10 Survival Tips for New Graduates
So, that’s it. After years of working towards your degree, uni is over! The money is starting to run out and there aren’t any more student loans coming in to look forward to. So – you need a job.
Finding your first job as a graduate can be a daunting task, so we’ve put together 10 Survival Tips for New Graduates to help you get started:
1. Keep Calm & Make a Start (TODAY!)
When it comes to looking for a job, it’s easy to feel like everyone else has it all figured out already – but chances are, they haven’t.
The majority of students have been too stressed out with their final exams and finishing their dissertations to have started working on their CV – let alone applying for jobs.
If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, or don’t have an up to date CV, don’t worry – now is the time to do it.
2. Cover Yourself
A cover letter is essential. It’s your chance to put your personality across and make your experience and skills relevant to the specific role you are applying for.
Instead of addressing the letter to “To Whom it May Concern”, take the time to find out who you should be addressing it to. Most of the time this is on their website, if not, give the company a call.
3. Do Your Homework
After completing your essays and dissertation, you may feel like researching is the last thing you want to do. But truth it, it pays off.
You can learn a lot from just visiting the company’s website and doing some research on their social media pages, etc. The more you do, the more you can make your CV and cover letter more relevant to the company and position they are hiring for – for example: you can use value statements to match yourself to their mission statement and goals. You will also have learned about the company and have some background information that will be needed if you make it to the interview stage.
4. Get Yourself a Hobby
Have a think about how to make you stand out from the thousands of other graduates looking for jobs at the moment.
On your CV, include any relevant units or subjects you’ve studies which may make you an ideal candidate.
Have you done any voluntary work? Undertaken any relevant courses? If not, this would be a good time to do so.
The same goes for hobbies. Make the most of your new-found free time and do something which sets you apart from other candidates.
– It’s never too late.
5. Sell Yourself, Not the Title of your Degree
When you start applying for jobs, there’s a very good change that your degree won’t tie in completely with the position you are applying for – but that doesn’t mean you’re an unsuitable candidate.
Instead of focussing on the title of your degree, think about the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Working to deadlines, research, analytical skills, giving presentations, demonstrating logical thinking and interpersonal skills are all great attributes often gained through higher education.
The list is endless – it’s all about how you present and communicate them.
6. Be Confident, Stay Positive
This applies to not only your attitude but to your language too. When writing your CV, use positive phrases, avoid: ‘I feel I have…’ or ‘I can be good at…’
You need to sell yourself to the employer and have confidence in yourself and your abilities. This also applies to your degree if it does seem irrelevant – don’t start your CV or cover letter with: ‘I know I don’t have much experience in this field…’ or ‘I know my degree doesn’t match what you’re looking for…’
Focus on what you can offer them rather than what you can’t.
7. Keep Building your Network
Never underestimate the power of networking.
Search through your friends and family, family friends and friends of friends. Get your name out there and pick up some work experience if you can.
Also, make sure to start building a LinkedIn profile – with more and more recruiters and hiring managers using it as a tool to find candidates, it would definitely be worth doing.
8. Get Some Experience
We’ve all got to start somewhere – so you need to be prepared to start from the bottom if required.
To get into your dream job, you will probably need to gain some experience – whether it is an entry level job or even unpaid; it would definitely be worth doing and would look good on your CV too.
9. Consider ALL the Options
Make sure you know all the options that are available to you before you start writing yourself off. Sometimes your degree can open more doors than your realise and take your career in a completely different direction.
Find out what other areas you can go into – and start applying.
10. Don’t Take it Personally
With over 300,000 new graduates looking for jobs between April and September, it is inevitable that you will face rejection somewhere along the line. It is very competitive – but not impossible.
If you’ve applied for some positions but not heard back, get in touch. Persevere and find out why they haven’t been in touch. Try and get feedback from your CV and why you haven’t been successful – you might just learn something and be able to secure the next job!
Source: reed.co.uk /career-advice