Job AdviceFind your PERFECT POSTGRAD PROGRAM
One of the scariest prospects for a lot of recent graduates is finding a job. Not graduated yet? It’s never too early to think about turning your degree into a career . The internet is full of job advice, to the stage where it can get overwhelming. Well, worry not, because here we’ve done all the work for you and compiled a bunch of useful advice for you.
The first place to start is to look at what careers guidance you can get from your university . Even if you left a year or two ago, many universities careers services are open to alumni, so do make sure you check! Through this, you’ll most likely have access to one-on-one sessions, mock interviews and personalised advice. You’ll also have access to careers fairs. These are a brilliant place to look (even if you haven’t finished your degree yet) because you’ll get the chance not only to ask questions, but to make an impression. People like to say it’s not what you know, but who you know, and certainly, if someone recalls you as being enthusiastic and engaging from a careers fair, they are far more likely to offer you an interview.
Don’t forget that having a postgraduate degree really can give you an edge in the job market , so be ready to grab those opportunities with both hands. Of course, a degree isn’t everything you need, so try and make sure you have some relevant work or work experience to talk about – no matter what career you want to go into, some job experience will always look preferable to none, so if you have chance, try and get a summer job or internship of some kind.
Job Application Advice
So you’ve chatted with your careers service, attended the careers fairs, and you’ve chosen a job or two that you want to do, now you’re ready to apply for some jobs. You know where to look , but how do you go about this?
#1 Don't lie
Firstly, and so importantly we’re going to put it in all capitals - DON'T LIE on your CV. Yes, play up the positives and downplay the negatives, but don’t be tempted to put anything provably false on there. Whatever you put on your CV can be checked, and being proven a liar will almost certainly hinder your job prospects.
With that out of the way, what should you do? We mentioned earlier that it’s often who you know, so hopefully you’ll have done some networking . If you can have someone in the company vouching for you, or even if they recall your face, it will help them associate your CV with someone they’re interested in.
#3 Get CV style right
Now, back to that CV. Look up what’s ‘fashionable’ in the recruitment world – certain styles of CV fall in and out of fashion, and you don’t want yours to look outdated. Once you’ve got the style fixed, you need substance. Here’s the tricky part – walking the fine line between confidence and arrogance. You want to give the best possible impression of yourself, without sounding like you’re bragging or exaggerating. This can be hard, so we advise getting your careers advisor or employed friends to read it over for you. Hopefully, they’ll tell you when you sound cocky, but also point out where you’re being too modest! Once that’s done, make sure you don’t make any of our top ten mistakes .
#4 Highlight previous experience
Highlight any possible work-like experience you have that’s relevant – if you were president of a society, that’s vital experience, as long as you can sell it. Let’s see...it taught you leadership, teamwork, time management, budgeting, and so on. Just don’t focus on these things to the extent that they overwhelm all else, and you’ll do great.
#5 Cover letter
CV done? Good. On to the cover letter! This is where you get to show off even more – you can explain the relevant points of your CV in more detail, talk about why you’re such a good fit for the company, and make yourself memorable enough that they think of you when organising interviews.
And finally – the interview. One thing many people forget is that you need to research the role, and the company, you are applying to. Don’t over flatter, but do make sure they’re aware you’re interested in the company, and not just a paycheck. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately (if in doubt, formal wear is always a good option) and that you arrive early so you have time to find where you’re going and compose yourself in advance of the interview.
Remember: you might not get the first job you apply for, but you shouldn’t worry about that. Just keep on applying, making contacts, and it’ll happen.