How to get a graduate-level job
28th May 2015
Author: Nisa Chitakasem
In a tough jobs market many graduates end up doing jobs they’re overqualified for because it’s the only work they can get. If you’re set to start looking for work this summer, follow these tips to help land a job with prospects.
Make a plan
Plan how you’re going to pursue your graduate career path as early as possible. Identify career options that interest you, narrow them down to one so you know where your focus is and make a plan to plot how you’re going to find job opportunities in the months leading up to your graduation and immediately after.
Get a stand-out CV
Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day, so often decide in a matter of seconds whether a CV deserves a longer look or goes straight to the shredder. Make sure your CV stands out – leave plenty of white space, break up paragraphs with bullet points and include keywords related to the position and industry.
Do something extra
If all you do at school or university is study and the get your A-levels or degree , that’s great but it might not be enough to make you competitive. Nowadays, many people have academic qualifications, so employers look for candidates who stand out due to their life and work experience. Whatever activity you decide to take up, you’re sure to get experience and skills that will look good on your CV. Playing for the school netball team shows you know how to be a team player, helping to run the debating society will give you invaluable management and leadership experience, whilst volunteering offers a range of way to develop your additional skills.
Embrace your industry
When you’re looking for a job in your chosen industry, don’t just look for a job. Get involved in the industry in every way you can – join a professional association and attend its events, go to other seminars and conferences to do with your industry and get talking to people already in the industry to tap into their experience, knowledge and connections.
When it comes to applications remember it’s quality not quantity. Only apply for positions you’re genuinely interested in, and spend time crafting each application so you make the best possible impression.
Don’t stand still
Even if you land your dream job straight from school or university, staying in the same position for too long can limit your prospects. You don’t need to climb the career ladder ruthlessly but do be open to the idea of career progression. Put your hat in the ring for promotions and keep your skills up-to-date so you don’t find yourself in the same role years after you’ve outgrown it and enable to move on.