Assessment centre:

Collection of tests and exercises that simulate an employer’s business environment. It is used to help uncover applicants with the most suitable personal attributes, problem solving skills and general aptitude. Common activities include role plays, group discussions and psychometric testing.



Employed position offered to students (sometimes graduates) that is designed to provide specific training or mentoring.


Careers fair:

Event designed for employers to showcase their various employment options for students, from graduate programs to vacation work placements. Usually held on campus, it may be discipline-specific or open to all students.


Careers services:

University office dedicated to assisting students with their career progression. It provides career counselling, advice on job hunting and application processes, and may also assist with work placements.


Cooperative program/Industry-based learning (IBL)/Work-integrated learning (WIL):

A program consisting of hands-on, full-time experience in a relevant industry to your degree, sometimes taken for academic credit.


Cover letter:

A formal letter submitted with your résumé that addresses the skills listed in the job advertisement and demonstrates how you have used them in your various work, study and voluntary experiences.


Entry level position:

A junior position within a company, generally open to those with limited experience. The position description will state if a degree is required; if so, these positions are often suitable for recent graduates. Although not part of a formal graduate program, these positions offer valuable industry experience and career progression opportunities.


Gap year:

A year-long break – whether taken before, during or after university study – to travel, work overseas or undertake volunteer work.


Generalist degree:

Refers to a range of discipline streams including arts, science, liberal studies, humanities and social sciences.


Grade point average (GPA or Cumulative GPA):

A calculation across a semester or entire degree to assess academic achievement for awards, scholarships, honours programs and acceptance into postgraduate study. Individual faculties and universities can advise how to calculate your GPA.



Someone who has completed a bachelor degree at a recognised university or institution.


Graduate program:

A formalised program within an organisation that combines a full-time position with structured mentoring and professional development. Programs can range from 12 months to two years; these may be offered as either single roles or rotations through several areas of the business.


Hidden job market:

Employment opportunities that are not publicly advertised; these opportunities can be sourced from various networks including friends, family, previous employment and industry contacts.



Supervised work placements in an industry relevant to the area of study. Arranged between a combination of university, employer and student, it can range from a few weeks part-time to multiple semesters full-time.


Interview – informal/informational:

A question-and-answer session with an experienced professional, recruitment agency or industry association in your area of study to gain insight into the industry and how best to enter it. This is not undertaken to secure a specific job position.


Interview – job:

A standard element of the job application process; a question-and-answer session by an employer or recruiter to assess your skills and qualities. It may be conducted one-on-one or with a panel of interviewers, either over the phone, face-to-face, or in a group environment.


Key selection criteria:

The key attributes and skills the employer is seeking in an applicant. These are used to quickly and effectively shortlist candidates.


Mentoring program:

A program that teams a student with a professional from their area of study, providing the student with industry knowledge, insight and career progression advice.



Broadening your career prospects and contacts through development of relationships with peers, colleagues, professors, friends, and industry associations and events.


Postgraduate study:

Further study commenced after the completion of a bachelor degree; includes honours year, graduate certificate or diploma, masters by coursework or research, professional doctorate and doctorate by research (PhD).


Professional association:

An organisation or industry body that acts as a link between government, other sectors and the public at large. It is often involved in research and professional standards associated with the particular industry, and may provide membership to industry professionals/employees, along with benefits such as mentoring, training and certification.


Psychometric assessment (or ‘motivational fit’):

Test used by employers to assess a candidate’s abilities, personality, motivations, values and interests.


Recruitment agency:

A third party organisation engaged by an employer or job seeker to facilitate a successful match. The agency may handle any or all of the recruitment process, such as advertising, application screening or interviews.



A professional or personal acquaintance who may be contacted by a potential employer for a firsthand account of your work ethic and character. Teachers, previous employers and family friends may all be considered; ensure you select people who will give you a positive, honest reference, and request their approval before listing them.


Résumé/Curriculum vitae (CV):

A formal summary of your education, relevant work experience, professional development and leisure/extracurricular activities, and the skills obtained through these.


Transferable skills:

Skills obtained during your study that can cross many different industries. Examples include oral and written communication skills, ability to critically analyse and synthesise information, problem solving, teamwork, and the ability to work independently and take responsibility for your own learning.


Vacation work:

Degree-related work (usually paid) undertaken by students at the end of their second year of study, over the holiday period.


Volunteering and community work:

Work undertaken on a voluntary basis (not paid) to gain experience and develop transferable skills. It requires commitment, motivation and energy.


Work experience:

Student initiated work that provides the student with experience in a real working environment in their chosen field.


Work shadowing:

Going to a workplace and observing employees performing their job(s). It is a way to gather information about a role or workplace without the organisation having to find tasks for you to do.



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