And just like that, in a snap of fingers, you could be in your final semester at University. If you are wondering what you can do in your final semester, here are some of the things that you could do to stay on top of the recruitment process.

Create a spread sheet

Looking for a full-time position can be very disorganised, especially if you don’t have a list of places that you’ve applied to. This is why I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet that lists out where you’ve applied to, what position you’ve applied for, if you’ve contacted them or not (colour code them green or red cells), when the interview is or was, results, and notes section. Keep this list updated so you know exactly where you’ve applied to avoid applying multiple times. In the notes section, it is important to write down what they said, for example, if they said that they have stored your CV and will contact you when positions arise, write that down.

There are several ways to create the spreadsheet, but I would suggest Notion or Excel. See below for an example:

Make a portfolio

Create a portfolio (online or PDF form), and gather all the things you’ve curated in the past. This could be an online website portfolio that you can easily make using Wix or SquareSpace, and Canva if you are thinking of a PDF document. In these portfolios, showcase all the work and skills you have, for example, social media management, course work, photography, design, or logo creation etc. It could be anything! I would also suggest that you have an about page as well as a resume and contact page. If you need inspiration, have a look at the portfolio I made:

Reach out to companies with your CV

Although this may sound very intimidating at first, it’s one of the most effective things you could ever do. The worst thing they could say is a “no”, and usually they will get back to you stating that they have saved your CV in a folder and will reach out when there is an opportunity in the future. Here, you have 1. let them know that you are looking for a position, and 2. put yourself before everyone else who might be applying when they start hiring. It’s not that scary right!

Take the COMU3801 Communications Internship course

This is a course provided by the University of Queensland for Communications students who are in their last semester. You will also be able to undertake an internship as part of the course as well as attend several workshops that cover practical tips for graduating students. The topics range from how to write a CV, Cover letter, and selection criteria, as well as creating a LinkedIn account and practising for interviews. Finally, they will match you with a mentor from the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA)! This is such a valuable experience and I can not recommend this course enough.

Always do several internships

Internships could be a pain in the butt especially when they are unpaid and take up a lot of your time. I once did an internship over the summer that was two months long, every day from 9-5, and the only thing I was getting paid was lunch. However, the internship opportunity was very valuable for me and I would not have done it any other way. I learned new skills, made connections and friends who I still keep in touch with, get to know the company culture, and got to compare how different each agency is. You will never know what it’s like working there unless you go in for an internship so it is definitely a must. Plus, this is often times the first thing recruiters ask in an interview.

Use your networks

It’s true when lecturers and industry professionals say “it’s all about who you know, not what you know”. If you have the right connections, recruitment can be much easier than knowing no one in the industry. Use the connections that you’ve made through networking events in the past and let them know that you are looking for a full-time position! They might have an offer at their firm or know someone who is hiring. You never know!

Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date

Finally, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all the necessary information that the recruiters need to know. Recruiters may also head hunt you on LinkedIn, so get prepared as if someone is always looking at your page. Think: LinkedIn is there to be stalked!

Finding a full-time position can be very stressful, but keep a positive mindset that you will end up being where you are meant to be! It’s something everyone has to go through in life, so try not to be too pressured. I hope these tips helped you and happy job hunting!