We’ve all been there, it gets to February and suddenly lecturers, tutors, and family members start mentioning a graduate job. After years at University it’s hard enough to believe it’s coming to an end, but to think about what actually happens after your degree?!
Yes, that’s it; it’s time to get a grad job. As much as I would love to tell you it’s easy to fall out of university and suddenly land yourself a great grad job with amazing perks, it’s just not that realistic.
It’s not all doom and gloom but in case you are feeling stressed about getting a job after university, here’s 8 things to remember when searching for a grad job.
1. A Graduate Job Doesn’t Have to Be a Grad Job
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that a graduate job has to be a job through a graduate program or scheme or someone specifically advertising for a graduate. Graduate jobs mostly mean an entry-level job so don’t limit yourself to positions that only mention graduates in the job title.
Broaden your search to entry-level positions and you might find there are positions that you have relatable skills for and meet the requirements for even though it doesn’t talk about your degree in too much detail.
2. Your First Job Probably Won’t Be Your Dream Job
You might have spent three years studying a subject you love and have a great idea of exactly what you want to do but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get it straight away. But that’s not a negative thing.
It’s always good to start from an entry-level job to gain experience of the business as a whole, this gives you a much better grounding of the industry you’re in and provides you with the practical experience you need in order to do you dream job properly
3. It’s Ok If You Don’t Know What You Want to Do Yet
It’s also perfectly normal for you to not know what your dream job is yet. You’ve got plenty of time to have different jobs to help you decide what you like doing, what you don’t like doing and what you’re good at.
Even getting a job that is slightly relevant to your degree will be beneficial, as long as you are getting experience, you will have practical skills that can help you get your next job. Each job is a stepping stone for something better.
4. Recruitment Agencies Are There to Help You
Most recruitment agencies will spend time giving you expert advice and guidance to help you land a job. Look online at some agencies websites and you’ll find blogs about how to write a CV or how to give an interview presentation.
Try to make sure that you use more specialized recruitment agencies that are experts in the industry; these will be much better equipped to advise you on how to impress. Recruiters’ aim is to get you a job, so signing up for multiple agencies will give you access to more jobs that you wouldn’t have been able to find online.
5. A Degree Isn’t Everything
Sadly, a degree alone won’t always be enough to land a job. Doing things outside of your studies such as setting up a blog, leading a committee or even a part-time job can help tremendously when job searching. Showing your employer you have the motivation to add to your CV is great and says a lot about you as a potential employee.
6. You Have Time
By no means do I mean that you should relax and become complacent with your job search, but there’s no need to panic if you haven’t got a graduate job soon after you leave university. It takes time to find something worthwhile and it’s not a negative thing to be going back to your old retail job while you look for something else. If you keep looking, something will come.
7. You Might Have to Work for Free
Not for long, don’t worry! But sometimes is necessary to partake in a bit of unpaid work experience for a company in order to gain some experience and knowledge of the working world. Try calling some local companies and ask to speak to the manager or director, explain your situation, and say you would like to come in and shadow someone or help with some work to gain a bit more knowledge.
Most companies – if they have space- will be willing to do let you come in because they will get some free help too.
8. Feedback is Important
If you’ve been to a few interviews or been rejected before the interview stage a number of times, ask for feedback! If you’re hearing the same thing more than once, chances are you will keep hearing it unless you actively try to change it.
If it’s confidence, practice how you’ll answer questions in a mirror over and over again until you remember the answers off by heart.
If it’s experience, try getting some work experience to bulk up your CV (see point above).
If it’s fit for the company, research the company more before the interview so you can tailor your answers to fit them better.