Landing Your First Job as a Graduate

Landing Your First Job as a Graduate

Posted on 22 September 2023

Finishing university and entering the job market for the first time can be daunting, especially when you have no idea what career path to take or where to find a job! 

University can teach you lots of things, such as writing a two-thousand-word essay within a week or how to memorise a science textbook, but it doesn’t always inform you of the steps to take once you leave the university walls. 

Nevertheless, you don’t need to worry because in this blog we will discuss how you can embark on your career journey and secure your first job as a graduate! 

Where to Begin?

The best place to start is to figure out what sector you want to work in. For example, you could work in:

  • Sales

  • Marketing

  • Finance

  • Insurance

  • IT

  • Business support

It’s always a good idea to do a little bit of research before you commit yourself to a specific area and see if there is anything different out there that could be of interest. 

One way to simplify your search is by entering your degree into a job board and seeing what positions pop up. By doing this, you may find roles you have never heard of and discover that they match your skill set! 

Of course, you don’t have to follow a career that reflects your degree. Not every role requires a relevant qualification, just a willingness to learn.

Click here to view our Live Roles

How to Stand Out from the Crowd

Every summer, there comes a fresh wave of students who are entering the job market for the first time. Whilst this means that you are not alone in your job search, it also means that you need to take advantage of your time at university and find a way to make your CV stand out from the crowd. You can do this by: 

  • Volunteering at a charity organisation. 

  • Gaining valuable experience relevant to the career you want to pursue. For example, if you want to go into journalism, you could help at the university newsroom. 

  • Taking up a part-time job. This will help you gain some core skills, such as problem-solving, customer service and teamwork, which will be looked highly upon by future employers.

How to Make Yourself Known

The best way to put yourself out there and be noticed by potential employers or recruitment agencies is by:

  • Creating an up-to-date CV and applying it to job boards. 

  • Find recruitment agencies that work within the sectors you are interested in and apply your CV to their websites. 

  • Setting up a LinkedIn profile and using the #OpenToWork banner will indicate to potential employers and recruitment agencies that you are looking for a new role. As a result, you could receive messages from an agency or company asking if you would be interested in one of their upcoming positions!

    Graduate throwing hat in the air

A Positive Social Media Presence 

You should never post or share anything on social media that is inappropriate or offensive. Not only can a risky post damage your reputation, but it can also hinder your chances of getting a job. 

Before applying to a role, you need to be certain you don't have anything on your profile which could be flagged by a potential employer. 

What to do if you have No Work Experience 

Depending on the roles you are applying to, you may find that work experience, whilst advantageous, is not always an essential requirement. 

However, there will be applicants who do have work experience and to ensure that your CV is just as attractive, it would be worthwhile to include relevant academic and extracurricular accomplishments which show you have the skills necessary for the role. 

For example, you could mention an award you received for creating an innovative science project or the trophy you won after bringing your football team to victory. 

In addition to boosting your CV, you should look for graduate roles on job boards and recruitment websites. Graduate positions are great for people starting in the professional world and looking for somewhere to learn and grow! 

In most cases, companies that offer graduate roles will provide full training and consider that not all recent students have had the time to gain work experience.

Patience is Key 

Once you leave university, you will find that everyone moves at their own pace when finding a job. 

Don’t worry if your university friends secure a role before you do because numerous factors can influence and speed up the application process, such as a greater demand for new employees within a certain sector. 

You are no longer at university, where everyone wants to receive a similar result. Your goals are now different and tailored to you individually, so try not to compare yourself to others as this could give you unnecessary stress. 

Sometimes, you won’t come across the perfect job straight away. Try not to rush the process and jump into a role where you can’t see yourself happy. Take your time to figure out what you want to do, because this is your chance to create an exciting future for yourself! 

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