Looking for your first role straight out of university can feel like a tough challenge. However, although you may not yet have a wealth of experience to fall back on there is still plenty that you can do to give your application the best possible chance of success.
Are you ready?
Before you start the process of job hunting it’s worth putting in the time to hone yourself as a candidate. Understanding your most impressive skills and abilities, focusing on the role you want, and the employer you want to work for, and preparing for the applications process are all helpful.
- What do you have to offer? If you understand your strengths and most impressive achievements, as well as what motivates you, you’ll be much more able to sell yourself to a potential employer.
- Who do you want to work for? Employers will always want to know why you’ve chosen them and, to avoid wasting time and energy, it makes sense to target your applications. Create a shortlist of employers who appeal to you and compare them on details such as size, opportunities and salary.
- What do you need to do? Before you start making applications, familiarise yourself with the process, including deadlines and the minimum skills and experience required for each role.
- Prepare. Whether it’s practising psychometric tests or interview techniques, take the time to get ready for the next stage in the process so you feel confident and prepared.
When the time comes to start making applications there are a number of key points to consider.
- Each application should be unique. Tailor it to the employer and the role and avoid sending out lots of generic applications.
- Strengthen your application with examples. Pick those that highlight your abilities and show the strengths and skills you have that make you perfect for this specific role.
- Take your time. Rushed applications have gaps and mistakes in so give yourself plenty of time to complete them before the deadline.
- Check what you’ve produced. Spelling and grammar mistakes aren’t going to be acceptable at this stage.
Interviews and assessments
If you get invited for interviews and assessments, it’s crucial to ensure you’re prepared.
- Be well informed. What stages are there in the interview process, where are the interviews held, and when? Key information like this will not only help to combat nerves but also ensure you’ll be where you need to be at the right time.
- Prepare yourself. Re-research the employer and the role, read over your application and CV and prepare some intelligent questions to ask at the end of the interview.
- Don’t hold back. Whether it’s an interview or a group assessment day it’s important to fully participate in whatever you’re doing so that a potential employer can get a good idea of who you are.
- Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic. Smile, shake hands firmly and let your enthusiasm for the role and the company shine through.
Done right, job hunting for graduates can build confidence and generate success.