How to find Graduate jobs, despite not ‘Graduating’!
What to do when your plans get spectacularly destroyed by a pandemic? Summer holidays, festivals, graduation – not likely!
We know that this week many of you were set to graduate.
So, from all of us at DigitalGrads: CONGRATULATIONS!!
We know things seem slightly up in the air right now, but we are continuing to work hard and make sure you receive the best training and job opportunities – COVID or not.
Making the transition from student life to full-time employment is difficult in itself, let alone doing so amidst a pandemic. Say GOODBYE to weeknight drinks on a Monday but say HELLO to that very first paycheque!!
Finding that perfect job is never fun, and we know that not having that final ceremony where you throw your mortarboard and capture that perfect Instagram boomerang, just makes things harder. Graduation signifies the end to all your hard work over the past few years, in a singular moment of Harry Potter gowns, square hats, and far too many handshakes to count.
Though it may feel like beginning the job search without graduation is almost like missing a step, we’re here today to impart some wisdom for how to get started with the graduate job search despite not graduating.
As a DigitalGrad you’re already one step ahead of the curve; you’re actively seeking out opportunities for self-improvement and hopefully, that perfect job will come along soon, so well done!
We know it’s cliché, but it’s true. Be positive. We know things are tricky at the moment and job opportunities seem few and far between. But we are living through unprecedented times. Think how cool it’ll be in years’ time when you say ‘I graduated in 2020, the year of the pandemic’.
Be positive and remember: A graduation does not make a graduate!
What to expect as a recent ‘graduate’
Let us start with this word ‘expect’ – manage your expectations. Let’s be real, no one is going to come straight out of university a fall into the perfect job where you get paid £100,000 a year.
*I’ll keep my fingers crossed however – a girl can dream*
But unfortunately, the chances are unlikely. So, manage your expectations. This is not to say, don’t do everything you can to land that perfect job, just try to remember that thousands of recent grads are also looking to jumpstart their careers too.
Our advice would be to get experience, do some training, show employers that you’re proactive in finding work, despite being trapped in lockdown.
Ultimately, stay true to the things you’re interested in. Stay on the lookout for opportunities that are relevant to the career path you see yourself taking. This might mean pursuing unpaid internships as a potential springboard to landing that perfect job.
Best case, your Internship leads to a full-time, paid role; worst case, you get invaluable experience which looks great on your CV for employment elsewhere.
Get a well-crafted CV
We know that writing CVs is probably the bane of your existence right now.
But our top tips are:
- Write a skeleton CV (and cover letter) – then tailor it to the specific role you’re applying for.
- DON’T USE THE SAME CV FOR EVERY JOB
- Customise your CV to reflect the requirements of a particular job description.
- Show recruiters, you’ve got what they’re asking for
- There’s never a perfect CV – so don’t spend hours on it
- Get to the route of your experience, emphasise what you did, what you learned and the effects
Sometimes it’s hard deciding what to list on your resume but be ruthless. Think about your experiences and what best demonstrates the skills the company is asking for.
Don’t have much work experience? Then draw on your other experiences, such as uni work and extra-curricular stuff. Maybe you’ve been part of a society? Maybe you did really well in one module? You want to show the employer that you can demonstrate abilities you can apply to real-world work.
Qualities you’ll have as a graduate
Going to university equips you with more than just your academic abilities. Your time at university ensures that you would’ve developed these skills:
- Time management
- Negotiation and persuasion
- Perseverance and motivation
- Ability to work under pressure
- A Global Mindset
Companies look to hire graduates, you are highly educated, easily adaptable, and ready to work so make sure you emphasise these qualities.
TOP TIP: remember that though lots of jobs are found online, through LinkedIn, etc. what you find online only represents a fraction of the jobs out there. A lot of companies choose to hire people through referral channels or word of mouth.
In fancy terms – you want to bypass the online application process by directly connecting with employers.
Basically… you want to start networking. A good starting point is to identify people you already know who work in the industry. Hopefully, they’ll know someone, who knows someone, and so on. Otherwise, you might have to break out of your comfort zone and begin approaching people you don’t know. You can find these people in person, for example attending events, or digging online.
Build your professional image
Say goodbye to Hawaiian shirts and theme nights, it’s time to say hello to suits and briefcases. Okay… not literally, but now you’ve ‘graduated’ from university it’s time to build your professional image.
It’s time to look the part.
This encompasses the way you appear online, and image employers see when they look you up. Basically, make sure your online image is professional and your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date.
We know it’s hard to search for a graduate job when you haven’t graduated. Having a graduation ceremony almost seems like a rite of passage before the real job searching begins. Repeat – a graduation ceremony doesn’t make a graduate.