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GRADUATES / FEB. 10, 2017
version 8, draft 8

Graduate Job Basics: Where to Start

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If you’ve just finished university, you are probably wondering what to do next. Getting a job without any work experience can be tricky, this is why you should consider graduate jobs. These entry-level positions are an excellent way to take the first step in your career.

What Are Graduate Jobs?

Graduate jobs are often confused with graduate schemes, but they are different. Graduate schemes are much more restrictive as they have fixed structures, and they are also a lot more stressful; to get hired, you need to start your application before Christmas of your final year and competition is fierce.

Graduate jobs are much more flexible, and they only target people who have already graduated, this means that the hiring process moves a lot more quickly and you’ll need to be able to start straight away if you are hired. Candidates who are driven and exceptionally qualified are preferred, but candidates with a 2:2 or third also have a good chance of getting hired.

There are more opportunities to get hired for one of these jobs as most companies require entry-level employees, but few can afford to offer graduate schemes.

Benefits

1. You Can Take Charge of Your Future

It’s important for driven graduates to take control of their professional future, and graduate level jobs allow you to do that. They allow people to make their own decisions about their future which means that it’s up to you to develop your career.

2. You Are In Control of the Experience

In graduate schemes, employees are generally seen as small parts of a larger mechanism, but that is not the case with these jobs. Individuals are hired because they have something to offer and are rewarded for taking initiative.

3. A Tailored Learning Experience

Graduate jobs provide you with a much more tailored learning experience than graduate schemes. Although it is possible that you won’t get any training; the training you get will be specifically for you because they do not hire in bulk.

Getting a Graduate Job

Sadly without at least a couple of years of experience in your industry, getting a job - even a graduate level one - can be quite difficult. And this is why it’s always recommended that you get a student job, volunteer or intern before you start looking for employment. But, if you’ve done none of this and are ready to enter the workforce, then the key to getting around this problem is to demonstrate that you pose minimal risk.

Employers are reluctant to hire inexperienced people because high employee turnover is costly for a company, but if you stress your skills on your job application, then you’ll be able to reduce the risk of not getting hired.

Writing Your CV

Employers won’t be very interested in your qualifications, not because they are not important, but because they already assume that you have them. Your goal should always be to showcase your skills and demonstrate how you’d be of value in the workplace. Writing your CV can be pretty overwhelming especially if it’s the first time you are applying for a real job, so you may want to consider hiring a professional to do it for you.

Finding the Right Employer

  • Job Boards: Most job boards out there allow you to search by profession, location and level of experience. It’s important to make the most of this tool as it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a job that targets experienced professionals. Job boards are pretty straightforward, and you can quickly identify companies in your sector that are looking for employees, which means that if you are interested in getting a graduate job, you should be able to find one. Make sure to include the Guardian and Prospects in your job search, as well as CareerAddict’s job board.
  • Social Media: These platforms are becoming increasingly popular for job search as both jobseekers and hiring managers have incorporated them in the process. Recruiters generally opt for Linkedin, while most jobseekers look for jobs on Facebook, but you should be active on all social media platforms, and it’s crucial that you build an effective social media presence if you are serious about getting a job through social networks.
  • Choosing Companies: Perhaps the most efficient strategy is to identify companies that you are interested in working for and applying directly to them. Of course, this is a much more time-consuming process, and it will result in fewer call-backs and interviews, but it’s worth the trouble as this way you are far more likely to end up in a company that you are passionate about.

Employer VS Position

As a graduate, it can be hard to determine what you should focus on. Many companies, for example, have a great reputation as employers, but you might not be interested in the line of work they do, or the positions that they have available. On the other hand, you may find a position you are interested in but know that the employer is terrible.

It’s important to keep in mind that employees who feel valued always perform better and are more eager to grow professionally, which means that choosing the right work environment can be more beneficial to you, especially at the graduate level.

Graduate Jobs Abroad

Getting a graduate level job abroad is an option that many young people find appealing as they see it as their chance to travel the world, gain some work related experience and experience new things before they settle down.

However, your chances of getting a job abroad will depend heavily on what line of work you are interested in and where you’d like to go. For example, there are many opportunities for engineers in the Middle East and generally speaking, these jobs pay well, but there are fewer opportunities for marketing professionals abroad, especially if you are considering moving to a country where English is not the first language.

Secrets to Getting Hired

The key to getting hired is to convince potential employers of your potential. Every single company out there knows that there’s a lot a graduate needs to learn before s/he starts showing their potential, but they all anticipate that once you do adjust you’ll be able to do wonders and this is what you need to focus on.

Find Your USP

In marketing, USP stands for unique selling point, and it’s what marketing strategists use to get their products or services sold. It’s important to understand that the hiring process is a lot like marketing: you have an audience you need to convince, and as such you need to consider how you fit their needs and what distinguishes you from all the other candidates out there.

Write a Great Cover Letter

Although some recruiters argue that a cover letter is not important, by writing one you get the opportunity to address your experience gap and demonstrate how you can overcome it. A cover letter can do wonders for your job search so spend some time making it perfect.

Network

Professional connections can get you through a lot of doors, and this is why it’s essential to connect with people in your sector. Keep in mind that lots of companies don’t hire externally and have in place employee referral programmes which means that without networking you might never be able to get a job at the company you are interested in.

 

Getting a graduate job can be an excellent way to start your career. These jobs offer you the flexibility to determine your own professional goals, while allowing you to learn and grow in the workplace.

Do you have any questions about graduate level jobs? If you do, let me know in the comment section below.

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