Graduation day is a day of pure celebration. Post-graduation, well, that is a more daunting stage in your life when you suddenly find yourself looking for a job to kick-off your career. Suddenly you are an adult after graduation, even if you may not feel like it. And with that comes the need to enter into the world of work and the responsibilities that comes with that.
Here are some tips for new graduates looking to make their first moves in their career.
Your game plan
Entering into the world of work is not necessarily a simple transition after years as a student. It is important to remember to not put too much pressure on yourself. Keep calm and take your time to put your best foot forward. It might even be useful to go home and relax just for a short time to try and figure out exactly what it is you want to do, rather than rushing into a role that may well not be what you want. UCAS chief Mary Curnock Cook recommends students wait six months after graduation before finding themselves a job – though of course this depends on your financial situation.
Your job position is important, but so is the location! A job opening can open your eyes to a location you may have never considered otherwise, but it is worth making sure you will be happy there outside of work, too. Check out the cost of living, the average salary and any other factors important to you. According to many polls, the best city in the UK for recent graduates is Sheffield. This is down to the good quality of life, high average salaries and low cost rents. Thankfully, even if you’re not there (yet), you can use job listing sites like Jobrapido to keep up with any new jobs in Sheffield (or another city of your choice) that might be suitable for you from the comfort of your own home. Checking online for jobs is the best way to try and snap up a new position quickly, even if it is a rather long and unrewarding process to fill in numerous online application forms.
Clean up your social media! Potential employers can and most likely will check out your social media profiles. Be sure that whatever you have on there, you wouldn’t mind having your future boss and company see. Keep it expressive of who you are, but also professional. After all, you don’t want to be ‘that person’, especially starting out at your first job! Employers have stated that they have been put off potential employees after seeing offensive or inappropriate posts on their social media pages, unfortunately for these people a quick search on Facebook might be the end of their chance of landing a role.
Tailor your CV, cover letters and applications
Tailor every application, cover letter and your resume/CV to the job that you are applying to. HR professionals can tell when they have standard application documents on their desk vs. those that have been tailored to the specific opening you are applying for. It is 100% worth taking the time to tailor your application, cover letter and your resume.
Also, lots of graduate jobs require very long applications that can be very tedious but it’s worth it in the end. So be pro-active with applications, even if you do just one per day!
As a recent grad, it is the perfect time to develop a personal brand. You have a university degree yes, but your qualification alone most likely is not what will land you the job. Debbie Campbell, Senior Career Consultant for Right Management said, “You have a far greater chance of landing a terrific job by helping companies see how you will fit in their organisation.” Be yourself! You want to get hired for who you are, not just what you seem to be on paper.
Maintain the relationships and connections that you made throughout University. Whether it is with a professor that inspired you or a fellow club member, it is always helpful to have an inspirational and supportive network.
To stay connected, create a LinkedIn profile (with a professional photo). It can be used during your job application process and throughout your career.
Once you start out with your first job, the most important thing is to keep learning. Be a sponge and soak up all the new information that you will be exposed to in the world of work. Your student career of learning may have ended, but you are just starting out with that of your work!