is another, more attractive job offer on the table. Employers will give graduates some time to make a decision. But they won't wait forever as they may have "back-up" candidates on hold.
Phew, you've learnt a lot! Here is a recap.
Theory and background behind behavioral skills. Format of great answer. The 8 most common behavioral skills assessed by graduate employers.
Sample questions and answers. Exercise opportunity for you to develop your own winning answers.
Sample questions and answers. Exercise opportunity for you to develop your own winning answers.
Recap of behavioral skills Q&A.
OK, this is where we discuss tactics if you don't have the prefect application. And who does?
There are 14 common pitfalls to a graduate's job application. Here are the Insider's knowledge of how to work around them. Some are straight forward. Some are risky. And some, well, not everyone will want to use them. But be aware, your competitors are.
What to do if my grades aren't great?
What to do if my school is not a leading college / university?
What to do if my examples to behavioral skill questions are weak?
How do I make sure I get past the first hurdle - the online application?
What to do if my work experience is not career related or light on?
What to do if my extra-curricular activities are light on?
What to do if my written communication is poor?
What to do if my verbal communication is not strong?
What to do if I struggle in tests - cognitive, personality or skills?
What if I think I'm not really a good cultural fit but I want the job anyway?
What if I'm quiet in groups? How can I overcome that?
What do I do if I think my background checks are not going to be fantastic?
What do I do if I don't have valid permanent working rights?
Recap. Work Arounds are shared for your information. It's up to you to decide if and how you use them.
Recap of what you've learned - that's a lot! A 5 point personal action plan to win your dream graduate job.
Who provided content and images
Some background about me. I started my career as a graduate in fast moving consumer goods and went on to work for global corporations in senior management in North America and Australia. The aspect of my roles that I enjoyed the most was campus recruitment and mentoring and developing young professionals. That led me to start a graduate recruitment business with the mission of helping young professionals to develop successful careers.
With more than 20 years experience, I’m an international expert in graduate and intern recruitment. I’ve worked with the biggest global organizations, mid-sized companies, government and not-for-profit organizations. I also chair an employer advisory group to the business faculty of a world's top 50 university.
I know all there is to know about graduate recruitment, the selection process, the hurdles employers use and what they really look for in graduates. And I know where the loop-holes are in the recruitment process!
Ask senior executives today about their graduate background and many will tell you there is no way they would have been hired based on today’s criteria. The graduate cookie cutter is an efficient tool for an employer. But I believe it limits diversity of talent.
My courses help all graduates win great jobs. They help employers hire diverse talent. And they help educational institutions help their paying customers!