Sunday, 6 November 2016

How To Search & Apply For A Graduate Job | Uni Series


I applied for quite a few graduate jobs in my final year of uni and wish I'd have had some kind of useful guide to use so I could get some advice about where to look and what to do when applying. It can often be quite daunting when you are finishing uni and somehow you have to get into the world of work. Competing with so many others to get a graduate job can be difficult and I know it was disheartening feeling like you are getting nowhere when applying for jobs. These are some of the key bits of advice that I would give anyone looking for a graduate job. 

Make Use Of Job Sites

There are numerous sites out there where you can search for jobs and there is no way I could list them all. There are a few main ones that I searched on including: Indeed, Graduate Jobs, LinkedIn, Milkround, Guardian Jobs and my Uni Job site. You can tailor what type of job you want to look for and view ones from many different employers all in the same place. You will probably come across jobs you never knew existed never mind thought of applying for so it can open up doors into other options. Don't just stick to one site as some employers list jobs on one site and not others so you need to use a few to different ones to be sure to find all opportunities. 

Be Careful When Using Search Parameters

On a lot of these sites, you can narrow your search down by which area of the country or which field you want to see jobs for. Sometimes these filters aren't always 100% accurate so experiment with with other key search words or a wider geographical area to make sure you see all that could be suitable. Be wary that some companies tag numerous locations to their job advertisement but it may only be for one area, for example London, so double check this in the detail. Before spending ages searching for jobs, set yourself realistic areas that you want to go into as there is no point applying for jobs just because you might be qualified for it that you will never be happy in. 

Research The Company

I can't stress how important this is when you are applying for a job. So many people will just have blanket CV and cover letter than barely gets changed for each application. When recruiters are looking through these, any that haven't spent the time to find out about that company, your application will go straight in the bin. Even if you get through the first stage, you may often get caught out at later stages such as your interview, so spend that bit of time to give yourself the best chance. 

Draw On All Your Experience

It's sometimes hard trying to justify why you should be picked for a job and when it comes to experience, graduates often have a limited amount purely because of their age. Any experience you have can be good experience, you just need to make sure you show why this is. Like myself, a lot of you may well have had a part time job prior to and during uni and it may seem so irrelevant to the position you are applying for. There will be key things in all previous experience that can be transferred into the new role, so find out what they are looking for and justify where you have gained or used these skills in the past.

When Looking, Think Outside The Box

You might not realise that some places do graduate jobs or schemes and it can be easy to overlook these. For example, you might really want to work in retail but wonder how you can get into it. Places that you might shop in every week such as Tesco and Boots offer Graduate Schemes and give you the opportunity to get experience all round the business which may be something you hadn't initially considered. At the start of uni I never thought that the type of company I work for would offer a Graduate Scheme so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across it. 

Keep Your LinkedIn Profile & CV Up To Date

Some sites will let you apply or fill in some of your application using LinkedIn so it's always worth keeping this up to date with your details and experience so you aren't wasting time doing this instead of concentrating on the more detailed sections of the application. I mentioned about not using a generic CV earlier, so the advice I would give here is to keep this general one constantly updated then you can spend time adjusting the important parts to match your application. 

Don't Get Put Down

Lastly, one thing I would say is to stay positive and keep going as it will be worth it in the end. I can be very easy to get disheartened if you don't here anything back or get rejected for numerous jobs. When I was applying, I'd set myself on the company I really wanted to work for and I had applied for the Grad Scheme the year before but not got on, applied for a couple of other positions within the company and then ended up getting a position when I applied for the Grad Scheme second time round. I'm not saying that you will have to do this for every job you apply for, but any time you aren't successful, make sure you take something from every situation to improve your next application and give yourself that better chance.


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