Wednesday, 3 September 2014

What you'll encounter as a graduate job-searcher

This is a guest post. 

For up to three years you have more than likely slept, manically worked, partied and then slept again - like one big circle of life – and now this is all over you have come to the stomach-dropping conclusion that you are officially unemployed.

The bank of Mum and Dad suddenly stops being so friendly now that you’re back home and it suggests that you get a job and start paying rent until you can move out. ‘Move out?’ You think, ‘but I’ve just got my room back to how I like it!’

So, where do you start?

Online, of course. The Internet was your friend at university, why break things off now? It is brimming, in fact overflowing, with job opportunities - if you know where to look. You may have studied something very specific but still want to work as close to home as possible (the thought of becoming a commuter train zombie fills you with dread) so a good place to start is to search for local jobs at The same applies if you’re looking for something to simply gain experience, ready for your desired career path.

There are those who leave university and fall into work almost immediately. These are the people whose seemingly smug status updates, about how amazing their job is and where they are going out this weekend, make you silently seethe with rage as you pick over your CV again and again.

We’re not going to lie, job searching as a graduate is hard and you will be up against a tremendous amount of talented competition. But don’t let this bother you, you are talented, you’ve put the time and effort in and there is nothing stopping you from getting that job over the other candidates.

On the opposite end of the spectrum there are those who leave university and carry on as if they are still a student, which involves sleeping in until 1pm, staying in their pyjamas until they decide to shower and then getting back into pyjamas again for the rest of the day. Or, you know, they just go off travelling.

The best thing you can do is break off any bad habits you picked up at university. No more leaving the washing up until you’re having to eat soup out of the saucepan directly or deciding to have an impromptu night out with the people in the flat next door and not going to bed until 5am.

According to the Guardian, the percentage of graduates working in jobs which do not require a degree is up to 47%. Whilst many are dismayed by this it is not a wholly negative statistic, you might not fall into your desired job right away but you can gain some great experience in a smaller company. And with everything going on in the employment market currently a job is a job; take it and continue to search for your perfect role at the same time.

You will find that most prospective employers will ignore your numerous job applications and CV submissions. This can be frustrating but they do receive hundreds of thousands of applications throughout the year and your CV really has to stand out to be noticed. Many job websites offer free CV and covering letter templates and even advice on how to conduct yourself in an interview, so take advantage of these to up your game.

Networking will be your new buzzword for a few years to come, especially if you are looking for a career in media, so go to any event where you know you can speak with prospective employers and make yourself known.

Most importantly of all, keep your head held high. You will encounter a mixed bag of disappointment and success as a graduate searching for a job, but once you find something, commit yourself wholly and use it as a way of gaining experience. However, if you are lucky enough to bag your perfect job straight after graduation then please do share your wisdom with your fellow job-seeking graduates! 

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