Advice for Graduates Who Are Job Hunting
26 September 2017
As a graduate looking for your first ‘proper job’, it can be a daunting process. There are the inevitable rounds of rejection, the uncertainty of creating a CV and the overall panic of committing to full-time work in a new environment. For me, it’s essential that graduates understand how to promote themselves as enticing prospects; where to look for work; and how to follow through the application process.
In the Accountancy and Finance market, I often get speculative CVs and phone calls from graduates looking to make their mark on the industry. In order to help them ‘get noticed’, I will always endeavor to give them practical advice and tips.
So, if you’re a graduate looking for work in any sector, here are my top tips.
Have an online presence
Whether you use a blog or a social networking platform such as LinkedIn, ensure that you have a credible presence that is both personal and professional. Share relevant content, comment on posts and, if you feel confident enough, write your own pieces. A recruiter or hiring manager will look for any ‘digital breadcrumbs’ you have to see the type of candidate you might be.
Create a stand out CV
So many CVs look incredibly similar – perhaps this is owing to the reliance on online templates. My advice would be to create something from scratch and really think about any of the transferable skills and experience you might have. What is it about your experience to date that would differentiate you from other graduates. You should also follow up any CV submissions with a phone call to ensure that it ended up in front of the right person. This will also demonstrate your keenness.
Use job boards and recruiters
Use as many avenues as you can for maximum exposure in the jobs market. Uploading your CV to a job board means that employers and recruiters can find you and get in touch about opportunities they have that may be of interest to you. This means that opportunities may present themselves to you as opposed to it being a one-way street of you sending out applications.
Personalise your applications
Ensure that your CV and cover letter is really tailored to the role at hand – it will make hiring managers or recruiters pay attention to you as you’ve made the effort. Talent sourcers will see thousands of CVs per week, so you have to create an interesting read that is worth a follow up. The same can be said for attempting to make LinkedIn connections. Send a personalised note, commenting on content a person has shared, for example, in order to sound engaged.
Be confident and passionate
Whether it’s for a job interview or meeting with a recruiter, it’s essential that you sound interested in your industry and pursuing a specific career path. It’s important that your job application doesn’t sound like a last resort or something you’ve applied for on a whim. Don’t be afraid to sound passionate; discuss the industry with confidence and show your determination to succeed.
Broaden your horizons
One of the many benefits of using a recruiter is that they will often encourage you to think of roles or career paths that you might have initially disregarded. While we all have an ideal career path in mind when we leave university, it’s important to be flexible and consider all the options open to you. Your first job shouldn’t be about short term success, but long term prospects and opportunities.
Show your personality
Similar to having confidence at job interviews, if a recruiter or hiring manager picks up the phone to you, don’t be afraid to demonstrate who you are as a person. We are not our jobs, so it’s okay to show that you have a personality. This is important as it will also help those making the decisions see if you will be a cultural fit for the business.
If you would like to speak to me about jobs within the Accountancy and Finance market, or are interested in hearing some advice, I would love to chat with you. Click here to see my details and get in touch.
Written By Eilidh Black