5 Ways Graduates Can Stand Out In Their Job Search

Graduate Job Search

So you’ve recently graduated?! Firstly congratulations. Secondly…so what now?

You’ll probably hear a mixed bag from talking to people about your next step. Such as about the lack of available jobs, and that recent graduates are taking jobs that do not require a degree. Or you might hear the other side – the contrasting statistics that there are in fact lots of amazing jobs out there for Grads.

It doesn’t stop there though! The next month, your parents, relatives, and friends will be constantly asking what you plan to do with your degree…

Rather than listen to others, we suggest you just just focus on YOU.

What YOU want. Where YOU want to work and how YOU can stand out from the fierce competition.

Finding work is a challenge for everyone, especially recent graduates who have less professional experience than others. However, you are still employable and can be successful. We recently wrote about Experience vs Qualifications: what matters most? Take a read…

One size does not fit all, and knowing what you love is a good start. That coupled with some handy tips and advice on catching the eye, and you’re on your way. No stress.

Do the job you want

This sounds really blasé. It’s not meant to. What we are getting at is…do what you love, or what interests you, because it will have longevity. Don’t just plump for the ‘best paid’ or what others think.

A good place to start is by volunteering, or asking if you can shadow someone where you want to be. Want to be a journalist? Try your local paper to see if you can help out, or work for free to get a feel for things. You’ll gain valuable experience and a window to impress.

Know your industry

So you know the industry you want to work in, great. Now you just need to keep up to date with it and see where it’s going. What are the trends? What is working well and what’s not? What skills and qualities are most needed in this industry right now?

Then you identify where and how you fit in. How do you plan to best utilise your skills and qualities in your industry? What makes you a great fit? The more you know, the more your passion and purpose will begin to emerge.

Don’t be a sheep

Your CV and covering letter will need to stand out if you’re to catch the eye of an employer. These days we have less time than ever, and we like bite size info. Make sure yours are concise, interesting, and free of stuffy, cliched wording.

Why not try a video CV? Or if you’re applying for a job in the creative industry for example, let your imagination guide you. We’ve all heard of the stories of how Grads have caught the eye; from a billboard to standing in rush hour on the London Underground holding a ‘Hire Me’ sign & handing out CV’s.

Use your social media profiles strategically

Social media can help or hinder your job search. Focus on how you can use networks like  LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs to help get you noticed. These are the social media platforms that will build your professional network, highlight what skills and qualities you have and can offer; and ultimately show the professional world what you plan to contribute.

You can also use social platforms to engage with companies or brands you want to work for. Follow them, keep abreast with what they are doing and saying; and if you have good points to make, engage and make yourself known to them. Don’t stalk though! For more tips on how to use your social media platforms to get hired, read our blog.

The more you converse through social media and networking, the more credible and professional you will become, and the more you will be seen as a candidate for a professional position. Finding and articulating your professional voice will certainly help you stand out.

Show you’re employable

This may sound obvious…duh! When dealing with a potential employer or recruiter, try to achieve a balance of “can-do” confidence and enthusiasm with humility and desire to learn. Avoid giving the impression that you’re ‘entitled’ through having gained a degree. Nobody is entitled to anything. Last time we checked…World population: 7,810,423,756 JUST IN CASE YOU FEEL IRREPLACEABLE!

Expect intense interviews, and don’t let odd or stressful questions catch you off guard – be honest and speak clearly; and if you don’t understand/didn’t hear, ask them to elaborate, clarify or repeat. Your personality will be assessed as much as your ability to do the job.

Finally, good luck with your search. Don’t just confine yourself to the usual milkround graduate companies. Many small companies can often offer a greater range of challenges and learning experiences too. Many small or niche companies and recruiters  (like us) might not have the budget to appear at career fairs or to advertise nationally, but still have plenty of graduate roles to offer!

Career Development, CV's, Graduates, Graduation, Job Search, Qualifications, Top Tips