Job Seeking Tips for Graduates
James, July 15, 2013
Finishing University is an exciting time. A significant chapter of your life is drawing to a close, and you’re about to start on another that’s even more important – finding your first “real” job.
While the prospect might seem daunting, there are plenty of ways to search for opportunities, as well as tricks to stand out from the crowd once you’ve found something that appeals.
Read on for our top tips for graduate job seekers.
The Traditional Job Hunt
Perhaps the easiest way to start your search is to scour job sites and local papers for possible positions. Dedicated job sites usually have a graduate section as well as filters to help you narrow down your search. You might still have to spend some time ploughing through a lot of job advertisements, but on the other hand, the more you apply for, the greater your chances of success! These sites are also useful for getting an idea of any specific skills employers in your field may be looking for. For example, if a certain computer program keeps popping up and you’re not that familiar with it, now’s the time to do something about it. It’ll make your subsequent applications that much stronger.
Using a contact to get your foot in the door isn’t cheating; it’s common sense. You’d be surprised by how many people do it, and once you’re in, you’ll still have to prove yourself like any other employee. Talk to family and friends to see if there’s anyone who might be able to help you. Most people know how difficult it is starting out on the career ladder and will be happy to help.
This is another useful tool. Connecting with industry professionals via LinkedIn and Twitter can provide a valuable source of information about your chosen field. Sometimes, it can even lead directly to job opportunities.
Landing an Interview and Making a Good Impression
Once you’ve found a position you want to apply for, spend some time researching how to put together a great CV and cover letter, and double check both for any typos or spelling errors. Your cover letter is your opportunity to persuade a potential employer to call you for an interview instead of another applicant. What can you write that will make you stand out from the crowd? Do you have any relevant experience, from a summer job, for example? What are your personal strengths and how will they benefit the company? When you’re called for an interview, remember to dress smartly, arrive on time and be prepared. Think in advance about what the interviewer might ask you – Google it if you’re not sure – and consider your answers. Equally importantly, take the time to research the company and think about some questions that you might ask the interviewer. These questions should reflect your interest in the company and the nature of the job, not your curiosity as to how much you will get paid!
Be Prepared to Pay your Dues
Finally, bear in mind that your chances of landing your dream job right out of university are low. This is a stepping-stone on your career path, so try to see the bigger picture. Internships can be a great way to start, even if they’re unpaid. Sometimes, finding a platform to show what you can do can launch you on to greater things. Don’t forget to check out our graduate jobs here, and good luck!