So you’ve got your degree and you’ve left university. But the hard work is far from over. Now’s when the job searching starts. It’s time to find your first graduate job and that can be testing, requiring a combination of research, networking and perhaps even a temporary job in the interim.
Fortunately, there’s quite a bit you can do to maximise your employability.
Research your options
While you should already have a good idea of where you’d like your career to go, it can be useful to research which sectors have the biggest demand for graduates and students, as, obviously, these are the areas in which you will have a better chance of finding work. Here are a few suggestions:
- Accounting and financial services is one area where there are always opportunities, and graduates are often hired on good starting salaries. While it’s not for everyone, investment banking can be a very lucrative career option.
- The armed forces is often neglected as a career path, but regularly recruits graduate candidates for a wide range of roles – not all of which will see you in the heat of battle.
- Law has always been a popular profession with graduates. Salaries depend on which area you specialise with, commercial law being one of the more lucrative.
- A poor public perception of the industry means that there are currently many graduate jobs in the oil and energy sectors.
Many of these sectors have graduate schemes designed to attract the best candidates. A little research should help you identify where the best options lie.
Look good for employers
Before job searching, start by updating your online profile, such as LinkedIn. After all, you worked hard to get that degree, so tell the world (and potential employers) all about it. While you’re at it, it might be a good time to make your social profiles a little more presentable. Sometimes the last thing you want an employer to see is what a great time you had on your year out.
Once that’s done, you can start sending out CVs to potential employers, job boards and online recruitment sites. Don’t forget to do a job search on Zoek, as we have some great graduate jobs available.
Try to keep an open mind when it comes to job searching. Some opportunities might not look particularly attractive but could be a pathway to something more in line with your qualifications later on. For instance, a job in admin or customer support at a firm you particularly want to work for might give you an advantage should a more desirable role become available. At any rate, you should be one of the first to know should any suitable vacancies arise.
Keep an eye out for career fairs, and recruitment days. These can be excellent opportunities to network, even if there isn’t an ideal opportunity for you on the day.
While rejection or simply not hearing back from potential employers can be disheartening, make sure that your applications are the best they can be. Simply sending out generic letters and applications won’t get the results you want. Tailor each application for the position, highlighting what you can bring to the role. The same applies when it comes to interviewing. Make sure you can demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the company.
Finally, don’t give up. Don’t let rejection faze you. As you continue job searching, you’ll get better at making applications and interviewing – all valuable skills to hone for when that golden opportunity appears.
Looking for a graduate job? Why not check out all the graduate roles available on Zoek – click here and start applying.