The graduate job search can feel relentless. A disciplined approach will help you to be effective and stay positive through the process.
‘It absolutely can be you, I promise.’
Steven Moffat OBE (Award winning screenwriter of TV shows Doctor Who & Sherlock)
Be Proactive, Be Selective
Finding a job takes time and effort!
Be prepared to go through plenty of calls, applications and networking events to secure that first job.
‘Opportunities don’t just turn up – you need to actively go out and find them.’
Leo Wyatt (Singer, songwriter & producer)
But don’t just fire off applications to every possible recruiter; narrow your job search and focus your efforts on roles that really appeal – adopt a disciplined approach.
As well as advertised jobs and graduate schemes, remember that many job openings are ‘hidden’ e.g. vacancies filled through word of mouth, headhunters or internal recruitment. So be resourceful – look for opportunities, seek out organisations and jobs that interest you.
Adopt a Disciplined Approach
Target companies – Applications are time-consuming, so focus your initial efforts on your preferred organisations – as identified in your Career Direction analysis.
Research the business, industry environment and corporate culture to make sure it is all a good fit for you. Then familiarise yourself with roles that might suit you. See Do Your Research
Contact recruiters – Make a positive first impression. See Make The Best Impression
Prepare an elevator pitch that outlines your background, your interest in the company and your value to them.
Don’t expect too much from your first job – it’s a first step on a long career path.
You’re unlikely to be in an entry-level position for long: if you do well, you should get promoted; if you don’t enjoy it, you can apply for a better job after a year or so… but whether you love it or hate it, you will gain valuable skills and experience.
Don’t be put off by rejection; it’s an inevitable part of the process.
Try to get feedback – if you’re not getting interviews, ask someone to check your CV and cover letter; if you’re rejected after interviews, try to find out where you’re going wrong. Just keep going – persistence pays off!
Discover how to stay positive, avoid stress and & be your best. See Life
‘Don’t be upset when and if you get turned down – be patient, it will happen.’
Dr. David Bellingham (art historian, author & programme director for MA Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art)
Internships and Work Experience
If you’re unsure about what you want to do, or you believe some prior experience would improve your chances, consider doing internships or work experience in areas of interest. See Internships & Work Experience
Tips & Opinions
Grad Bites: Leaving Uni – The Job Search
Adam Bewley, Senior Global Account Manager at Spark 44, talks about his experience leaving uni and finding a job. He talks about what to expect, where to start with research & effective ways of contacting people.
Grad Bites: Not a Clue What to Do? Help from a Life Coach
Chloë explains how the Quarter-Life coaching programme works, and shares tips on how to make a start if you’re unsure what you want to do.
Blog & views of job-seeking graduates