When you finally graduate from university after all those years of hard work it's an amazing feeling...
But the hard work isn't over just yet.
The best (and most practical) time to start applying for graduate jobs is before you've even thought about ordering the cap and gown. So, you haven't got long!
Here's all of our advice for bagging yourself a graduate job:
- You'll need some experience
This is why it's essential that you start thinking about/looking for schemes and jobs BEFORE graduation. Doing this in advance gives you chance to get an internship or a couple of weeks of work experience under your belt. Experience will only make your application stand out from others because you'll have stronger skills and understand the role more.
- Look absolutely EVERYWHERE!
Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities on websites like Milkround, Prospects and The Guardian. You might even see something whilst scrolling down your Facebook timeline or when reading the Metro on the bus to university. If you're doing some online shopping with your favourite brands (ASOS, Missguided, Topman etc), there is no harm checking what graduate jobs they have available either.
- Perseverance will get you far
In all honesty, you need to prepare yourself for some setbacks! Realistically, you won't get the first job you apply for but that is fine and shouldn't discourage you. It's important to keep looking for opportunities that you're interested in. It might even be a case of rewriting your CV or just looking at how to make your cover letter a bit more exciting and relevant to a potential employer.
- Your university can help you out
Have you visited Student Services before? They can help you out with all the different aspects of student life - including graduate jobs and your life after university. Some universities even offer drop-ins to go through your CV/cover letter with you and see what needs changing or how it can be improved. It's worth checking what services are available at your university!
- Graduate Fairs are useful
Another great thing that your university will host is a Graduate Fair. This is the perfect chance to speak to employers about what opportunities they have but you can ask them as many questions as you want. There may even be interactive workshops where you can get more involved. This could be exactly the help that you need to improve your application.
- It's not just what you know...
But it's who you know! You're probably pretty familiar with the saying but seriously, take any chance you get. Your grandma's next door neighbour might have your dream job and can put in a good word for you where they work. You have nothing to lose by asking people you know to keep an eye out and even help you get the perfect graduate job!
The most important thing you need to know is that it isn't just about having a degree - having experience and using your initiative is what makes you really stand out.