If you’ve just graduated you may feel a little daunted about your first foray into the jobs market. Unfortunately few recent graduates walk into great roles immediately and you should expect a bit of heartache when getting your first graduate role. These are our tips for nudging ahead in that busy graduate jobs market.
It’s the endless frustration experienced by both candidates and clients. Graduates feel that they can’t possibly get the experience required during their studies and hirers feel they can’t find a place for someone with no experience. Enter the dreaded unpaid internship and the unfulfilling work experience week. Often the gulf is not as wide as it might appear and it’s really a matter of reframing. The client is looking for the practical applications of your education. Concentrate on the work that you’ve done that most closely resembled real-life situations, including team projects, case study analysis or reporting. Don’t be put off by what may seem like unreasonable demands for experience if you’ve just graduated. Try to understand why the hirer is asking for experience and shape your academic experience to reflect your suitability.
Just Graduated? Get Networking
In a busy market your carefully crafted CV may well just be put on an every growing pile of people with your skills. However brilliant you would be at interview it’s just difficult to actually get there. Networking provides a range of benefits but getting your face in front of potential hirers is key. Lots of big companies hold events specifically designed for graduates so that they can present the benefits of working for them and they can get to meet some potential new employees. Even if you don’t really get to speak to someone, mentioning that you attended the event in your cover letter will impress. It’s certainly easier if you live near London (other cities host more occasional events) as that is where they focus their events but if you want to work for a large company e.g. PWC, GSK, Oracle it’s a must. Check out Eventbrite for a wide range of networking opportunities.
Don’t lose your motivation
Nothing is guaranteed in these uncertain times but one thing you can be sure of is that you won’t get a job if you give up the search. If you’ve just graduated you may feel a little unprepared for this tortuous experience but resilience is key and we are forever reminding candidates that rejection from one role is not a reflection of their skills and ability. The hiring process is rather like dating! You know what type of company you’re interested in but sometimes it just doesn’t fit. Don’t give up on love (i.e. your brilliant career)!
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