Improving visibility as a graduate to employers
You’re in a position where you’re leaving or you have already left University and sadly the days of non-stop parties are soon to become an increasingly distant memory. Even though there is some truth in this, it’s not all doom and gloom; work means that you will no longer have to worry about financial ruin, and after all, isn’t that dream job what you went to University for in the first place!?
OK, in an increasingly competitive job market it’s not as simple as apply for the job you want, land an interview and it’s yours. It’s about having social skills, being able to network, and being able to write the cover letter that stands out from the other 1000+ candidates that have applied for the same post. It’s hard out there, however, the basics still count.
This means getting the best grade you possibly can in your studies; make sure you open up as many doors and possibilities for you in the future. It may seem like hard-work now, up all night writing essays and non-stop revising however in the long run this will be worth it. Degrees are not cheap, so don’t make the mistake of throwing away an opportunity, that is most instances, is a once in a lifetime thing.
So, how do you stand out to your potential employers? The answer is simple, improve your visibility. Effectively, this means your odds of landing the job you want has instantly improved. This isn’t as simple as writing a cover letter. This is about going the extra mile. Careers fairs are more valuable than you could ever know whilst you are a student. However, this said, most Universities still cater for their alumni and may be able to guide you on the road to employment.
Make use of meeting with potential employers. It may be that you just can’t be bothered getting out of bed, you’re too hung-over or you just don’t see the benefit. These are businesses looking to recruit the brightest new talent, if you can’t be bothered making an impression in this scenario then someone else has already begun a relationship with a possible firm, they may have even managed to gain some work experience from them.
Networking is vital; make sure you get to know these people who are offering roles, and make sure they get to know you. You’re effectively marketing yourself to these people, this means dressing smart, being polite, professional, and showing them what you have to offer. Make sure they remember you too, offering a business card means that you have positioned yourself in their mind as serious about becoming a professional for their business. Contact details may just result in a call saying they were very impressed!
As a graduate myself, I understand the daunting world of searching for work, and the amount of options available. I can honestly say though, I wish in my third year that I’d attended more careers fairs, made use of the employment offices and prepared myself a tighter exit strategy. I had a part-time job that gave me some pocket money whilst at University, however when I left I went full-time so that I could afford to pay rent however, it wasn’t the ideal job for me. I eventually ended up working in a job that I enjoy, and that I’ve learnt new skills from. I honestly believe it’s worth having a degree. It has genuinely opened up positions that wouldn’t have been available to me beforehand; I feel like it is all paying off now. Graduate employers are out there and looking for you so make yourself as visible as possible to them; they want your talent!
This is a guest post by Matt Jones, a recent graduate.