Looking for work

Understanding your employment options will help you plan how and where you look for relevant opportunities. Whether you are looking to secure a graduate position or undertake a structured graduate program, consider the advantages, disadvantages and potential outcomes of each opportunity. Exploring your alternatives will help you decide which is the best option for you.

Job search strategies

Browsing online job sites is an easy way to find jobs to apply for, but you’ll need to do more in order to get the job you really want. Developing a job search strategy will ensure you have an effective and efficient approach to accessing both advertised and unadvertised employment opportunities.

You can find about incorporating more job search tips into your strategy by:

Ensure you know what type and level of job is appropriate for your level of skills and experience – pitch yourself at the right level for your best chance of success. Refer to our discipline specific Career Guides for sample jobs, if you’re unsure.


As many jobs are never advertised, there could be lots of opportunities that you may never hear about. By creating a dialogue with people “in the know”, online or in person, you’ll be much more informed about which career options will suit you best, as well as how to access work opportunities that never make it to public advertisement.

You can find out more about how to start conversations, ask for information, and build connections by:

Graduate positions

Graduate positions are paid jobs targeted at recent graduates, and are offered across many sectors and industries. They are entry-level positions with salaries at the lower end of the professional scale. These positions are a good starting point for you to increase your employability within a particular industry or organisation.

Employers who specifically advertise for recent graduates often provide training and professional development as part of the position. This training helps you contribute effectively and efficiently to the organisation, and to grow as a professional within your chosen field.

These opportunities are often advertised as ‘Graduate’ or ‘Assistant’, for example ‘Graduate Marketing Advisor’, ‘Assistant Accountant’, or ‘Graduate Architect’.

You can find out more about graduate position opportunities by:

Graduate programs

Graduate programs offer you a formalised approach to graduate employment. These programs combine a full time position with structured professional development, and are generally offered by larger organisations, and government departments.

The length and content of graduate programs will vary. They may involve work rotations that allow you to gain experience in different areas of the organisation, or you may receive intense training in one area of expertise. A company may be looking for graduates from specific backgrounds for specific roles, or graduates with the potential to fit into a wide range of business areas within the organisation.

Applications for graduate programs open at the beginning of each year, for programs that start the following year. This means that you will need to apply to programs as early as February in your final year of study.

You can find out more about graduate program opportunities by:

International opportunities

Whether you’re an international student returning home after graduation or a domestic student looking for a new experience overseas, searching for employment in another country can be a daunting task.

You can find out more about international graduate opportunities by:

Part-time and casual work

Apart from the financial benefits, working part-time or casually is a valuable opportunity to develop your transferable skills and experience. Even if your experience is not industry related, you can use it as a springboard to opportunities such as work experience, internships, and vacation work.

You can find out more about part-time and casual work by:

Curtin Careers runs two initiatives focused on giving you the opportunity to apply for paid part-time and casual positions on campus: Earn While You Learn and the Aboriginal Student Placement Program.

Vacation work and internships

Vacation work and internships are generally paid, degree related opportunities offered by larger organisations. These opportunities are more common in some industries and professions, such as engineering and commerce, than others.

Usually taking place during semester breaks, these opportunities are generally aimed at penultimate and final year undergraduate students, though postgrads in their first year can usually also apply. You can expect to be supervised and assessed during this experience, as many employers use this opportunity to assess your suitability for a graduate program offer.

You can find out more about vacation work and internship opportunities by: