So your exams are over and you are not a student any more – you are officially a ‘graduand’ and in a few weeks will become a ‘graduate’. But what lies beyond that day of processions, speeches, throwing funny hats in the air and an embarrassing photograph for your proud parents to hang on the wall? If your aim is to get a job, here are some tips to help…
Look in the right places
Googling ‘graduate job’ gets almost 10 million results. We have picked out some of the most useful graduate job sites to help you get started at but you may need to use specialist sites for some jobs – our ‘I Want to Work In’ pages give links for 100 career areas
Don’t just look at the ‘glamour’ jobs or the best-known employers. Many smaller or less high-profile employers complain that they receive very few applications for graduate positions – one Kent-based company advertised for a “fun, creative and hard working graduate to create and manage a digital marketing and social media programme” and contacted us to say that they had not received a single application! Why struggle to stand out from 70+ other graduates for jobs with the big-name companies when organisations like this are so much less competitive?
Look to the future
“A career isn’t necessarily about the first thing you do. That’s an important step, but it is just that – only a step, in the fast-moving, ever-changing world of work” says Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters. Temporary work, internships or volunteering can all help you into your dream job later on.
Use social media
to research employers and promote yourself. Only 10% of job seekers use online social networks to put the word out that they are looking for a job so this is another way to cut down the competition for jobs. Just make sure that all your social media profiles are putting over the right image!
Target your applications
Tailor them to the job, highlighting your most relevant skills and experience, and put time and effort into making them look professional. Remember that the average recruiter will take less than a minute to skim-read each application, so make sure that yours gives them all the key information they need to decide to read it further!
Improve your skills
Office skills, IT skills, language skills, people skills, planning skills – all of these can be boosted by part-time study or volunteering and could make all the difference to your applications.
Keep in touch
Fill out our contact form at to get access to all the Careers and Employability services after you graduate, including our weekly bulletin of vacancies and job-hunting tips plus occasional targeted vacancy alerts.
Don’t give up!
The first job you get after university may not be your dream job and finding the right job may take time and effort but the only guaranteed way not to get a job is not to apply for any! So stay motivated, follow the tips above and it will happen.