We've been working hard at GradTouch to bring you the best possible advice on getting that elusive graduate job and we've narrowed the process down to 4 key steps.
1. Find out what you want to do
Although this may sound obvious, it’s surprising how many people avoid dedicating time to this. Start off by asking yourself 3 key questions:
1) What do you like?
2) What skills or qualities do you have?
3) What do you want out of a career?
For more detailed advice on taking that first step - read this.
It's good to get into the habit of writing things down. As you write down your skills and interests you'll remember lots of other things you're good at and enjoy. Think of it as an activity rather than a chore. You can even use LinkedIn as a location to record these skills and interests. Being able to vocalise what you’re good at and what you’re interested in is something that will come in handy when attending interviews, as well as answering impeaching questions from your family.
You might find that psychometric tests are an excellent way to get to know a bit more about your personality – and it’s always good to get some practise in.
2. Identify who it is you want to work for
You will want to find out as much as possible about prospective employers before applying. This will help you to avoid being caught out in the interview and ending up in a job you're not suited to. Learn about their current employees, where they were before and what route they took to get into the company.
Don't narrow your search by focusing on FTSE 250 companies and big grad schemes. Have you thought about the potential advantages of working for small companies? They might be perfect for you. Get on Twitter, search job positions and follow companies. You never know when their 140 character Tweet will appear declaring a vacancy for a role perfect for you.
3. Apply like you mean it
Make sure that your CV and cover letter avoid the usual traps and avoid clichés at all costs. We’ve got plenty of helpful guides up on the site so make sure to give them a quick read.
Application forms will vary depending on the size of the company. Larger businesses tend to have a more thorough hiring processes and at times will use longer forms.
Moreover, don’t be discouraged by the inevitable ‘competency based questions’ section of the application.
4. Interview prep
Generally speaking, you will encounter one or all of the following:
● Telephone interviews
Master your phone manner.
● Face-to-face interviews
You are likely to be asked a number of different questions, ranging from these classics to tougher killer questions.
● Assessment centres
If you're applying for a grad scheme, or to a larger company, you will probably come across assessment centres.
One final point: whether it is in your covering letter, an application form or an interview, remember to get your personality across. Companies want the most capable candidates but they also want to spend their days with someone amiable and someone who can contribute to the work atmosphere.