Graduate Recruitment Programs


Graduate recruitment programs are for students who have recently graduated from university with at least a Bachelor's degree.

These programs usually involve one or two years of full-time employment, including training and development programs in a relevant organisation, like a government department, a consulting firm or an international company.

Benefits of a Graduate Recruitment Program

During your graduate year you'll get to spend time in different areas of the organisation and gain experience working in various types of roles.

You'll get training, have mentors overseeing your work, and create a network of invaluable contacts.

Graduate recruitment positions usually lead to ongoing employment.

When Do Graduate Recruitment Programs Start?

It depends on the type of organisation. Law firms often recruit first, followed by consulting and other private companies. One important thing to remember is that recruitment can happen anywhere up to a year before your starting date.

As a general guide, application dates for positions starting the following year are:

  • Law firms - January to February
  • Consulting/accounting/engineering firms - February to March
  • Government - March to April

Most universities hold careers fairs during the graduate recruitment season. At these fairs you can meet representatives from government and industry and talk about graduate positions in person.

Government Graduate Recruitment Programs

All graduate recruitment positions in the Victorian Government are advertised on the Victorian Government Graduate Website (new window). You can apply online at any time.

Federal Government positions are advertised on the Australian Government Job Search (new window) website. Most positions will let you apply online.

Graduate Recruitment with Private Companies

Graduate positions in private companies are advertised in a variety of places. You could try:

  • Your university careers service
  • Newspaper classifieds
  • Directly contacting companies you're interested in working with
  • Registering with employment services
  • Websites such as:
    o Graduate Opportunities (new window)
    o Graduate Careers (new window)

Applying for a Graduate Recruitment Program

Graduate recruitment is competitive. Generally you need to submit a written or online application containing a cover letter, a resume and/or a response to the key selection criteria, which is the document that lists what the requirements of the job are (e.g. proven experience managing other people, a degree related to the industry, or experience using specific kinds of software).

When putting together your application, make sure you read the instructions carefully and include all requested documentation (e.g., qualifications or a copy of your drivers license).

Most employers use interviews, assessment centres and written tasks to help them work out whether you're right for the job. You may be asked back for more than one interview.

For information and tips on how to apply for jobs more effectively, check out our Applying for jobs section.


Victorian Government Graduate Website
State Government site advertising graduate programs in government.

Australian Government Jobsearch website
Contains further links to graduate opportunities in the Federal Government.

Graduate Careers
Advertises graduate opportunities from across Australia.

Graduate Opportunities
Advertises graduate opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.