Are you a graduate looking to take the first step into your career? It can be incredibly daunting applying for jobs after completing your degree. Where do you look? What kind of jobs should you be applying for? What do you need to consider when submitting your application? There are so many questions it can be really overwhelming.
We’ve put together our top tips to help you in your search, so you can secure an amazing graduate/first job!
What field are you looking to enter?
Firstly, spend some time thinking about what career path interests you. This is easier of course if you’ve gained a degree in a very specific subject with a clear career path. But if not, then take the time to think about what types of careers would suit you best.
Think about which modules/projects/aspects of your degree did you enjoy the most, e.g. If you did a Business degree you may have enjoyed the marketing elements the most, or maybe you enjoyed the financial side of things. Take a moment to look at where you excelled and what grabbed your attention (chances are they were the same things!)
Where should you be looking for jobs:
It can be so difficult to know where to look for suitable graduate roles, but there are a number of places to start:
- Do a graduate job search on the national job boards such as Reed, CV Library, TotalJobs and Monster
- Search graduate opportunities on www.prospects.ac.uk
- Target companies in the specific industry you’re looking to get into
- Join groups on LinkedIn, you can then contact people to get their advice on how to get into the career you’re striving for and can make meaningful connections
- Use your university’s resources – they may have their own jobs board, employment agency or be able to provide you with contacts for your chosen career
- Contact recruitment agencies to help with your search
Create a cover letter:
Creating a cover letter is a great way to stand out as a graduate applicant. You can tailor it to each role you apply for, highlighting your specific skills and knowledge and you can also use the opportunity to tell them why you are interested in the role and how your degree is relevant. Make sure you are concise and professional, but you can still let your personality and enthusiasm shine through.
LinkedIn can be a really useful tool in your job search. Create yourself a LinkedIn profile and you can then add a link to it on your CV or applications. You can ask previous employers or work placements to do a reference for you on your profile, include any additional qualifications and training and even include a portfolio of work if that’s relevant to your chosen career. Creating engaging posts on your LinkedIn also demonstrates so many different skills including writing, critical thinking, and creativity.
It’s also useful for conducting research into prospective employers, particularly before attending an interview.
Thoroughly prepare for interviews:
Talking of interviews, preparation is absolutely key! The more research you do, the more you’ll stand out. Research isn’t just about looking on the company’s website. You can also look at their social media, Director/employee LinkedIn profiles, check out company reviews on Google, Glassdoor and Indeed, check out their competitors and also see whether they have been in the press recently.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
If you don’t get responses from your applications and you have interviews but don’t get the job, it can be incredibly tough to stay positive. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself. As long as you are making considered applications, individualising them to really highlight your skills for that role and turning up prepared and enthusiastic to interviews, you’re doing everything you can. Also remember that this is the first step in your career, so don’t worry if you feel unsure of where you want it to take you…. it’s the same for most people! The most important thing is to start at a place where you’ll gain some valuable experience, knowledge and skills to take you forward.
Remember, we’re here to help if you’d like further advice and support in your search and we can, of course, let you know about any graduate opportunities we have available. Just get in touch either by:
Calling 01782 976976
Uploading your CV here