Finding a job after graduation
Finding a job after graduation
How can you enhance your chance of employment success?
Finishing college brings with it a sense of euphoria and expectation, and rightly so. You have worked hard to reach this point and you can be proud of that. For those busy finding a job after graduation, we share some tips to increase your chances.
Starting off in the world of work can be an unsettling time; questions that until recently seemed immaterial now need to be answered.
- What job should you go for?
- Should you apply for every job going?
- Should you pursue a grad scheme/internship or go straight into full-time employment?
- Should you accept the first role offered? (a question I answered in my previous blog)
- Should you relocate to better your chances of securing employment?
There are some steps you can take – even before you take your final exams – to help minimize the uncertainty, and greatly enhance your chances of success.
Your final grade only tells part of the story
While at university there are a number of activities you can participate in to enhance your chances of future employment. In fact, when it comes to the interview stage of your job search process, your final grade only tells part of the story.
Being in the lacrosse team might not make you a shoe-in for a career in software development; however it might equip you with a number of necessary soft skills to help you ace the hiring process. Other activities such as writing for your university newspaper, being a member of the debating team, and other such societies could certainly enhance your future chances of success, as long as they relate to the industry you’re interested in.
Obtain work experience
Ideally you want to obtain experience in the profession you plan to go into. If there aren’t any societies or extra-curricular means of you furthering yourself within your chosen field then ask yourself whether you know anyone who works in a role related to your course which is of interest. If so, don’t be shy about approaching them for work experience – almost all medium to large organisations have a work-experience program in place.
Find an internship
Instead of spending your holiday periods relaxing and waiting for university to come round again, dip your toe into the business world by finding an internship or work experience to help further your career.
The ideal, ‘two birds one stone’ situation is to find yourself a work experience position that’s both in the field that you want to work in and in a situation or location outside of your comfort zone. This way you’re gaining both hard, practical knowledge (from working in that industry) and plenty of soft skills too (by breaching unfamiliar territory).
Overseas practical work experience is always a big plus for employers. Employers also do value ‘life experience’, so travelling definitely isn’t off the list, but try and make it meaningful and relevant to your career ambitions.
And did you find your internship, then have a look at some tips on how to have a successful internship period.
After you graduate, the following tips can help you finding a job.
Post graduate qualifications
Whether or not you pursue post-graduate qualifications immediately upon graduation very much depends on your individual situation and the industry you want to breach. Some industries value or require them a lot more than others.
If it helps you get into your chosen profession and is a requirement for that job then yes, of course go for it. However this may not be practical for you, financially or otherwise. Seek out tailored careers advice for further information on this; your university should have a dedicated careers team on hand to offer advice.
Update your CV
Your CV should be a constant, evolving project but you should definitely grant it some extra attention having just graduated – this is when your activities and achievements are freshest in your mind.
Try and pack your CV with clearly defined achievements and skills that relate to your chosen profession.
Your LinkedIn profile
Now is also the perfect time to launch your LinkedIn profile, if you haven’t done so already. Many regard this as the moment when you truly enter the working world.
Preparing for job interviews
Interview skills are also going to be of vital importance upon recently graduating. Chances are you don't have a lot of experience with this yet, but these tips will help you prepare for your job interviews.
If you’re concerned about your low confidence or lack of public speaking, than have a look at these tips on how to increase self confidence.
Your chances will also be helped by turning up to the interview with a few questions for your interviewer, some of which might include:
- What does a typical day look like
- How does the team fit into the overall structure of the company?
- What constitutes success for the team and the role?
Have a look at a full list of questions to ask your interviewer.
Find more tips on looking for a job or preparing for an interview. And once you have found your job, learn some tips on your first working days.