Landing a graduate-level job – Seven Secrets of Success
In a recent edition of The Sunday Times, a graduate named Hira Gul bemoaned the fact that she found it impossible to get a job. Despite applying for over 70 jobs, she had failed to get a single response. Forlornly, she asked herself ‘what am I doing wrong?’ A better question for Hira and others like her might be this: ‘what can I do that’s right’? So, on behalf of Hira and all other jobless graduates, we will tell you what you can do that’s right, by sharing the seven secrets of successfully landing a graduate-level job.
These secrets have been derived from the 10 years we have spent coaching graduates. And they are especially relevant in a time of COVID when graduate jobs are thinner on the ground than normal. So, whether you are a graduate or the parent of a graduate, they are worthy of careful study.
- Don’t apply for jobs willy-nilly: Only apply for a job when you know why you are applying for that job. Make sure that your CV and LinkedIn profile demonstrates that you are suited and qualified for the job.
- Evidence key employability skills that employers seek: The Confederation of British Industry has identified nine employability skills that employers seek. These are business awareness, communication and literacy, entrepreneurial skill, fluency in information technology, numeracy, problem solving, resilience, self-management and team working.
- Your first job doesn’t have to be your ideal job: But it will pay you to take it – in two ways. One, it will provide you with valuable experience. Two, it will earn you money. With real job experience under your belt, it will be easier to switch to a better position.
- Understand that getting a job is a full-time job in itself: Aim to send off four or five applications every day – but make sure those applications are relevant to your experience and skills.
- Become digitally fluent: 85% of graduate-level jobs assume at least a basic knowledge of digital technology. Graduates need a clear understanding of the constant transformation that is being enabled by the tech giants.
- Prepare for that all-important Zoom call: Find the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewers. Learn all you can about the company they represent. Read any studies or papers they may have published. Also, study the company’s competitors. Try to understand the differences between the ethos and products and services that their competitors offer.
- Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes: Ask yourself the questions they are likely to ask. Who would I hire and why? Employers obviously wish to hire someone who they believe will be able to do the job. But, above that, they will want someone who can demonstrate that they are keen to work with them; someone who clearly wants the job.
Graduate Coach helps students and graduates to turn their degrees into careers through one-to-one coaching, interview coaching, online courses, and books.