Graduation season has been and gone, but before you start thinking about where to hang your certificate there are a few other things to set straight first.
To help decide your post-uni plans we’ve compiled a list of things to both consider and look out for. Ignore the headlines, graduate jobs do exist.
1. Check Your Self
You might not realise it but once you graduate all of your dancefloor selfies and midnight tweets to Dominos become part of your job application. Employers will Google your name, so take some time to do it yourself to save any embarrassment.
Nevertheless, it’s not all negative. Chances are that if you are applying for a job that you have a genuine passion for then your social media presence will only reflect it. Going for a job in Marketing? Maybe your Twitter feed is full of sage digital media advice. Designers will definitely be impressed if your blog is full of creativity and originality.
2. Get On LinkedIn
You won’t receive hundreds of likes for your holiday pictures or a RT from someone who was on Big Brother, but you will develop a better idea of what is out there. Search companies that interest you, view their vacancies and view their staff. Not only will you learn some job titles, but you will also discover how people worked their way up to their position.
The most intimidating thing for people starting LinkedIn is that their entire page will be blank; fortunately for you we’ve also solved that issue.
3. Know Your Skills
Without you even noticing, university instilled some key transferable skills in you that are appropriate for all jobs: it’s important to be aware of them. By the end of university, degree depending, you would’ve written close to 100,000 words worth of information. Regardless of the content, each essay required research, time management, self-motivation and independent working. Not to mention your ability to coherently deliver an argument.
Maybe you studied a more practical degree? All those team projects and late nights in the lab still demonstrate excellent skills that should be demonstrated on your CV.
4. Just One More Year…?
There are a few reasons why people study for a Masters: they want to do a PhD; they haven’t truly exhausted education yet and, finally, they want to pursue a job that requires one. If you don’t fall into any of these categories, then you don’t need to do one.
Remember, university is a business now. They will make you feel like you need one: don’t let them.
Once you graduate you will be deluged with free time. Make sure to spend your time wisely. Learn a new skill, start investing in your health, start a blog, make a list of all the things you enjoy doing and consider which career options may complement them.
You should also make time to speak to people about their job. One mistake grads make is that they build a view of an opportunity on the job description alone, but the reality of work is much different.
6. Where to work?
At university it is easy to be persuaded by large companies and only apply to big names that are advertised in the obvious places. It’s important not to dismiss start-ups and medium sized firms just because they don’t have the advertising budget to target you.
There are thousands of SMEs around the country who count on graduate talent to help their company grow. All you’ve got to do is seek them out.
7. Applying for Jobs
Although graduate schemes seem like the ultimate goal, the reality is that many people spend their formative months as a grad fulfilling a variety of internships and part-time jobs to get by. These months in reality allow you to make a more sober decision regarding your future.
Jobs arise all the time, it’s just important to ensure that not only is your CV up-to-date but that your applications are specifically catered for each position. Ten carefully cultivated applications are worth more than fifty generic Covering Letters thrown around. The single perfect CV doesn’t exist; you should be prepared to create multiple CVs that are perfect for respective companies.
8. Look Forward
The period after you graduate should be exciting, not terrifying. These are your months to craft your story, understand your ambitions and to secure a job you really want, not just one that you settled for in a panic.