I am happy to present you with this contributor post on finding that ideal job once out of uni. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure for more info.
There are no two ways about it; finding a graduate job can be a tough one. There are plenty of people applying for the same roles, so you do need to be the pick of the bunch to get it. It isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Statistics from the UK government have shown recently that graduate unemployment levels are at their lowest, at least in recent years. So the job market for graduates is getting better, slowly but surely.
Having said that, you will still have competition. Getting into the workforce will help you determine where and how you see yourself working in the future years to come. Don’t be afraid to try out different skills and jobs to find that career that will satisfy you the most (you might find out that there isn’t one and you’d rather be self-employed or a business owner). Getting a job straight out of college will not only help you on the career ladder, but also get started on paying off some debt and bills. Here are some tips to get started:
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat…
In this millennial era, it isn’t uncommon for potential employers to look you up online. And what is likely to come up? Your social media profiles (that includes the awkward pic of you licking the tower of Pisa). So it’s a good idea to check your settings to determine what people can or can’t view, especially the pictures. You don’t have to remove everything, it just gives a better first impression to have decent social media profiles. Try out professional sites like LinkedIn and do some networking. You’d be surprised at what you’ll get from it…
What’s important for your employer?
There will be varying benefits to working for different employers. A large corporation is likely to have a whole heap of benefits and employee programs like EAP and employee wellbeing programs. But sometimes a larger corporation can feel a little impersonal because of the mass of employees. A small business often has less benefits, such as no health insurance. But you may feel it’s better in other ways. In any case, do some research beforehand: what kind of employer are they? What do you get from working for them?
Remember the time you’ll be spending there, let’s not make life boring shall we?
Ace the resume
If you’re still in college, now is the time to be working on a resume. You will be personalising it for each job you apply for, but having the basics down always helps. You want to make your resume stand out (here is a great guide to writing a CV). Have you got a favorite quote you could add or some interesting feat you accomplished? The more memorable the better (I find that I get more responses if I slightly change the structure of my CV, or if I add some more interesting info in my cover letter).
Use your connections
This is where LinkedIn and your networking skills come in. If you’ve tried out some side-hustles you’ll know the huge opportunities networking will open up for you. You can then use this to ask someone for work experience or job advice. The whole ‘you need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience’ cycle can be avoided by using your connections. Plus, more experience always looks great on a college graduate CV.
Research and more research
How to stand out even more: wow the recruiter with quirky and little-known facts of their company. Well, you might not have to go that far, but in the recruitment process, mention facts about the business or talk about their ethos and what it means to you. Showing that you’ve done your homework is a great way to show that you are keen and genuinely interested in joining. Find out who works there, visit the website and go to the interview feeling prepared and confident.
Broaden Your Reach
Always keep an open mind. Maybe you find out you’d rather work in a different field than your degree, and that’s absolutely fine. Consider maybe moving town/city/country to look for different job prospects. It could be worth looking at some job roles that aren’t directly related to your degree. Don’t be afraid to do a low paying job for a while to get your plans in order. You’re young, and you’re flexible, with fewer responsibilities. Maybe your dream is to travel, or to start a business. Try out different areas until you feel comfortable.
Doing what you enjoy in college is important and key to ‘finding your passion’. But finding a job you enjoy is even more important. You might be working for decades, so what’s the point in doing something boring? Starting your job search in college will help you make a plan once graduated and will help alleviate the worry of the future. And remember, allow yourself to evolve. Maybe in 5 years you’ll have a different passion, different goals and a different mindset, and that’s ok.