Congratulations, your hard work has paid off and you are now a graduate! After 3 long years of studying, it is finally the time to step into the real world. You need to sit down and assess what you are now wanting to do. Some feel that they are not ready to leave education and would like to continue on to complete a masters, others would like to take some time out to travel and soak up other cultures, and there are those who are hungry to work. Whatever you chose to do in your next steps, make sure this is the decision you really want. It is very important and you do not want to waste any time.
When applying for jobs, you must take the time to search for the perfect role. If you are using a recruitment agency to help you find your first job, you will need to be very specific. If a recruitment consultant runs a job past you, do not jump at it unless it feels right. You will only regret this decision further down the line in the recruitment process. Take the time to listen to your consultant, look through the job description and assess if the role suits you, your personality and your work ethic. Otherwise, you could end up working in a job which you don’t actually enjoy where you could have waited to be put forward for your dream job. When your consultant speaks to you about a new role, remember to ask the name of the company, and do some research. This way you will be able to get an understanding of the company and job role. Put your university researching skills into good use!
Do try to avoid sending out generic CVs and applications to jobs. This is not an effective use of your time. Believe it or not, by taking the time to amend your CV and tailor make it to the job you are applying for, you will actually be seen as a far more appealing candidate and will stand out from the other applicants. When looking over the job advert, or even the job description, do try to pull it apart and work out what key skills are required in the position. Then, when writing your CV, mention areas where you have had experience in such areas. Apply in haste, repent in leisure!
When you are applying for a position, do take the time to go over your application. It may also be worth asking a family member or close friend to proof read your application. This way, you will avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes which could ruin your chances of getting an interview for your dream job! If the job you are applying for requires filling out an application form, do try to answer all questions to the best of your ability. Remember, this document is how you will secure the interview, make your efforts count. Essentially an application form is an interview on paper, but the beauty of it is that you can take time in thinking about your answers, to ensure they are relevant. Use this time wisely. The best part of being a graduate looking for a job is the fact that you actually have the time to apply for jobs, make the most of this. When you are applying for your future roles after this, you will not have nearly as much time as you will be tied up with other work commitments.
Rejection is inevitable when applying for jobs, whether you are applying for your first job after graduating, or if it is a senior position, it may happen that your application is rejected, or you may be turned down after interviewing. You will need to be resilient when it comes to your job search. Never take rejection personally. You need to remember that there will be a lot of other graduates looking for jobs at the same time as you. Employers will be receiving hundreds, even thousands of applications. So never be disheartened if you do not make the cut. There are plenty of other opportunities out there which may even suit you better. Be enthusiastic when it comes to each application. Just because you have been rejected in the past, does not mean that you are going to be rejected this time round. Treat each application as your first, looking for your first job is exciting and a huge challenge, be confident and remain positive.
Remember, you are a graduate, you will have little, or no experience under your belt. You cannot walk in to a high level position, set your expectations to a realistic standard. Look at internships, graduate schemes and entry level positions which would suit you best. Although you are starting at the bottom of the hierarchy, you will build up experience. By demonstrating a great work ethic and a positive attitude, your employer will notice this and will reward you for this in the long term. Work hard and you will reap the benefits in the long term. Never take your foot off the pedal. The senior members of staff will recognise this in an instant.
When you make it through to the interview stage of an interview, remember this is an achievement in itself. There are plenty of graduates out there, and your recruiter or even potential employer has shortlisted to see you for an interview. That deserves a congratulations alone! Remember to take the time to demonstrate your research into the company and into the role itself. Think of questions that you may wish to ask the interviewer. Make your first impression count. Your interview is your foot in the door, blow them away and show your interviewers why you are the candidate they are looking for! Never turn up unprepared for an interview. You will regret this decision! Plenty of employers are now using competency based interviewing methods. Prepare relevant answers for such questions. For further help and advice on competency based questions, look at our blog post ‘How to tackle a competency based interview’ - http://www.tiger-recruitment.co.uk/blog/how-to-tackle-a-competency-based-interview