Grads… What to do if you haven’t secured a job yet
Andrew graduated from Kingston University in the summer of 2015. After graduating, he made plans…
Firstly, don’t panic.
Lots of good jobs and postgraduate programmes are still being advertised. In fact, the highest number of full-time vacancies is always in May/June, just before you graduate. The first things to do are to get the basics right and get your name out there:
Create a Linkedin account – You need to take advantage of social media. Linkedin is a great way to portray a professional profile to potential employers, across the globe, for free.
Make sure your CV is up to date with all the relevant information about your uni course and the projects you have worked on. Then, if you meet a potential employer you will be prepared with an up to date CV to present them with.
Get in contact with a recruiter in the field you have studied and they will give you advice on what job opportunities are out there and connect you with potential employers.
Be honest with your recruiter about which companies you aspire to work at, your current situation and your job search history. If you are transparent with your recruiter and you let them know what companies you have applied to already, you will save a lot of time and avoid any unnecessary duplications.
Set a goal of what you want to achieve and by when you want to achieve it. Setting a time-frame is key to focus your attention on what you want.
Don’t forget to keep it up…
Keep looking for jobs and postgraduate programmes
Build and maintain your support network
Make use of the support and services available at your University
Explore all the avenues available to you….
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (or, of course, another credible recruitment consultant in the area of industry you are looking). Even if you just want advice, a trustworthy recruitment consultant can point you in the right direction and provide you with invaluable info.
Graduate jobs – Many large employers and “graduate schemes” start advertising in September. The most competitive of these will normally be filled before Christmas. However, some major graduate employers recruit all year round. Other, smaller recruiters advertise at any time of year.
Explore variations of jobs – Sometimes even top employers struggle to fill roles which are unfamiliar to students. Investigate job titles which you don’t recognise – you could uncover a whole new career you didn’t realise existed.
Broaden your search – As with the above point, look out for jobs at smaller companies you haven’t heard of, whether large or small. After the autumn rush, the majority of jobs for graduates are for smaller or less well-known employers. Note: “Smaller employer” does not mean “smaller job”. Imagine getting in on the early days of a company who could be the next “Google” or “Facebook”.
Dodge the competition – If at all possible, apply for jobs before your exams, get in early, even if that’s in May. There will be far more competition if you leave it later, when thousands of other soon-to-be grads will start applying.
Maintain your support network – Research has shown that grads who move quickly and smoothly into good graduate jobs tend to share career and employment tips and advice amongst their friends and social contacts. Everyone’s heard of the high profile graduate programmes advertised in the autumn. Your contacts could be the way you hear about less well-known jobs or postgraduate programmes available now.
Keep everyone updated – Let everyone (including your academic and social contacts) know what kind of opportunities you’re considering and how your search is going. In a tough job market, people like to pass on helpful information, but they can only do this when they know what might be useful.
Keep it professional – This is time to really ACE your social media presence. Clean up your profiles to make sure employers don’t see anything which might embarrass you. Think about your LinkedIN profile especially, keep it updated and join professional groups. Use social media to find out about jobs and research employers.
Find support from those you know – Ask for advice, information and feedback from people in your network. They don’t have to be in a position to give you a job to be helpful with your career, or just to keep you focussed.
Make use of your time at Uni – If you have to work full-time in a temporary job while you look for a better position then so be it. Get as much experience and knowledge as you can while it’s on your doorstep.
Review your CV and applications – If you’ve been applying but haven’t been getting many interviews, your applications may not be doing you justice. Get feedback from us, your contacts or, where possible, employers.
Interviews and assessment – If you are invited for interview, set aside time to prepare and do your research. View interviews as experience.
Keep researching – Whether it’s on companies you are interested in working at, or companies you are interviewing at, make sure you do your homework – potential employers value someone who has researched the company and role!
Finally, make the most of your time at university – Make use of the final few months of your degree to fill any remaining critical gaps in your skills, using all those opportunities only available while you’re still a student.