Are you looking for a graduate job? If you’ve recently graduated you might be feeling anxious about how Covid19 might affect your career. Here are our tips for securing your graduate job.
1.Decide which career is right for you
Having clarity around your career direction helps you to target your job search effectively, saving you valuable time. Linda Denny, a coach and Trustee at Careers Springboard recommends “Quality over quantity” when applying for jobs. Really focus on the right roles and then spend your time on the application forms, CV and covering letter. As a Careers Springboard member you can access free coaching to help you decide which career is right for you.
Look out for virtual events where you can chat with employers, postgraduate course providers, career advisers, and other organisations to discover the opportunities available to you. The UK Careers Fair is holding virtual events on 20th January 2021 for Greater London and 5th February 2021 for the South East. If you’re looking for events further afield take a look at their website for dates across the country.
The National Careers Service also offer free Careers Advice and regularly host question and answer sessions on their social media platforms.
2. Create your personal brand
You can start creating an online presence which shows your interest in the career direction you’d like to take. Before you start take a look at your social media accounts and ask yourself if they’re employer-friendly. Employers check candidates social media profiles to see whether they’ll be a good fit for the company.
- Adjust your privacy settings if you don’t want recruiting managers to be able to see your profile.
- If profiles are public delete posts that could damage your success.
- Does your profile handle and email address sound professional? If not, change them.
- Follow companies and professional bodies of interest.
- Like, comment and interact with employers.
- Post your own content, or share others content that relates to your area of interest.
- Use relevant hashtags to ensure your posts are seen by the right people.
3. Build your experience
One of the biggest challenges when trying to secure your first graduate job is a lack of experience. Volunteering is a great way of building your experience and shows employers that you’re proactive. Take a look at our 6 great ways volunteering can boost your CV.
Studenteer connects recent graduates to good causes and charities-in-need, giving them work experience through placements such as coding, marketing or graphic design. They also provide mentoring and free training.
4. Increase your skills
One way of improving your graduate employability is to improve your skills. There are lots of free or low cost short, online courses available in a wide range of subjects. The course could be related to your chosen career, or a passion of yours. By doing a course you can demonstrate to potential employers that you are using your initiative and are committed to continuous personal development.
Graduate Coach is offering a free course ‘How to get a graduate job‘ via Future Learn, covering:
- Understanding yourself and the graduate job market
- How to master the job application process
- How to become interview confident
5. Develop your network
One of the disadvantages of being young is that you don’t have such an established network to reach out to. Don’t panic. People are keen to help, as everyone remembers what it was like to enter into the world of work. So don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you do know. You might want to ask someone within the industry you’re interested in to be a mentor. There are some tips in our members area about how to start developing your networking list and how to reach out.
Take a look at the graduate networking opportunities offered by Bright Network.
6. Practice your online interview skills
A lot of employers are adopting virtual recruitment strategies and have said that these are likely to stay post-pandemic, so it’s vital that you are comfortable interviewing online. Take a look at our 10 top tips to be at your best in virtual interviews. If you’re a Careers Springboard member you can book a mock interview for free.
7. Learn how to be a productive home worker
The pandemic has profoundly changed the nature of work for many employees, with a widespread move to homeworking. In many cases businesses have surveyed their staff and discovered that the increased flexibility of homeworking suits them, so it may be here to stay, in some format.
Searching for a job, is a full time job. So use this time to build your skills in working productively at home. Learn how to schedule your time effectively at our upcoming Time Management webinar. It will help you to secure a job more quickly and help you keep it once you’ve got it.
8. Keep an eye on graduate schemes
The Bright Network has a list of graduate scheme application dates for over 300 partner firms. Graduate schemes can be oversubscribed, so make sure you know the application dates and respond quickly to ensure you don’t miss out.
9. Look after your wellbeing
Job hunting can be tough. Set yourself some clear goals and break tasks down into manageable actions. Plan in some rewards for yourself e.g. for when you’ve completed a particularly challenging job application, or reached out to X amount of contacts.
You will need to be committed to putting in the effort to achieve your goal. Be persistent in overcoming challenges. If you don’t get shortlisted for a role, or are unsuccessful at interview it can be disheartening. Look at it as a learning experience. Reflect back on what you felt went well. If you can gain feedback from the employer that’s great. Chat to friends and family about it and see how you can implement the learning for the next job application. See your job search as an opportunity to improve your resiliency skills.
Look after your wellbeing by planning time into your week where you can relax. Even though you may not be able to see friends stay connected with them on a regular basis. Identify positive strategies to help you deal with stress, or anxiety. Regular exercise can be great for reducing stress and boosting your mood. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media checking the news.
If you are struggling please reach out to family, friends, your doctor, or make use of the free counselling service for Careers Springboard members. It’s confidential and provided by qualified counsellors.