So, the time has finally come to pack your bags and leave university – leaving you with a lot of uncertainty going forward. How long will your parents put up with you living at home for? Did you work hard enough during your course? And, worst of all, are you ever going to get that job you’ve always wanted?
We can’t tell you how long your parents are likely to put up with you for, or even whether you worked hard enough during your course. What we can tell you is that none of that matters – because now you need to be looking for a job. Here are our top tips for students seeking graduate employment:
- Draw up a killer CV. It’s pretty obvious, but a CV is an essential tool to have in your armoury if you want to get a job. Some people live in a world of nepotism and referrals, but the chances are that you don’t and you’ll actually have to do some leg work in order to find a job. Write a CV out and then tweak it like crazy. Get multiple opinions on it and really try your best to make it a work of art.
- Be flexible. A lot of employers will ask you to state whether there are any commitments you have that could affect your ability to attend an interview, or even start working. Don’t be that person who puts down a long list of commitments, like going out and getting plastered for your friend’s 21st. If you’re serious about getting your dream graduate job you need to be as flexible as possible.
- Get work experience. During your job hunt, if things are going slow make sure you do anything that could improve your CV. Work experience is a great way to add to your CV – employers love nothing more than seeing that a graduate has taken the initiative to get out there and apply themselves. Remember, over a third of students who complete work experience placements actually end up with a job at the end of it. You never know – a work experience placement may just blossom into your dream job offer.
- Be persistent. It’s extremely disheartening when you spend weeks on end applying for jobs and you don’t hear anything back, not even so much as a courtesy email or letter. Don’t let this get you down – be persistent because persistence always pays off.
- Set your sights a little lower. Some graduates decide they’re going to apply for CEO positions straight out of university because they got a good degree. While this shows a lot of ambition, it’s not a strategy that will work for most students. Ask yourself whether you’re setting your sights a little too high; and if you are, look at ways in which you can lower them and other jobs you may enjoy instead.
Getting a job isn’t easy as a graduate – recent research suggests that every job vacancy has on average 50 applications. Follow the above tips and you should find your job prospects start to look much more positive.
Adam Grunwerg works for StudentMoney.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading student money, comparison and offers sites. Check it out for more information about getting a job and money advice.