So you’ve just graduated…now what? Here are some top tips to keep in mind as you seek out your next adventure!
First things first, know your worth and don’t sell yourself short. What do we want to say with that? Consider whether or not that unpaid internship is really worth it. Do your research and weigh the pros and cons – Is this your dream industry? Do you want to build a career in this specific field? If not, you might want to shy away from working for free, especially if your work creates value for the employer.
Polish your CV, but don’t forget about your online footprint. The way you portray yourself online is as important as what is written on your resume. The Facebook “view as” button comes in very handy here. You don’t want those clubbing pictures from three years ago come back to haunt you, do you?
Building off of the last point, create a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one. LinkedIn makes it increasingly easy for applicants to apply directly, message the job poster or receive notifications once jobs that match their skills or interests are posted. Having a LinkedIn profile set-up also makes it easier to apply on company websites, as they often let you import your profile in lieu of having to fill out every form or field by hand.
Look past the big graduate schemes or famous employers and look for small to medium sized companies or charities. They are just as eager to hire graduates and you will be met with less competition (by numbers).
Balance quality and quantity of your applications. You might feel like you did a great job by applying to 40 companies in a week, but were all your applications actually relevant? Did you make an effort to match your experience and skills with what they are looking for?
If you have an interview for, let’s assume a sales and business development position in a company, try to find out whether you know someone who works with the product at their job. You sound a lot more prepared when you can let the interviewer know you did some research about the usability of the product. Also, you are aware of what customers like or don’t like about the product and can answer competency based questions more easily.
Have a very clear understanding of why you are qualified for a position and match your skills and experience with what is outlined in the job description. King’s Careers & Employability hosts many Career Insight Series over the year and HR Representatives come to give presentations. The previous is a problem that almost all of them mention in one way or another.
Do your research before every interview and remember that if you show interest in the company or person you’re talking to, it’s likely to be reciprocated. Check if you can find your interviewer on LinkedIn and mention you did your research, since it’s always nice to know who you will be talking to. Also check if the company has been in the news recently. Maybe a major round of funding or an M&A happened and they are looking to expand? Knowledge is power, so use it to your advantage and demonstrate you know what’s happening.