Get career-ready with a graduate program

29 January 2024
  • Ideas & info

Ready to kick-start your career after study? Graduate programs are a great way to do that, and the RSL Employment Program can help you find one.

What does a graduate program typically look like?

University graduates

Graduate programs can help you get a great start to your career in an organisation or industry at the end of your university studies. Each graduate program is structured differently, but the majority are focused on offering you specific training and professional development opportunities.

Some graduate programs will give you the chance to work across different roles or groups within the organisation to increase your learning opportunities. Other benefits can include career development planning and formal mentoring.

Programs can vary from one to three years in length, and employers will often look to their graduate program as a talent pool from which to fill permanent roles in their organisation once the graduate program has ended. Depending on the industry or organisation, the intake for the graduate program can be advertised up to a year in advance. 

How can RSL Queensland help?  

RSL Queensland Employment Program

The RSL Employment Program can help you find opportunities that might be the best fit for you. Your allocated employment consultant will work with you to prepare your resume and your answers to the selection criteria and provide or facilitate interview coaching.

Virginia Coffison from the RSL Employment Program says one of the first steps they coach candidates on is doing their research.  

“Reading the graduate program application guide thoroughly and researching the company and their goals and values is an incredibly important step when preparing your application,” Virginia says.

“Make sure you pick a program that aligns with your own personal values, as your authenticity and connection will come across in your answers.”

Virginia also busts the myth that graduate programs are only for young ‘twenty-somethings’.  

“A graduate program is available to graduates of any age. There are many people who go back and study to support a change of career or to develop additional skills. In fact, showcasing your life experience in a way that demonstrates your transferable skills while supporting your newly acquired knowledge can help move your application to the top of the pile. 

“Graduate programs are a great foot in the door to an industry, which can lead to a full-time or permanent opportunity in the future.”  

‘Get Ready’ graduate checklist  

Whether you’re applying for a graduate position, a role you’ve seen advertised online or a university course, preparation is key.  

Keep this checklist handy to make sure you’re on the front foot for your graduate program research and applications:  

  • Research specific companies to ensure they match your values and aspirations, and understand what roles those companies have available.  
  • Know the opening and closing dates of the graduate programs you want to apply for.  
  • Have your resume and selection criteria up to date and make sure that they address the selection criteria. 
  • Book a chat with the RSL Employment Program team to ensure you’ve got all the information you need to stand out in your application.  

Where to find opportunities  

Graduate programs are generally advertised only a few times a year. Student support teams at universities and tertiary organisations are a great place to start.  

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on LinkedIn, SEEK or the websites of organisations where you would like to work.  

Likewise, you can often find opportunities listed on websites including:  

Ready to get your foot in the door?

If you're an Australian Defence Force veteran or the partner of a current or ex-serving Defence member, our highly trained team will work with you to determine how they can best support your search for employment.  

Explore our free programs for ex-service people, Defence partners and potential employers at  


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