You have had a great time at Uni and with graduation nearly upon you, all that hard work will hopefully have paid off. Now it’s time to say goodbye to being a student and start the next chapter of your life! What with a tough economy, increasing competition and the ever increasing cost of living, this may seem like a daunting task but don’t worry – you can succeed. Here are our top tips to help you get on the right path and find your first job.
Preparation is key!
It’s easy to believe that everyone else has it all figured out already but they haven’t – many are too busy finishing last assignments and planning a summer of partying! Although some relaxation is in order after all that hard work, now is the time to start planning your life as a graduate.
Sort out your CV
Get your CV up-to-date or if you’ve never had one before, now is the time to create a good one! There are lots of online resources to help you craft a great CV and we have some top tips of our own from what personal details you should include to giving your CV a total makeover.
A good cover letter is essential
A good cover letter is a very important part of every job application. It gives you a chance to put your personality across and to show you have a real interest in the job and company that you’re applying for. Companies receive thousands of letters and CVs from graduates so you need to make sure that yours stands out. Reed have some great tips for writing a good cover letter here.
Do your homework!
It may sound obvious but do your homework about the companies that you are applying to – the more you can tailor your CV and cover letter to specific roles and companies, the more relevant you will appear and the more likely to make it to interview stage. Take the time to research the role and the company and use this information to make it clear that you have the skills and interests required.
Get some experience
Use the summer to gain some experience, preferably in the field you are interested in. Be prepared to put in some unpaid hours. Many companies offer internships or graduate work experience. It’s a good opportunity to see if a certain industry is for you or not and sometimes unpaid work can lead to paid work! It also looks good on that CV. Or take some temporary work while you look for something more permanent – we are always on the look out for good temps across several sectors.
Get yourself a hobby or volunteer
Experience comes in all shapes and sizes – it doesn’t just have to be within a business. Volunteer for a project or charity that interests you or that will gain you some life experience. Also consider taking up a new hobby that might expand your skills or take a course. It’s these interests and experiences that will set you apart from other candidates.
Build your network
Networking is very important in business – so often, opportunities arise through who we know, as well as what we know! As well as actually talking to people, create yourself a LinkedIn profile and connect with as many people as possible – exploit your friends and family and their connections – you never know who may prove useful.
Be confident and stay positive
As a graduate jobseeker, there will inevitably be some ‘no thank yous’ to contend with – rejection is part of the process. It’s competitive so persevere and remain positive. Even if you think that your degree isn’t that ‘job friendly’, you may be surprised at what doors it will open. Be flexible and confident and apply for a variety of jobs to see what suits you and what you are suited to. The more interviews you can get, the more experience you will notch up.
And finally, good luck!