Let’s talk about getting a Graduate job…Exhausted from re-writing your CV with relevant content specific for every role and then creating heartfelt covering letters to potential employers?
To then hear nothing back. It’s not right, not fair, and so soul destroying. We feel your pain.
Hopefully, we can help you get your career off to a great start.
The graduate job market is never easy, however, care of Covid and the resulting economic impacts, it has got a lot worse. So how do you stand out from the crowd, reduce your stress, and land a job that is right for you? 🤷
The following are tips, tricks, and insights to help you land a job– so if companies aren’t beating your door down through UpLink try the following in the meantime.
1. Use Jobsites
Recruitment is big business – let others do some work for you. Job sites are not just for people looking for a job. Employers and recruiters use them too to find potential candidates – so upload away. It won’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes. The probability of success is low but infinitely more than if you don’t post.
Similarly, make yourself a LinkedIn profile for all the same reasons.
2. Use graduate recruitment agencies
Another place to try to increase your odds of landing a job are recruitment agencies – especially those that specialise in graduate jobs. This will give you access to some vacancies that are not advertised elsewhere as some companies chose to use only agencies as their means of sourcing new employees.
Agencies get paid for filtering and filling vacancies, not by you but by the recruiting company – so again – let them work for you and increase your chances still further. We should flag that there are some agencies that try and charge you for them to find you a job – we don’t suggest you do this.
3. Tailor every application for the role
You may be doing this already but we highly recommend that you modify and create unique CVs and covering letters for every role you apply directly to. Yes, it’s really easy to drag and drop the same documents to everyone – however, however, this only compromises your chances.
Yes, it’s a pain, yes it requires research, yes it hoovers time – but you are up against people who are doing just that. So, if you want to compete, guess what?
Tell potential employers all about yourself AND tell them why you are perfect for the specific role, in their company. Study the job spec, their social presence, their annual report, look up Glassdoor reviews etc – do your research and then modify your base CV and CL to match.
We also highly recommend that your CV focus’ on achievement – i.e. how you made a difference. Nobody wants just to read where you went to school and what results you got. So definitely include a personal statement and by all means steal from your UpLink profile.
4. Ask connections about job opportunities
All too often it’s not what you know, but who you know that makes a difference as lots of vacancies are filled each year through connections. Funnily enough, it comes down to money again. Companies typically give a small bonus to staff if they can recommend someone they know for a role. The bonus is typically less than they would have paid a recruiter and it means the potential recruit comes with a recommendation before they even walk in the door.
Do we agree with this process – does it increase the chances of a good fit – no. However, it goes on a lot. So, go for it. Don’t feel shy about asking people – if they get paid, they should be thanking you!
If you know someone who works for a company you’re interested in, ask them to recommend you. But don’t stop there, use LinkedIn to find out if people know have connections also so you can spread your connections further – friends and family are happy to help and their connections, if they put you forward, will probably earn a bonus – still everyone wins.
5. Want the job
In this present climate there are fewer graduate jobs than normal, and many seem tempted to apply for every opportunity that says ‘graduate’. However, two thirds of your waking hours, Monday to Friday, will be in work so make sure you won’t be miserable it will impact your productivity, attitude, and long-term opportunities.
It is one thing is to be out of your comfort zone and another to be a zombie, so do your research. Those who know what to expect and are enthusiastic stand a far better chance of getting the role.
6. Consider your options
As highlighted above some seem to apply for everything – however, the reverse is true – some just apply to an extremely limited number of roles as they “know” what they want. This strategy has its downsides too.
Filtering your search by job title, location, salary, or specific vertical is going to severely limit your chances of landing a job. We advocate, especially at the start of your career building career collateral – assets, knowledge, skills, contacts, brands – that will serve you well into the future. So, think again, cast your net wider and consider dipping your toe into affiliated or associated sectors.
7. Think about start–ups
Start-ups often don’t have the budget to sponsor graduate schemes or advertise widely about open positions and therefore are often overlooked. If you can find such opportunities it also means the competition for such roles is going to be less than well-advertised positions. That said, for those who can cope with change and embrace hands on experience they can offer some remarkably diverse, interesting opportunities, and increased early responsibility. The only downside is you will wear multiple hats, and small companies will typically lack the formal structured trainee programs many corporate graduate schemes have.
8. What would make you more employable
Standing out is not easy – especially when many of your competitors might have higher grades.
Firstly – we at UpLink are all about this. IQ and grades are only a small fraction of the picture. So, pull out your UpLink profile and sell your strengths!
We would also recommend doing some relevant work experience or getting a free or low cost online qualification in an area related to your chosen path.
9. If it needs it – clean up your social media
Scary fact but nearly 1/3 of employers reject candidates based on something they found on them online. Nobody is saying you must look professional in all your online content; however, we are suggesting you look twice at it. Anything that could be misconstrued, or appear disrespectful should be removed. Post more of you being kind, compassionate, helpful, trustworthy and all those qualities that make you – you.
10. Taking time out
The market is really bad, make no mistake. In the UK unemployment is at its highest for more than a decade.
However, taking time out and getting away has some value too.
- Getting away from home and college builds independence, shows character and broadens your horizons
- When limited money is coming in and you are fending for yourself it drives you to be more responsible and self-aware and certainly improves your budgeting skills
- Going further afield post Covid gives the opportunity to learn a new language and improves your interpersonal skills.
Overall, take the positives as they come, getting away allows you to illustrate what a positive adaptable employee you will be.
11. Keep motivated
Easily said, but keep at it.
Getting your dream immediately isn’t realistic – it takes time, hard work, some luck. In the meantime find some other gigs to earn some cash, volunteer and take some online classes to add depth to your CV.
If nothing is happening, talk to others and take input on your CV and covering letters and make changes accordingly.
12. Hopefully, interviews will follow
Don’t stop now. Having put all this work in to get to the next round you need to focus on the next steps.
Many employees will put you through a psych test. Take a look at UpLink’s personal feedback. If there are any issues go read about what these tests are, what they look for and how they work. We don’t believe they do a good job, but to fail on this filter would be annoying.
Many employees will also ask for a video interview. Do the prep work well before – don’t rush to set up your phone or laptop. It’s key you consider your backdrop, the lighting, the audio quality, and network performance. Don’t leave it to chance. Same with how you look – don’t wear your PJs – well certainly not above the waist.
Unlike an in person interview you also have the opportunity to prepare loads of notes and reminders of things to bring up – they can all be stuck behind the camera and easily read 😊 Take a look at your UpLink profile to think about what is important to you and prepare your questions accordingly.
Remember to smile.
Hopefully, we have helped. Good luck. We know getting a Graduate job is difficult. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.