It’s tough after graduation: you’re stuck in debt, you have to start from the bottom, and you don’t have a lot of resources available to job hunt.
Graduate employment is the worst since the 1992-93 recession, with nearly one in three graduates failing to find full-time employment within four months of completing their degrees.
Many regional and rural areas in Australia have it extra tough for finding jobs. Some regions have up to 20 per cent youth unemployment rates, with one Western Australia town recording a total jobless rate of 43 per cent.
Obviously there are more jobs available in the big cities, but moving to a metro area can be expensive and risky in itself as there are no guarantees you’ll find work quickly. Even spending the time and money to travel long distance for a job you might not get can be difficult. Here are some ways to keep the costs down while you hunt for that first rung on the career ladder.
1. Set up video conferencing
Video interviews are on the rise, with around half of US employers expected to use them this year, up from just 18 per cent last year. You probably already have Skype, FaceTime and Google+ (for Google Hangouts), but if not, it’s time to set up your accounts.
If you do have an account with a funny or controversial name, get a new and professional sounding ID. Identify a position in your home with a clean, neutral background so if and when you are interviewed by someone, your bong, boxer shorts and bra are well out of view.
2. Try a virtual career fair
Career fairs are a traditional way to link employers and jobseekers, but they may be far from where you live or the dates might not suit you. Virtual fairs, such as VFAIR (16-26 March), enable you to connect with employers online.
It’s also easy to search by industry category and skills to target the companies and roles you really want. You can also watch videos, attend webinars, enjoy online chats with companies, apply for jobs and inquire about courses.
3. Look for online roles
People offering online work, from freelance writing to working as a virtual assistant, are less likely to require you to attend a physical interview. Plus you can of course work from wherever you like: which might even be a beach in Thailand.
Alternatively sites such as CareerOne Tasks let you apply for hyper-local jobs online, and you can set alerts for job categories you’re interested in.
4. Work social media
The same rules apply with social media as with videoconferencing: first ensure you have professional looking, fully completed profiles on major networks. Then follow your dream employer across their social media accounts.
Companies regularly post their job ads to their social profiles, and are increasingly reaching out to those that already follow them: A huge 93 per cent of recruiters now use social media for recruiting.
5. Go digital
Forget pricey hotels and taxis, try online services such as couchsurfing and Uber to keep the costs of attending job interviews down. You can get a brand new suit for less than $50 online (with free shipping), or even cheaper if you buy second hand on eBay.
Avoid the cost and hassle of printing costs by keeping it digital with your resume and proposals on a USB or tablet.
There are jobs out there. Employers are keen to find talented and motivated graduates, and some will be prepared to interview you and recruit long distance if they’re really interested.
Karen Lawson is the CEO of CareerOne, a leading digital employment solution company that specialises in digital media and targeting, employer branding and recruitment technologies. She’s passionate about giving Australians innovative ways to find work and monetise their time, skills and talents. As an employer herself, she’s experienced in hiring, motivating and leading teams, and helping people achieve their true potential.
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