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Recruitment and HR Blog

6 Tips for Graduate Job Seekers

15th July 2015

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And with 40% of graduates still looking for work six months after leaving university, and a quarter still unemployed after a year, it’s crucial that you are making the most of your job search. So here are some top tips which will help you clinch that first step on the career ladder.

Get your CV and covering letter into shape

Given that employers usually spend around 5-7 seconds looking at CV’s, you need to make sure yours is looking as good as it can so that it captures their attention instantly.

It’s important not to include too much detail, it all has to be relevant and readable to the Hiring Manager. Bullet points can be a great way of getting the information across to employers, who have to read through hundreds of applications and who may not have the best attention span.

Now if you’re a fresh graduate, it might seem like you don’t have relevant experience to offer, but this may not be the case. Employers will consider you if you can demonstrate you have the right attitude to succeed. You need to give positive examples of your personal attributes. Don’t just say “I am determined”, you need to give an example of when your determination has had a positive outcome. It is worth researching each companies values and emulating them on your CV with personal examples.

Finally, you need to tailor your cover letter for each vacancy. This might sound like a lot of work, but you need to ensure your cover letter ticks the right boxes, so look at the job description and write your covering letter so that it reflects as much as possible what the employer wants in terms of experience and personal attributes.

Make your own opportunities

You need to be looking everywhere! Scour the net for relevant jobsites, there are 1100 job boards in the UK so don’t think if you are registered with one you will hear about every vacancy. Register and set up email alerts with three or four big name job boards, and additional graduate and industry specific sites. Increasingly businesses are recruiting using social media so ensure are actively looking on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Many jobs never get advertised and are found by jobseekers engaging directly with businesses. To find these positions use your own networks of friends and family to find people who could potentially help. Also, identify specific companies you would like to work with, find out who would be the hiring manager from LinkedIn, and contact them directly with emails, and follow up with phone calls. You can also attend networking events in your area, where you can start introducing yourself to prospective employers. It may seem daunting but it will give you the chance to show employers that you’re dedicated, passionate and serious about getting into the industry.

Clean up your social media

If your social media profile isn’t set to private, then potential employers have every right to view your account. Your past few years of studying may have involved some partying and subsequent embarrassing pictures, it might be a good idea to make sure these images are not visible to potential employers.

You will also need to ensure your LinkedIn account corresponds with your CV as they may check your account for discrepancies.

Organise organise organise!

Your job search should be your full time job!  Get into a routine of searching job boards, emailing businesses, searching social media, networking and completing applications. A routine will help you keep up the hard work, it’s easy to leave the job search for a week or so, but who knows what opportunities could have been and gone in that time?

Stay positive

Getting rejected over and over again is tough. At times it can feel like the job search is pointless, especially if you’re not even getting replies. But the key is to not give up. It could be months before you get an interview, but if you give up and become resigned to the fact that no one will employ you, it will come across in your applications – you’ll start spending less time on your applications. As soon as you stop trying potential employers will sense it, and they want someone who is passionate so don’t let that desire fade!

Keep improving

You can keep refining your CV, even if you’re not employed. Use your spare time efficiently by brushing up your knowledge on the latest industry trends. For example if you’re trying to get into Marketing brush up on SEO, or you could even get to grips with coding. There are many free online resources which will help you broaden your knowledge.

You may not have the experience, but you can demonstrate that you have the right attitude by using your time wisely. Volunteering, attending work placements and taking online courses are great ways to show you have a great work ethic, are taking your career seriously and want to learn and develop. Employers will value these experiences and give them confidence that you will have the right attitude to succeed if given the opportunity!

For more CV and interview tips visit our Job Seeker Zone and keep an eye on our social media channels.




Published by:                    Sion Jones, Ltd

Publish date:                     15th July 2015

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