So, that’s it. After years of working towards your degree, university is over! The money is starting to run out and there aren’t any more student loans coming in to look forward to. So – you need a job.
Finding your first graduate job can be a daunting task, especially considering the present state of the global economy and current employment perspectives. This is why we have put together our 10 Survival Tips for New Graduates!
1. Don’t panic
The whole process of applying for jobs, writing your CV or going through multiple interviews on a daily basis may seem like more than you’re able to handle. Keep in mind that thousands of future professionals like you also experience high-stress levels while looking for their first jobs, so you’re not alone!
2. Start small
We would advise that you choose the three most critical tasks that you need to complete in the next few weeks. A strong start would be refining your CV to the type of jobs you’re applying too, write a motivating cover letter and choosing 5 companies you would like to work for.
A cover letter is essential – it’s your chance to put your personality across and tailor yourself to a specific role. Recruiters and hiring managers receive 100s of CV’s so a well set out cover letter can be a deciding factor.
3. Maintain your focus
Until you have secured a new position, looking for a job should be your full-time job. On average graduates allocate 2-3 hours a day to the task, hoping that this will get them there.
We think that you should be spending 40+ hours a week on sending application forms, looking for new openings, revising your CV and working on your interview skills.
4. Start building your network
Networking is an extremely important weapon in your arsenal. A social network can easily be transformed into a professional one if you maintain contact. A recent survey revealed that up to 85% of all jobs were filled through networking – strong connections in the industry are a must for your future career development.
5. Do your homework
It may seem obvious, but the more planning you do, the more it will benefit you in the long run. You can learn a lot about a company just from visiting their website and doing some research.
The more you do, the more you can make your CV and cover letter more relevant to the company and position they are hiring for – for example: you can use value statements to match yourself to their mission statement and goals.
6. Get yourself a hobby
Have a think about how to make you stand out from the thousands of other graduates looking for jobs at the moment. On your CV, include any relevant units or subjects you’ve studies which may make you an ideal candidate.
Have you done any voluntary work? Undertaken any relevant courses? If not, this would be a good time to do so.
The same goes for hobbies. Make the most of your new-found free time and do something which sets you apart from other candidates.
7. Get some experience
To get into your desired field or dream job, you will need experience. This could be at a basic entry level or even unpaid – many companies provide internships or graduate work experience opportunities.
8. Consider all the options
You might find that after your graduation you have absolutely no idea what kind of jobs you’re qualified for. Make sure you know all the options before you start writing yourself off.
Sometimes your degree can open more doors than you realise and take your career in a completely different direction – all for the better!
9. Don’t take it personally
Between April and September there were over 300,000 new graduates looking for jobs, it is inevitable that you will face rejection somewhere along the line.
If you’ve applied for some positions but not heard back, get in touch. Persevere and find out why, so you can improve for the next one.
10. Be confident, stay positive
This applies, not only to your attitude, but also to your language. When writing your CV, avoid common mistakes such as ‘I feel I have…’ or ‘I can be good at…’
Remember: you’re selling yourself to the employer. A little confidence can go a long way.
Recruiters seldom see ‘the perfect candidate’. Focus on what you can offer them, rather than what you can’t.
We have an array of positions on our website, so please do visit https://www.thegraduateproject.co.uk/jobs/search
By Anirudh Nair