Ten tips to secure your graduate job
The graduate job market continues to become increasingly competitive and more students are obtaining a university degree than ever before. As a result, standing out from the crowd and approaching job hunting in the right way has never been more important. But the graduate job hunt doesn't have to give you a headache – we've pulled together some simple but effective tips to make the process less stressful:
Consider your options
Before you get started it's important to think about what you might like to do in your working life and not fall into the trap of applying for any old job. Visit a careers advisor, spend time reading about the kind of jobs you're attracted to and be honest with yourself about what your skill set is.
Get relevant work experience
Not only does this give you a strong CV and lots to talk about during interviews, it's also a great way to decide what you do (and don't) enjoy doing and will help you narrow down job options.
Don't leave the job hunt to the very last minute. Although the pressure of an empty bank account can be a good motivator, it's not a sensible way to approach finding the career path that is best suited to you. Staying calm and starting early will enable you to take small, manageable steps to securing that job.
Build a social profile
Employers increasingly look to social media when recruiting candidates, such as looking online to find suitable candidates to approach or to vet those whose CV they've already received. Make sure your social profile is a good reflection of your personality and shows you in a light you'd be proud for a future boss to see!
Work with recruiters
The job hunt can be long and it's easy to miss opportunities due to time restraints. So why not get others to help you out? Independent recruiters or job boards such as Monster will help sift through the vast number of jobs available and find those most suited to your skills, experience and interests.
For some people further study is the post-university answer. Some sectors or specific job roles value a postgraduate qualification or require additional professional qualifications, such as law or accounting. Do your research around this before you start applying and ensure you look into which careers support you furthering your education whilst working.
Consider your interests
You want to show a future employer that you're a well-rounded and interesting person. We doubt all you do is work so be prepared to talk about what you do out of office hours, what interests you have and what motivates you to get up in the morning.
Quality, not quantity
It can be tempting to employ a scatter-gun approach when applying for jobs, firing out your CV to any relevant job you find. But employers will spot this a mile off and your application is not likely to be as strong as if you'd filtered the opportunities down to those you were most interested in. Only apply once you've decided if the job is suitable and then dedicate time to applying and tailoring your CV to the role.
Research, research, research
Both when writing the job application, and later when preparing for the interview stage, you've got to get under the skin of the company and the position you’re applying for. How do they operate? What will your role be? What projects have they worked on recently? Have they had any press coverage? These are all questions you should research before you send that email or step foot in the interview room so you can wow them with your passion and insights.
Build your network
The more people you know the more opportunities, skills and tips you'll have access to. Sign up to a networking organisation for your chosen sector or look out for free events, seminars or training programmes where like-minded people (preferably those already employed in the sector) will be attending.