5 tips for securing your first job after graduation
When you’ve studied hard to complete a postgraduate – or even undergraduate - qualification, it’s easy to think you’re set for the future. You’ve developed advanced skills that will really help you stand out and show employers that you have what it takes to succeed. Surely that’s the hard bit over?
In fact, there are a few more hurdles you need to clear in order to you secure an industry role. Here are LSBF’s top five tips for landing your first job after graduation:
1. Search several different sources for jobs
There are so many different places to source jobs online that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s a good idea to find websites that list jobs specifically for your industry, as you’ll be provided with options which are already refined for you. If you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn Jobs is a great tool for pinpointing employment opportunities relevant to your experience and qualifications. If you have any industry contacts, don’t be afraid to get in touch and ask if they know of any opportunities that might be suitable for you.
2. Think about where you want to apply
It’s important to think carefully about which vacancies to apply for, rather than just applying to anything and everything. When you find an interesting role, research the company and the team, and use your research to further refine your options. This means that you will only be applying for jobs that you’ll actually enjoy and hopefully excel in.
3. Make your CVs and covering letters unique
Sending a standard CV and covering letter to every employer generally does more harm than good as recruiters can often tell. It is well worth investing time into tailoring your CV for each job you apply for, drafting a new cover letter to accompany each one. If you have to complete an application form, consider each response carefully. Think about what the employer wants to see, and how can you make it clear that you’re right for the role. Although this takes up more of your time, it will undoubtedly prove worthwhile in the long run.
4. Find examples
It’s fine to tell employers that you have excellent skills in one thing or another, but what you really need to do is offer supporting evidence. Many application forms will ask you to describe occasions when you have demonstrated a particular skill, and even if they don’t, you should include some examples anyway. For basic competencies such as teamwork and leadership there may be stock examples you can use for different applications, but always think about what that particular employer is looking for so you can emphasise certain skills and competencies where necessary.
5. Practise your interview technique
A great application may count for very little if you haven’t worked on your interview technique. Search online for the most common types of interview questions and prepare answers for each of them. Enlist the help of friends and you’ll be able to run through your answers, creating a mock interview. Don’t forget to consider first impressions; practise your handshake and get a second opinion on what you’re going to wear. You have a short space of time to make a big impression, so don’t leave anything to chance.
For bespoke careers advice, such as tips on how to secure that all important job interview, contact the LSBF Careers Service team.