It’s no secret that the graduate jobs market can be incredibly competitive. Luckily, there are some tips and strategies which you can use to get ahead of the competition, and secure that perfect position.
1. Attend Graduate Careers Fairs. These are run at Universities and colleges across the country, or in conference centres in larger cities. This is your opportunity to see several employers at once and get your face seen (you might just be lucky enough to see a member of the La Fosse team). Dress smartly, take a stack of CVs and leave enough time to speak to everyone.
2. Smarten up your Social Media. Removing those drunken photos is the obvious step, but it’s not all you should be doing. Set up a LinkedIn profile, and use it both to apply for jobs and to make connections with other people you know personally and professionally. Look around to see what other graduates are posting, and follow suit.
3. Get Experience. Having work experience behind you will give you more to talk about at interview. Any type of experience can be given a positive spin; working in retail shows you are customer focused, factory shift work demonstrates tenacity and teamworking and so on.
4. Consider an Internship or Volunteering. If you’re lacking in experience, consider getting some unpaid work to fill in gaps on your CV. The most prestigious internships are highly competitive, but voluntary work with charities is always available.
5. Use the Careers Team. All universities have a careers department whose job it is to help you out. Ask their advice and take all the help they can give with CV writing or interview practice. Many universities have links with companies in certain industries, and might be able to put you in touch with a key decision maker in a company you are interested in working for.
6. Register with Recruiters to Supplement your Direct Applications. If you are interested in a specific industry or market sector, find out which recruiters are most active in that sector. Give them a call and arrange to go in to see them. If you make a good impression, then you may be put forward for vacancies which haven’t even been publicly advertised yet. It's great for finding out about new opportunities (though if you come across a business which you really love, you can apply to them directly.)
7. Do Your Homework and Keep Records. It’s tempting to fire off an email and CV for every vacancy you see. But this sort of approach results in poor quality applications. Be more selective, take time over your application and tailor your CV and letter. And keep a spreadsheet of all applications you send off, and the result.
8. Persevere. Around 30,000 graduates hit the job market each summer, and it’s easy to get downhearted when the rejections keep arriving. Try to persevere, and keep going with a positive outlook wherever possible.
9. Use Your Connections. There’s nothing wrong with asking parents, relatives or friends if they know of any vacancies. This could work in their favour too, as many companies operate a “recommend a friend” programme.
10. Find companies which pride themselves on their graduate programmes. Not all businesses will hire graduates, perhaps because they don't have the resources to invest in training, or perhaps because they may not be the right environment for someone to begin their career. At La Fosse, we've designed our graduate programme with the specific aim of accelerating young careers – get in touch today if you'd like to learn more.
The La Fosse graduate scheme fast-tracks your career by teaching you all the skills necessary to launch a successful career in professional services, without having to compromise on salary or give up your summer.
It's currently open for applications – in fact; we've already accepted individuals who finishing uni this summer. If you're wondering whether to start your career or travel first, check-out our article on how you can do both with La Fosse.