Getting a Job: A Few Top Tips for University Leavers
12 July 2012
Author: Karen Ingram
Every summer, thousands of students around the country leave the comfort of their university life and enter, what is to many, the unknown world of full-time work. Right now in many countries across the world, this is a challenging and stressful time for a lot of people, particularly when looking for a job in the current downturn.
There is a lot of competition for jobs. Recently the Association of Graduate Recruiters revealed that major companies are receiving 73 applications for the average graduate vacancy, which we can agree with. Noteably this number can be even higher in more specialised sectors; 154 for retail jobs, 142 fight for investment banking jobs. This has forced a number of organisations to consider only the best candidates; more recruitment managers are raising minimum requirements from the 2:1 degree to a first-class honours.
So what can you do to get noticed? Here I have a few top tips that will help any graduate looking to get the most out of their first year after collecting a bachelor’s degree, regardless of the grade awarded at the end of it.
Keep studying. Do a Masters degree.
I had a few friends that stayed on at University, maybe it was a comfort zone thing, maybe it was to reach an even higher pinnacle. Whatever the reason, the more meaningful qualifications that you have the more employable you are.
Move back in with your parents
Arrgh..... your probably thinking, however, stop and think it through and there is a lot of sense in doing this. You need to keep your costs low, so you can get a great job with a great employer. It may be the case that the initial salary will not be as high as you want or “think you are worth”, but the point is to get the job, then prove how much you are worth with your commitment and results.
Get a part or full-time job
A job is a job, money is money. Do not be fussy prior to having the experience and references your peers will already have. Get yourself a job which can offer you some income, you will get some very valuable work experience.
This disposable income, combined with a home living arrangement (above) will give you the cash you need to do what’s required to stay ahead of the competition. Even if you’re paying money to parents for “rent”, there’s no tax or real living costs; your money can be channelled into important things such as transport costs and suitable clothing for interviews, new technology to replace tired laptops and phones, and anything else you plan to focus your personal development into, i.e. cameras, a car, and the such like which can be purchased over time.
Take a voluntary position relevant to your desired job or that will give you valuable experience and a reference
A full-time job relevant to your studies or chosen career path may take a while to secure. There are plenty of employers with job vacancies available on a voluntary or unpaid work experience basis, that will look great on your CV. These aren’t just at charities. Writers may be able to get a guest spot on a good website or blog. You may be able to help out at local schools or colleges. We have job opportunities for people to join our team and get valuable work experience, either as part of our administration team, accounts team or marketing and social media team. Enquire here for more details on work experience opportunities with us.
It’s all about thinking outside the box; don’t keep your options too narrow, as you may also find something you like a little more than you’d expect.
Get a hobby with transferrable skills
Many people decide to combine work and play to give them the best chance of obtaining a good career ahead of them. For instance, it’s been known for writers to become photographers in their spare time, and vice-versa, because this gives them the chance to document things in their line of work in two ways. It may only be the case that a hobby with no formal training – web design, for example – will be seen as a pastime by a potential employer, but it at least shows eagerness to develop personal skills.
Embrace social media properly – and professionally
While a lot of people will be well aware of the opportunities presented by websites such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to register with more professional networks like LinkedIn, being careful to fill out everything and present yourself properly. Don’t act too immaturely on personal accounts, as most employers will research your name online prior to shortlisting you for an interview.
I hope that this has helped you. It is in no way comprehensive, but just a few helpful tips.
If you are interested in working with the Project Resource team then we’d love to hear from you. You can view our current job vacancies here and if you’d like to gain some work experience then email us, connect to me on LinkedIn or call me on 01628 477 744.
Lastly you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and keep up to date with all the goings on here at Project Resource.