Bond University’s Career Development Centre (CDC) has recorded a tripling in student enquiries over the last 12 months as the global financial crisis tightens the employment market.
The CDC, a non-compulsory student service that offers resume writing, networking opportunities, tips and careers workshops recorded 1069 student contact sessions by mid-July. By comparison, 372 were recorded at the same time last year.CDC Employment Services Manager Kirsty Mitchell said the centre recognised the surge in student traffic soon after the GFC lengthened jobless queues. As a result, Mrs Mitchell and her team re-evaluated and increased its offerings for students to better equip graduates for the contracted workplace.
“CDC staff work with students from their first semester to map out a strategy so they can harness the best opportunities from their investment in education,’’ said Mrs Mitchell.
“The current employment market is dramatically different to when students started their studies. Two years ago unemployment was at 4.3 per cent in Australia – now it’s at 5.8 per cent.
“We’ve had strong growth in visitation to the CDC over the past three years but there has been a real spike over the last year which correlates with the GFC.
“We’re an optional service but if the rise in appointment bookings is any indication, students recognise investing in their career skills is mandatory.
’The CDC offers one-on-one sessions with students looking for work or preparing for the market post studies. The CDC provides advice on how to conquer the difficult interview process, prepare an effective resume or job application, capitalise on networking opportunities, understand self-marketing, and devise a career plan. The CDC also facilitates group clinics whereby students can interact with each other and share ideas on how to further their careers.
“We look at the students from a holistic view,’’ said Mrs Mitchell.
“Students will come in and see us who have fired off tens of resumes but have never received an interview – that strategy will not secure a job.
“We set out a plan for the students to find out what they need to get the right job.
“We hone their interview techniques, show them how to write an effective resume and teach them about networking and self marketing – it’s amazing how many people are employed through knowing someone.
“And Bond also has strong connections with Volunteering Gold Coast which can often allow students exposure to the area of their study through a non-paid position. Voluntary involvement is much more appealing to a potential employer than sitting on the beach for a few months.
’’The CDC even reaches out to parents of students. “Parents are the most influential people in the students’ lives and if we can enrich them with knowledge about finding a job, they can add some further direction to their son or daughter’s job path.
’’Fifty per cent of Bond University’s students are internationals. As such, the CDC introduced special communication workshops to break down barriers for students.
“It’s unique to have half of all enrolled students from overseas, so we sat down and tried to work out how we could improve the opportunities of international students,’’ said Mrs Mitchell.
“We set up a meeting session called Talk Time where the overseas students can come along and practice their English, which emboldens them for not only the classroom but for the professional world as well.
’’As part of its strategy, the CDC will expand its postgraduate careers clinics in September to reflect the challenging workplace conditions. Starting in the September semester – Bond University offers three semesters per year – the CDC will offer a range of workshops on the back of its successful MBA Career Clinics, MBA Essential Tools and MBA Strategy.
Topics to be added include:
- Making the most of your post-graduate degree – Employment Strategy
- Selling your post-graduate degree – Interview Techniques
- Networking and thriving in your career
Mrs Mitchell anticipated strong enrolments for the voluntary workshops in light of the employment market.Ahead of the next round of graduates at the end of the year, the CDC has prepared a host of opportunities for students to prepare themselves before tackling the workplace.For those about to graduate, Careers Week will start on 5th October providing students with careers clinics focusing on balancing work/life, stress management, career management and money management. The CDC will also provide seminars on graduate presentation, resumes and applications across all faculties.
“We will also be adding additional topics to these clinics which focus on international employment strategies and developing migration strategies,’’ said Mrs Mitchell.
“We also co-ordinate employer presentations on campus which allow students to network with people in their chosen fields.’’
For further information or to arrange a booking with a CDC consultant, email [email protected]