If you are looking for that perfect graduate job, it is vital that you find a way to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re just starting out or are at the end of your tether, the following tips will help you make the most of the opportunities out there.
- Start early! People often (wrongly) assume that students get up at noon and put everything off until deadline day. Whether this describes you or not, you can’t afford to take this approach with your job search. You may have graduated recently, but start taking small steps early on and you will find yourself well ahead of the game. Don’t wait until your bank account is empty before you start applying for jobs!
- Consider your options. This may sound obvious, but spend time making a list of your skills (direct and transferable) as well as your interests. Ask yourself whether you’d like to work indoors or outdoors; with children, old people or alone; in a customer-facing role or several steps removed; for a big corporation or a non-profit. Then, when you start looking for jobs, you should be able to whittle them down much more easily than if you just click on everything that catches your eye.
- Get some relevant work experience. One problem many graduates face is that they have excellent skills but no relevant work experience. While you may be more qualified than other applicants, they may have five years of experience in a similar workplace. Experience often wins the day, so try to get some work experience with a firm you would like to work for. As well as strengthening your CV, this could lead to permanent paid employment at that company.
- Write a strong CV. It’s important that your CV shows employers that you are the right fit for their organisation. Make sure you include details of any jobs you have had, even if they don’t obviously qualify you for the role. They may demonstrate that you are trustworthy, committed, good with customers, or any other manner of things.
- Use social media to your advantage. It’s time to stop posting party pictures and get serious about your use of social media. Make sure that anything you wouldn’t want prospective employers to see is either removed or kept private. Then start posting information that paints you in a positive light and shows that you are interested in your chosen industry. LinkedIn is a particularly useful tool as it basically acts like an online CV for prospective recruiters to see. Use social media and other networking opportunities to foster links and build strong relationships with people in your target field.
- Go for quality over quantity. There are plenty of jobs out there but do you really want to do them all? Before you apply for each role, ask yourself if it’s right for you. Will it provide a stepping stone to the next rung on the career ladder or will it lead to a dead end? It’s better to apply for fewer jobs and get the one you want than go to hundreds of interviews and still end up in a role you hate.