Job Hunting Tips for Graduates

by | 18.05.23

Finding a graduate job can sometimes seem like a challenging task, it can feel daunting not knowing where to start and where to find the best jobs. Additionally in today’s climate it can feel like securing your dream job is unachievable. Whilst job hunting may initially seem scary and hard when you know what to do it can be successful and enjoyable. Here are some tips for you:

Appear professional on Social Media

Make sure you have a professional online presence. I’m not suggesting you post photos of yourself wearing work clothes but it is essential you present yourself as a respectful, trustworthy and employable individual. You need an employer to look at you and think he/she looks wonderful. A social media presence full of pictures of you drunk simply won’t do!

Upload your CV to Job Sites

Job Sites aren’t just used by people hoping to secure a job. Employers and Employment Agencies often search through them when looking for potential candidates as well. There is a good chance a future employer could come across your CV and realise you’re the ideal candidate for them. Creating a profile and uploading your CV will take around 15-30 minutes – it’s too good an opportunity to miss.

Use good Recruitment Agencies

It’s worth looking into Recruitment Agencies when you are trying to get a job. There are thousands of Agencies all over the UK and many of them specialise in graduate jobs – I know we do. Another benefit of using an Agency is they can provide you with temporary work which could lead to a permanent position – so what do you have to lose?

Tailor each application for the role

Most jobs require you to submit a covering letter and a CV when you apply. It might be tempting to send out the same documents for each job but please never do this. It might seem like a total headache to tailor each application you send out but if you don’t do this an employer will be able to tell. Ultimately aim for quality not quantity when applying for jobs.

Ask friends and acquaintances about job opportunities

Sometimes it’s not about what you know but who you know. Whether it’s fair or not loads of job vacancies are filled through word or mouth alone. If you know someone who works for a Company you’re interested in ask them to recommend you. Or if you know someone who works in an industry you’re interested in see if they will put you in touch with the right person.

Make yourself more employable

This might sound like a very general tip, but it’s more actionable than you’d think. With a huge number of graduates entering the job market with top grades each year, it’s hard to stand out with your degree alone. Finding ways to make yourself more employable is just as important. For example you could do temporary work to gain some office experience. By working on a temporary basis you are also showing yourself to be a real self starter.

Know what you are applying for

To impress a potential employer show them you have a genuine interest in the Company. Whether it’s at the early stages of a job application or when you’re through to the interview stage doing thorough research about the job and business will help you get a job offer. And after spending a good hour or so researching a Company, the work they do and the role you’re applying for, your cover letter will also be much easier to write.

Be confident a job is right for you

Good graduate jobs can seem few and far between sometimes. You might even be tempted to apply for any opportunity you see just because they say ‘graduate’ in the job spec, even if you are not remotely interested in the job. This is not a good idea. Remember you spend around 80% of your life at work, signing yourself up to do something you know you won’t like or do not intend to do long term will a) make you miserable and b) ruin your CV.

Apply to small Companies as well as large ones

Smaller Companies are often overlooked by job seekers. Small Companies can offer some pretty incredible job opportunities. Whilst it’s brilliant if you land yourself a graduate role with a national or international Company the competition for jobs with smaller Companies is usually much lower. The hands-on experience you can get working in a small Company is invaluable. You could find yourself with much more responsibility. You know what they say you can be a big fish in a small sea!

Broaden your options when applying for jobs

Granted I’ve said that you shouldn’t take a job unless it’s right for you – and I’ll still stand by that. But it’s worth thinking carefully about whether the jobs you’ve been looking at so far are actually, hand-on-heart, right or you. It’s worth thinking about whether there are jobs you’d be interested in that aren’t directly related to your degree. It is really common for graduates to end up in roles that are different from the jobs they’d expected to apply for when in University. So my advice is keep an open mind.

So I hope this has helped you and made you look at areas like gaining experience by doing temporary work that possibly you had not considered before. My key bit of advice though is to stay motivated. This might seem easier said than done, but however tough your job hunt feels, don’t give up! You’ve got this.

Angela Burton