From the outset, embarking on a job seeking journey straight out of education can be a very daunting process. That’s why The Graduate Project was founded, to help graduates present their full potential. We will take you through our winning formula from CV preparation to effective interview techniques through to confirming the perfect role. Once you have registered with us, one of our experienced consultants will contact you and we will take you from here supporting and helping you every step of the way.
Navigating the graduate job market can be a little complex (we get that) – which is why our team of experts are here to help.
We’ve gathered some hints and tips from our large network of businesses to help you at each stage of your job search.
We will assist you from stepping on that Career Path, to preparing your CV, getting the Application right, how to smash your Interview up to Walking in on that First Day!
Your Career Path
After or even before you graduate, deciding on a career path can be daunting especially if you are unsure of what career path to take. Here at TGP, our helpful consultants are here to help you unravel any confusion you may have. We post frequent blogs that cover some of the questions you may have.
Career and Degree, Do they match?
No, they do not. Employers value the skills that graduates gain from studying at higher education institutions. This means that you do not have to work in subject area you studied. In the process of your job application, you have several opportunities to use real life examples to showcase the transferable skills you have gained through your degree programme.
There are some cases where you may find that your degree, modules or particular assessments may act as a steer towards your career choice. We recommend that you consider the different areas of your course, examine your strengths and what you enjoyed.
What makes a great CV?
As a rule of thumb, your CV should be no longer than two pages. Try and be as clear and concise as you possibly can. Make use of spacing, bullet points and easy to read fonts such as Arial and Calibri.
Structuring your CV
- Personal details - begin at the top of the page, include your name, email, general location, and phone number.
- Profile - directly below include a short profile that outlines what your about and your career ambitions
- Key Skills - Directly below your profile add 4 – 6 key skills that align to the job you are going for
- Education - include dates (month/year), where you studied, and results obtained (for your GCSEs you can say ‘8 GCSEs all A*-C)
- Work experience - begin with your most recent employment. Include the month/year, company name and your job function/role. Remember to be as clear and concise as possible (you only have 2 pages!)
- Awards/ achievements/ interests - this is an opportunity to show your personality. Include any sports and/or societies were/are a part of off.
- Be confident – be confident in your experience and skills and sell yourself. Demonstrate your achievements by using action words that further highlight the role you played. Do your homework. Is there any commercial terminology you need to be aware of?
- Evidence, Evidence, Evidence – always back up anything you say with examples.
- Tailor your CV – stating your passion to work in local government and then applying for a role in a Fin-tech company will put you behind any applicants.
The Right Graduate Job
As cliché as this may sound, it is quality over quantity (and we mean this too!). Dedicate time to the roles and positions you care about rather than applying for any and everything you see.
Make your application count
Don’t blindly apply for a job. Take time to read through the job description to ensure you have a sound understanding of what the role entails. Apply if you are satisfied that the opportunity is something you would enjoy.
Always keep track of all the positions you have applied for. Your phone is a good tool to do this. By keeping track of all your applications, you will be prepared for any out of the blue calls you may receive.
Do your research
We can’t stress this enough – do your research! Thoroughly research the company, their mission statements (or similar), the industry and the role you could play in it. Do they have any competitors? Are there any political or economic issues you should be aware of?
Make use of social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc, to show your employer you have gone to great lengths to understand their company. Reading the company blog, their research or news reports is also a great way of gaining information that you may not necessarily find on their website.
Fail to plan and you plan to fail
To get an interview is a sign that you are potentially a suitable candidate for the job. Don’t ruin this opportunity by not planning. Taking time out to prep and plan is key to standing out in any graduate interview. Go back to the job description, ensure you have examples for the person specification they want. You should be able to explain what the company does and a few short sentences. Know their USP, their competitors and their market position.
- Punctuality matters – Make a habit of being 10-15minutes early to your interviews. Plan ahead to ensure that you avoid any travel disruptions. We know you can’t control every factor on the day of your interview so if you’re running late, don’t be afraid to call ahead and let them know.
- Dress appropriately – Always opt to dress on the smarter side if you’re unsure of the dress code. Again, don’t be afraid to call or email to enquire if you are uncertain.
- Ask questions – Interviews are not one-sided. The interview is also your opportunity to make sure that the company is also a good fit you. Did you have any questions about the company while doing your research? Ask them! Save queries on bonuses until after you’ve been offered the role.
- At the end of the interview – Always ask when you’ll hear back from them or about next steps/stages in the interview process. End with a confident handshake.
Your first day
Arrive on time (10mins early)
- Bring with you any documentation that have been requested.
Nerves are normal.
Introduce yourself to your colleagues and be as friendly as you can
- The likelihood is that you will be bombarded with a lot of new information during your first couple of weeks – take notes.
Show genuine interest
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The person you’re asking was once in your position too. Remember that people love talking about what they do. This is a good opportunity to get to know your colleagues.