So you’ve entered a whirlwind of exams, dissertations and assignments, and between becoming an adult and enjoying the social side, have come out the other side. Whether you’ve been at university for three years or longer, jumping into the real world can be a rather daunting and overwhelming affair, so take a look at our guide to getting to grips with the graduate job market.
Choosing your Direction
One of the most difficult aspects of applying for jobs once completing university can be at the very first hurdle; deciding what it is you actually want to do. If you’re completely at a loss, one of the best ways of discovering the market and what jobs are out there is to attend a job fair, such as the London Graduate Fair (www.londongradfair.co.uk). Here you can explore an array of different career paths, talk to employers and meet other graduates who are in the same position. It’s also a great way of seeing a range of jobs under one roof, some of which you may have never even thought of when it comes to searching the internet.
If you know which industry you would like to work in, it is worth taking a look at a website such as Milkround (www.milkround.com). This website allows you to search a specific group of jobs, so you can see what kind of roles are offered within the field you are interested in.
Preparing your Application
Searching and applying for roles can be a full time job in itself, so it is important to make sure you focus on the right aspects of your application.
Your CV is one of the most important components of your job hunt, and hopefully by now you should have a generic format detailing your experience, degree details and any past employment. Most universities offer advice when it comes to writing a CV, but if you’re in need of some outside help, The Telegraph has a great job section (http://jobs.telegraph.co.uk/cv/), and they will even check your CV and give you free feedback (http://jobs.telegraph.co.uk/article/997/free-cv-review-from-the-fuller-cv). There is also plenty of information on this dedicated finance career website.
According to finance expertOliver Larholt, one of the most frequent mistakes when it comes to applying for graduate jobs is to assume that a generic CV and covering letter can be sent for every role you wish to apply for. Although it may be quicker to do so, you will probably find that you will have more success in the long run if you tailor your paperwork to each role. Be sure to look at the key skills the job description is asking for and make sure you show that you have them, by reworking your CV and your covering letter.
Register with Job Sites
If you want to give yourself the largest possible chance of landing that dream job, make sure you register with a handful of job sites on the internet. Most of these will allow you to upload your CV and will send you emails when they have jobs that match search specifications. Some of the general websites include Targetjobs, Totaljobs, Reed and The Guardian’s graduate job section, but you can also find websites and agencies that cater for specific industries, so it is always worth typing your industry into a search engine.
Even though you’ve left your university days behind you, if you put enough research and hard work into finding a graduate position, you will no doubt find your feet in no time.
Louise Jenkins writes on behalf of Oliver Larholts Financial Careers Blog. For more information visit www.oliverlarholt.org.