Finishing your degree can be a hugely rewarding time for students, but once graduation is over, the daunting process of securing a graduate job begins. After putting in several years of hard work in an effort to secure your degree, it’s now time to actively search for a career in your preferred field. Here at the University of Salford, we know that getting a job straight out of university can be an extremely challenging task, so we’ve put together some simple tips and strategies to support graduates on their way to successfully landing their first job post-graduation.
Put together a quality CV and cover letter
Putting together a CV and cover letter ready to send out to potential employers is a great place to begin when applying for post-graduate jobs. A well-written CV with a touch of personality can be the determining factor that sets you apart from other candidates who may hold similar qualifications to yourself. As a general guide on important things to include in your cv, personal details such as your name and contact information should be the first details you address. Along with a personal statement outlining what you can offer as a prospective employee, a brief section on relevant core skills that can illustrate your abilities and a section on your educational experience, including any relating qualifications.
If you’re looking for advice on how to write an engaging cover letter, take a look at one of our previous blog posts, ‘How to write a cover letter that will stand out to employers’, where we highlight the importance of a good cover letter and break down steps to consider when it comes to writing your own.
Make use of job-seeking sites
The thought of sifting through numerous jobs may seem like a tedious task, but job-seeking sites offer much more than just listing available job openings. Several job-seeking websites such as Indeed.com, Google for Jobs and Linkedin, each allow students to set up personalised alerts – tailored to send students a notification whenever a certain employee advertises, or a job in a preferred field becomes available. Enabling these alerts allows students to stay ahead of the competition and make a great first impression as an early candidate. These sites can be really beneficial to a recent graduate, as they also offer guidance when it comes to writing your CV, offer regular career advice and suggest jobs that are suited to your qualifications and personal skill set.
Land an internship or volunteer
Considering an internship before seeking a job can be beneficial to new graduates for a number of reasons. Internships are an excellent way of firmly placing your foot in the door and gives graduates a competitive edge over other applicants when it comes to applying for positions. Asking businesses in your desired field for interning experience is a great place to start. Not only do you get the chance to learn the inner workings of a company you desire to work for in the future, interning is also an excellent way to add experience to your CV. Already having the knowledge of how the business works can give you the upper hand in an interview.
An alternative route to consider when it comes to finding a job straight out of university is to volunteer. There are tonnes of businesses to consider volunteering with, as volunteering comes at no cost to a company – whereas it can build your experience greatly and push you closer to securing your dream job. By volunteering, you can gain some real working information that you may not have been taught in university, face real industry problems and hopefully make a good impression for when a job does open up in the company for you to apply for.
Work experience is becoming a vital step for graduate applications, whether you’re seeking experience whilst completing your studies, or looking to gain experience after you’ve graduated, work experience can give you a competitive edge as a recent graduate. Employers are keen to look at the existing experience of each candidate, and work experience may be the only outlining difference between you and another candidate who has the same grade of qualification. Making the effort to seek work experience, volunteering and internships opportunities sets you above the rest and accelerates your chances of landing the job you’ve always wanted.
Audit your online presence
When it comes to applying for a post-graduate job, it is crucial that you evaluate the job role – but also evaluate your online, digital presence. Companies are likely to search for you on social media before they consider you for an interview, so it is important that you evaluate your online presence. Is there anything visible on your social channels that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see? Ensure that the content you are posting paints you in a good light, as opposed to a bad one. A quick internet search for applicants is becoming more and more common as a quick way of eliminating candidates – so taking the time to audit your online presence is a crucial step to securing a job post-graduation.
Go the extra mile
Going the extra mile when it comes to landing a post-graduate job may work in your favour. Don’t be afraid to approach businesses, if there’s a specific company you want to potentially work for in the future – do your research, reach out and let them know that you would be a great candidate and addition to their team. If they don’t have any current job openings, make it known that you’re keen to in working for the company and see if there’s any way that you can leave your details, CV and cover letter with their hiring manager. So that when they do have an opening, you can be the first to know. Reaching out and going the extra mile for a company you desire to work for in the future, may land you a job down the line.
The University of Salford careers service
Here at the University of Salford, we have our own careers service that can aid you in different ways, depending on the specific path you want to go down after graduating. Whether that be a helping hand with job hunting, then we have our very own exclusive jobs site which is both quick and efficient to use. Or, if you require help with writing your CV, we have top tips for graduates and regularly hold workshops to review both current and graduate students CVs in order to help you achieve your dream job. Our careers service also offers a range of workshops to give you the extra skills and knowledge ready for applying for jobs post-graduation.
Try a few of these helpful tips in your hunt for a post-graduate job and remember we are always here to help our Salford University students, both past and present. For more help and information on how to hunt for your first job post-graduation, take a look at our university careers service.