7 Essential Tips to Help Graduates With Their Job Search
It’s been two months since you walked across the stage with your degree. Ever since, you’ve been scouring the want ads and sent out your CV to seemingly hundreds of places, but no one is calling you back.
Frustration is setting in. The pressure of landing that ‘job’ and even the fear of remaining unemployed is building up your stress levels.
What should you be doing right now? Not panicking is key and thinking of ways you can set yourself apart. Here’s some top tips to refocus your job search and gain more of an opportunity to land that career.
1. Be Human
Today’s world is undeniably reliant on the Internet, but when it comes to job hunting, on its own it’s not enough. Making a call after you’ve sent in your CV may set you out from the crowd. It will show employers you have courage and good communication skills, both critical factors for any careers.
2. Be Yourself
Employers have made it clear: what they’re looking for goes well beyond degrees and relevant experience. Many of them are looking for candidates who have transferable skills and are cooperative, helpful and flexible. Capitalise on these skills when networking or answering daunting interview questions. Be confident in your response, and don’t be afraid to say what you want from a career.
3. Do Your Research
Don’t just fill in the application mechanically – it will come across to the potential employer. Do your research to understand the industry, competition and challenges they are facing, and where they are likely to expand or change direction in the future. Refer to company profiles on the internet and newspaper archives, search for company annual reports and marketing materials online. Talk to people and find out what they like most and least about their jobs and the companies they work for. Social media sites and professional networking platforms are also a great way to listen to the company and what it’s saying.
4. Present Yourself Well Online
Be careful about what you’re posting, or update your security settings as undoubtedly recruiters will look for you across Google and social media. Also make sure your LinkedIn presence is up to date and you’re posting or following relevant influencers to show you’re learning and understanding the industry you want to enter.
LinkedIn recently carried out a survey amongst graduates to ask them what they most cared about when considering a job opportunity. Whilst compensation was a top factor, most recent graduates cared more about how a job would advance their career and development opportunities. If this is you, prove it through your online presence.
5. Create a Unique CV and Perfect Cover Letter
Your CV should be truthful, simple and professional and should be adapted to every job opportunity. The cover letter is an opportunity to personalize your CV and summarise who you are, what you are interested in and why you are suitable for the job. No CV should be sent without a cover letter.
Many universities have strong alumni networks students can tap into, and many departments offer opportunities to meet professionals working in a particular field. Many of them also hold career fairs for their students on a regular basis to meet potential employers. Get out and shake hands. Get advice on the profession you’re interested in and ask questions on how to best position yourself. It’s also a chance for you to see you’re not alone.
7. Prepare for your job interview
Find out what a professional job interview involves. Ask professionals in your network what questions you should expect to be asked, and practice your answers. Have a friend mock interview to get your nervous tics out and learn to smoothly answer questions. Remember, interviews are all about first impressions, so physical appearance and grooming is also important. There’s no second chance to make a first impression.
8. Be Polite
Remember to say thank you for the opportunity, whether you get the career or not, not enough interviewees say or pop an email over to simply say thank you for the opportunity, so it’s another potential way to stand out from the crowd.