5 ways to stand out in Australia’s insanely competitive graduate job market

Photo: Getty

It’s going to be another tough year of competition for graduate roles, according to the latest Australian Job Market report from online employment search engine Adzuna.

Adzuna collected every job vacancy advertised online in Australia from over 370 sources and found that there are 5,182 graduate vacancies for the estimated 200,532 graduates in the 2015 cohort.

This ratio of 39 job seekers for every graduate role advertised compares with a ratio of just six job seekers for every role advertised in the general population.

That’s a brutal market for graduates.

Of course, not every graduate will be applying for “graduate” roles. But clearly with a ratio of 39 to one, competition is going to be fierce.

Raife Watson, CEO of Adzuna, said this competition meant new graduates may be forced to apply for non-graduate specific jobs likely to require more skills, experience and formal qualifications.

Watson said the “competitiveness of the graduate job market means students need to find ways to differentiate themselves from other job seekers, but that doesn’t always mean more study.”

His prescription, rather than enrolling in an Honours or a Masters course, is fairly straightforward.

Watson says students need to:

  • Gain more hands-on work experience throughout their studies;
  • Volunteer or take internships;
  • Participate in overseas exchange programs;
  • Focus heavily on putting forward strong job applications, and
  • Spend time to master interview techniques.
  • The good news in this – and there is good news for graduates – is that “the overall market is picking up and we are seeing more job vacancies than we have in over a year,” Watson says.

    But he added, “the hardest part for our 2015 graduates is simply getting in.”

    *Disclosure: Adzuna is owned by Fairfax Media, which also owns Allure, Business Insider Australia’s publishing company