So, it’s that time of year again, however this time it is a lot different as you’ve finished your degree. You’re likely scrambling through piles of paper to find that application form you thought you picked up, or fighting off job remarks from your parents.
Now the once before glooming realisation of having to step into the working world is a reality and you’re likely feeling a little lost and without purpose, but you needn’t fear, or worry. We've teamed up with leading job board StudentJob.co.uk to bring you expert advice on getting your first graduate job:
Making the right first impression
With the rapid growth of the online world over the past decade, it is very unlikely your first impression on an employer will be face-to-face. And with employers checking candidates’ social media footprint, it might just be a sensible thing to reconsider the photos of the night you drowned yourself in snakebite (most nights) and brought home an obscure item (a traffic cone).
Besides employers being sneaky, it’s likely you’ll be asked to provide a CV and/or cover letter. The success of your application depends on your CV and cover letter, so spend time crafting them. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there, but here are our main tips for a successful CV and cover letter.
• Focus on the particular skills you have that make you suitable for the job, but more importantly an example of how you acquired them.
• Note your experiences, and what you have learnt from them.
• Be truthful. Employers will expect you to represent your CV in an interview.
Layout! It is the 21st century, be creative with your CV! Head over to www.writehelp.co.uk (launching soon) to see an example of an innovative CV.
Cover letter tips:
• In your opening paragraph, show off your knowledge about the company. Be sure to look deeper than their mission statement. Also, tell them briefly why you’re interested in the company/industry.
• Tailor your experiences to the requirements of the role e.g. If the role requires creative thinking, give an example of a project/piece of work that required you to work and think creatively
• Keep your content relevant and concise, refrain from over explaining and repeating yourself.
Nailing the interview
Interviews can be either be an awful experience or a not-so awful experience, it’s all down to preparation. The better you prepare, the better you will perform. Ever heard the saying, fail to plan, plan to fail? That’s interviews in a nutshell!
• Employers will be expecting a high level of professionalism from graduate level candidates, but it is important to be yourself. Your personality will help differentiate you from other candidates.
• Be familiar with Competency Based Interview (CBI) questions. These questions are designed to see how you react and respond to specific situations.
• Knowing the company and the industry will go a long way. Do your research, and whilst doing so think of aspects that take your interest to discuss.
• At the end of the interview you’ll often be given the chance to ask questions. ALWAYS ask questions, this is your time to take control of the interview, use this to your advantage. Avoid asking bland questions to the employer. Ask questions regarding what you have researched, this will show that you understand the company and not just regurgitating what you have read.
So there it is, our short guide to getting your first grad job. Remember a little effort goes a long way, be prepared and ready to impress.
For graduate jobs opportunities, don’t forget to sign up to StudentJob!