Have you just left or are you about to leave university? Whether you’ve got your future career perfectly mapped out or are unsure about what it is you want to do now that you’ve left the campus bubble finding your first job can be a daunting and at times disheartening process. We at DiamondCV however want to help you prosper and that’s why we’ve put together our top 5 tips to Graduate job searching!
Our Top 5 Tips to Graduate Job-search Success!
1. Look in the right places
Knowing where to look for jobs in your area of interest is half the battle of finding a job. Jobsites like Indeed and Totaljobs are great and it’s certainly worth having a look at the thousands of listings they have. If you’re not sure about which career route you’d like to go down, try searching broadly for “graduate” jobs within your commuting area. Reading the job descriptions and specifications will hopefully give you more of an idea of the potential careers open to you and then you can begin to shortlist them by interest.
However, even though Indeed and it’s like is certainly a great platform to explore the sheer number of jobs means that they aren’t likely to be aimed at your skills or subject. With this in mind, the best places to look are often those sites that are geared directly at subject graduates. An example of one such site is creative access, a job site geared towards creative roles for graduates mostly specialising in the arts and humanities. If you don’t know the name of any job sites for your subject, then it might be beneficial to reach out to your university -whether you’re still attending or alumni – for their help. Universities invest a lot of money in post-study career support, so they often have connections to graduate recruiters or, at the very least, will probably know where best to look for roles.
2. CV and Cover Letter
Whether you already have a CV and Cover Letter or need to start from scratch, following your three years of study there is a high chance that it will need some changing and editing. Whereas before your role as a waiter might have given you the best chance of winning a part-time role while studying, if you’re applying for a role in the genetics lab then it isn’t going to hold much sway when convincing an employer of your suitability.
As someone who has just left university, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have a glowing bank of work experience to reel off. This being the case you should build your CV around the job you want to apply for rather than your own experiences. Read the job description and try to think about how your experiences both in and out of study demonstrate your suitability for the role. As a recent graduate this is most likely going to be built from your studies, so try and pick the most relevant modules or subjects and explain how they show your ability to do the job. At the very least this will show that you are interested in the role and at best it should make you appear the perfect candidate.
Other things to draw from would be work placements, roles in university societies and any relevant job experience you have. Even if it isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying to, don’t leave it out entirely. You should still refer to your aforementioned stint as a waiter at Prezzo’s as a way to show your hard-working – just don’t devote too much space to it at the cost of more relevant experiences.
If you’re still struggling with your CV or don’t know where to even start, then DiamondCV’s award-winning CV and Career services can help! Whether it’s a CV polish, a complete rewrite or even a tailored cover letter we’re here to make you stand out of the crowd. To find out how exactly we can help make your CV shine, book a free CV assessment today!
3. The value of Social Media
I’m sure the importance of social media in this day and age isn’t lost on recent graduates but did you know it can also be a factor in whether or not you get the job you want? Most obviously having a well written and professional-looking Linkedin page is an incredibly useful tool when job searching. The leading social media for professionals, LinkedIn is incredibly popular with businesses both for its networking capabilities and for checking out potential employees. Upon receiving your job applications and reviewing your CV it is increasingly likely that HR departments or even the employer themselves will check their candidates LinkedIn profiles to help shortlist potential employees for interviews.
It is important then not to waste this final opportunity to sell yourself and maximise your job search. If you don’t have LinkedIn then set yourself a profile up and if you do then review it and make sure that it’s both up to date and attractive to employers. Your headline should detail exactly what you do alongside your most important skills and the about section should function somewhat like a less targeted cover letter, outlining your best points and achievements. We at DiamondCV Ltd also offer a bespoke LinkedIn profile service that will ensure that your profile is as attractive as possible to potential employers and help you to land that dream job.
Another important thing to note is that it’s possible that potential employers might take a look at your other socials before making their decision. Therefore, it might be a good idea to check your profiles for anything embarrassing or that might put you off to employers.
4. Don’t just pick the position that offers the most money
This may seem obvious but is certainly worth mentioning, particularly when the job offers start rolling in. It can be easy to be swung by the massive company offering a starting wage of £27000 instead of the smaller salary company that might offer you more experience and the chance to progress your career. It’s important to remember that you’re at the beginning of your working life and even though it may seem the right thing to take the highest paying job it’s important to consider other factors.
Your main aim for your first position is to give you a strong start to your career. If you’re just sitting behind a desk and answering phone calls, even if you’re being paid the earth to do it, then is this really giving you the experience and knowledge you need to progress? Sometimes it’s better to take a lower-paying role with better opportunities to gain experience in the role. Chances are you won’t be at your first job forever and so the importance of laying the foundations to your career should supersede a larger paycheck.
5. Don’t give up on your career targets
This brings us on nicely to our final point. If there is somewhere you want to be in your career or something you want to achieve then that is amazing. Of course, To reach it you might have to start somewhere other than you originally intended or perhaps lower down than you’d like but as long as you keep your focus on that dream position or goal then we’re sure you’ll ace it.
Remembering you’re on the first part of your journey is important and just because you’ve had to have a slight change of plan doesn’t mean giving up on your dream position. Pragmatism does not have to come between aiming high. Whether it be starting in a bookshop instead of becoming an editor for Penguin or working in a bank instead of the stock exchange, building little blocks of experience and skills will help you to reach your career targets.
For more great tips on Graduate job-searching check out this excellent article by Save the Student.