Friday, 21 March 2014

How To Land Yourself A Grad Job | Life After University

Because I don’t feel any university degree fully prepares you for life after university, I am here to let you on to a few tips and tricks. Whether you are just starting out- an eager fresher, coming to the end of your degree or taking a well deserved gap year, this article will give you more of an insight into what life is really like after completing your three (or more) years at university. 

Firstly, don’t think it is going to be plain sailing after leaving university. I sat through hundreds of graduate applications before I even got any sort of response. Remember that competition is tough and thousands of graduates will be applying for just one position. It is down to the recruiter to find the very best graduates, so make your application stand out! Graduate applications are VERY time consuming so remember to put some time aside to really focus on writing a personalised response which leads me on to my next tip- don’t simply copy and paste information from one graduate application to the next. Recruiters want to know that you have genuine interest in their company and that you will be an asset to their team.

After filling out an application form you will then be asked to complete some online tests providing you meet the criteria. Tests you scream?! Yes, unfortunately even if you’re going for one of the more creative grad jobs like me, you are still expected to complete a numerical test the majority of the time along with a verbal reasoning test. Now for those of you who hate maths like I do this is just a no go! I chose English at university for a reason… It gets worse though, there is a time limit you have to complete these tests in. So now you’re probably thinking do I even bother? There’s no denying that these tests aren't easy and even more infuriating is the fact that you probably won’t be using half the calculations in the job itself. That’s what programmes such as excel are designed for right?

If you pass this stage you are guaranteed an interview of some shape or form. Easier said than done though! I was invited to a couple of graduate interviews which obviously demonstrated my academic ability to succeed but what about me as a person? This is where you really need to step it up a notch or two.

I don’t think anyone enjoys the interview process. Sitting in a enclosed space facing a board of two or three intimidating looking directors is not going to be anyone's idea of fun really is it ? One thing I would say from personal experience over these past few months is that the more interviews you attend, the better you will be become at them. Practice makes perfect right. Just don’t give up even if you're knocked back a few times. It’s easy to just settle for a job stocking shelves at Morrisons but none of us went to university to stock shelves that's for sure... 

So the interview was a success and you have landed yourself a graduate job. Oh wait maybe not as now an assessment day is in order so you’re told. Things to expect: team building, role play and the chance to scare off the competition. I told you this was a time consuming process! That aside, assessment days can be quite fun, but remember you’re being assessed at every stage so act fast- this is not the time to be going home empty handed! All this done, you will be notified as to whether you have been successful I am presuming within a couple of days. However don't be surprised if you don't receive personal feedback as a lot of the time you do have to ask for this. 

I don' think anything really prepares you for life after university. Intern, network and put yourself out there. Gone are the days of the paper C.V- today you need to use your initiative more than ever. In fact my latest application for a graduate job in London saw me posting a short Instagram video and using a single tweet both to describe myself. Even though this was for a social media job, sometimes allowing your personality to shine through on paper is more difficult than it seems.

In my next post I will be talking about two Interns I am currently doing at the moment and again hopefully help you to understand that there are many different routes after university which you can take. Don't just think that you have to apply for these long winded graduate schemes for corporate organisations. Find the SME's and make it personal!

Catch you soon!


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