1. Make a ‘hit list’
Don’t fall foul of the classic scattergun approach. Rather than firing CVs off indiscriminately to every company offering a job with the word ‘graduate’ in the title, make a hit list of key roles to apply for.
Don’t spread yourself too thinly; concentrate on jobs you really like the look of and carefully craft applications for them. You’ll stand a much better chance of being successful.
2. Be LinkedIn
It’s super easy (and more importantly, free!) to get yourself set up on LinkedIn. Not only is it a useful way of showcasing your experience to potential employers, but you’ll also be able to search for tons of hidden opportunities that you may not have come across otherwise.
3. Be active
You know the phrase ‘Good things come to those who wait’? Well, ignore it. In terms of the graduate job hunt, being passive will get you nowhere!
Be proactive – seek out grad jobs in less-than-obvious places, apply to companies speculatively, chase up your applications if you haven’t heard anything in a few weeks, and feel free to hound for feedback from positions you haven’t got.
4. Don’t forget little guys
You don’t have to get onto a structured graduate scheme with a Times Top 100 Employer to have a successful and incredibly fruitful career.
If you’ve not got onto a grad scheme, don’t panic (yes, really!). Supplement your search by applying for jobs with small or medium-sized businesses; not only will they often offer a much easier way to get a foot in the door, but they’ll also give you the opportunity for early responsibility and day-to-day variety. What’s not to love?!
5. Get blogging
Setting up a blog is a really easy way to show off your written communication skills, your passion and knowledge of a certain topic/sector, and your personality. Just make sure it’s well-written, follows a clear theme, and is kept up to date.
6. Spring clean your CV
Your CV is your first impression. Just as you wouldn’t toddle off to an interview with an un-ironed, ketchup-covered shirt, your CV must present only the most appealing version of yourself.
Our top CV tips? Be ruthless; cut out any waffle and clichés, and triple (preferably quadruple) check your spelling and grammar.
7. Keep up with your hobbies
After leaving uni it’s easy to throw your hobbies by the wayside and become a ‘job zombie’ locking yourself away in your room, glued to a computer, desperately applying for grad jobs. However , don’t underestimate the allure to an employer of candidate with cracking extracurriculars.
Companies want to know that you have personality, drive, interests and passions – and your hobbies can illustrate all these things. A lot of the employers we work with will favour those who have several strings to their bow over those with perfect academics.
8. Be tenacious
Don’t be put off if you get rejected from the first 20 roles you apply for. Yes, it is incredibly frustrating, but don’t let that from put you off trying again – persistence will be key to your success.
9. Be reflective and change tactics
Whilst you shouldn’t give up without a fight, neither should you carry on applying for jobs blindly without taking a step back and thinking about why you’re not being successful. If you’re being rejected from lots of jobs, you need to find out the reasons.
Look critically at the job descriptions of roles you’ve applied for; do you really fit the requirements? Is there anything you could have done differently in your application/interview? Can you ask the company for their feedback?
10. Tailor your CV
Number 10 is probably our favourite piece of advice (and one you’ll have likely seen before if you’re a regular visitor to the GAGAGO blog!) – tailor your CV to the company you’re applying for. Employers want to know that you only have eyes for them- even if that isn’t strictly true!
By adapting your personal statement so that it reflects the company’s sector and putting your most relevant experience for a role in a prominent position on your CV, you’ll ensure your CV stands out from the crowd.