Yes, it is close to one full year since I graduated and while I’m very content in my job and even starting the leadership development programme I know this isn’t the case for everyone. I took my job as something to see me through until I found something that aligned with my career plan. The problem was my career plan changed the minute I realised I really loved my job and decided I could make a career out of it. The rest of this post is a guest post which details what you should do if you’re on the job hunt a year after graduation.
It’s been a blissful year since all eyes were on you as you crossed the stage to get your degree.
Some people may have spent this time travelling the world; others may have jumped in to gain work experience in preparation for looking for their first full time job. There may also be a few who simply haven’t started searching and have had the longest break, ever.
However, you’re probably thinking it’s time you put that degree of yours to good use and started looking for the job you’ve been working towards for years!
Read on to find out how to step into the working world and wave goodbye to education.
Not everyone will want a job that relates to their degree – and that’s okay! Time away from university may make you want to look at the world in a different way to what you originally planned.
Most employers are happy to see any sort of degree on your CV; and many are now universally used in many industries. But, of course, it’s a definite bonus if it relates to the role you’re applying for.
Think about your interests and start from there. What did you enjoy at university? What would you be happy doing 9-5 every day? You may have done a textiles degree and have kept your artistic abilities flowing after university – you can use this to land a fabric design role!
However, the harsh truth is, not all graduates start exactly where they want to be. You will still need to work your way up the career ladder to reach your career goals
For example, fashion design is a tough industry to get into – you may start out as a quality tester before you work your way up to designing and creating items yourself.
This just makes it all that more rewarding when you get to the top.
It’s time to dust off your old CV from your GCSE days and update it with your shiny new degree.
Your CV and cover letter give you the perfect opportunity to share your new skills and the experience you’ve gained from doing your degree.
You may have learnt how to code a website, or the world of business studies – so why not shout about what you’ve learned!
If you took a year out to travel, don’t be afraid to mention this too. Many skills can be gained from travelling. For example, organisation, problem-solving and people skills; all things employers love to see in your CV.
There’s no doubt that any routine you would have had at university would have flown away to an exotic country itself. You may not have even had a routine since your school or college days.
You’ve likely had a year of ‘going with the flow’; but building up a routine will massively benefit you when it comes to starting a new job. After all, it will prepare you for the early starts and later finishes that you aren’t used to.
A job hunt is a perfect opportunity to start a routine. Build a schedule around looking for jobs and going to interviews to get you prepared and organised.
Working this into a routine will decrease the chances of you wanting to give up, so it’s definitely something to consider.
The only university antics potential employers will want to see are your educational ones. This is why cleaning up your social media can play a crucial part in the job hunting process.
Employers are not going to be impressed if your social media is full of pictures from your rowdy student nights, or statuses complaining about your lecturers. You must show professionalism even online, as you never know what recruiters may see.
How about creating your own LinkedIn profile? It’s the perfect way to connect and build a network in the working world and is not used like other social media platforms. It gives you the opportunity to show yourself as an enthusiastic university graduate.
However, things you post on other social media platforms may contradict your LinkedIn profile; so it’s always best to delete anything that may harm your chances of landing an interview, as well as ensuring your privacy settings are at the maximum.
Most job hunts start with a job board. There are various out there that specialise in a specific location or industry, such as Scotland Jobs. Alternatively, there are general job boards which can be particularly useful.
The first step is to register your CV, giving you the opportunity to be head-hunted. However, you shouldn’t solely rely on this as you have a better chance of getting exactly what you want through searching yourself.
Registering your CV also gives you the chance to quickly apply for jobs – so make sure it’s up to date!
You may not have applied for anything since your application to university, so a job board is a good place to start.
Leaving education for the world of work can be daunting, but preparation is key. Your university days are behind you and you are ready to start job searching.
Make sure your CV is up to date and polished, with your degree taking centre stage. Utilise job boards as much as you can to maximise your search and boost your chances of being seen.
I hope this post has been helpful and what I would say is don’t worry if you’re not totally sure about what you want to do. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to figure out what’s right for you.