Career Advice for Students & Graduates Entering the World of Work

Students & graduates career advice

In today’s volatile job market, we understand why students and graduates can be anxious about the world of employment. With the current unemployment rates, even among degree holders, this is a valid concern for many.

As with everything else in life, preparation is key in order to make a smooth transition into the world of work. Before you start applying to positions, ensure that you have a professional, well written CV and cover letter to accompany your application. If you’re struggling to write either of these, read our ‘how to’ guides to create the perfect graduate CV and cover letter.

Landing your dream job isn’t all just about university grades, it is important to find new, unique ways to make yourself more employable, for example by getting an online qualification, volunteering or even venturing off travelling.

Here are some useful tips for students and graduates to follow in order to land great jobs and have a smooth transition into the world of work.


Use social media wisely

We recommend that you begin to build your network online. Start by creating a professional, well written and attractive LinkedIn profile. These days many recruiters and hiring managers will check LinkedIn to vet an applicant so ensure that the information provided is correct and shows you in the best possible light in order to impress potential employers. Ensure that you document all achievements, previous job roles and extracurricular activities.

LinkedIn isn’t the only social media network that recruiters and employers check – there is also a chance that they will search for you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to gain insight. Therefore we recommend that you check your privacy settings and clean away any content on these profiles that paints you in a bad light.


Network, network, network

Following on from social media usage, we recommend that you begin to build your online network with professional connections and follow companies and industries that you would like to work within.

When addressing networking in the offline world, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” should be at the forefront of your mind. Each year thousands of job positions are filled through word of mouth, so graduates and students should take advantage of this. If you have a connection at a company you would love to work for, ask them to recommend you.

Try to get involved in as many networking opportunities and events as possible, virtual or otherwise. Utilise this time to approach key people in your chosen industry and share with them your passion to work alongside them.


Get industry experience

When it comes to the graduate job market, industry experience is crucial. Although the thought of giving up the university holidays in order to secure an internship might not be the most appealing of ideas, it may well lead the way to you landing your dream job.

Prospective employers find students and graduates with hands on work experience, or great internships, far more appealing than those without. It gives them the impression that you are serious about your chosen career path and future plans – it also gives you the chance to try out the industry before committing to a full time career.

Hands on industry experience allows you to apply your knowledge and skills gained through education, and apply these to the practical working world. Work experience is also a great way to build your professional network, and to gain connections within your chosen industry.


Tailor your applications

When applying for jobs we recommend that you tailor all applications. Every job will require an impressive CV during the application process and most will also require a cover letter accompanying your application. Although it may be tempting to send out the same CV and cover letter for multiple roles, we highly recommend that you take the time to tailor each and every application for the specific role.

The purpose of a CV and cover letter are not simply about giving a clear picture of who you are and what experience you have, it is also about showing how you would perfectly suit the particular role at the company. If you’re applying for your dream role then tailoring your application will help you to get to the next stage of the application process.