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How to Get a Job Straight After University
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How to Get a Job Straight After University

Written by Sam | March 17, 2020

As a graduate do you know how to get and line up a job straight after university? Many will go down the traditional route of applying for jobs on job sites, handing our CVs into shops and trying to make our way up the company ladder in order to make sure we can pay the rent if we are living away from home!

The Things You Can Do While At University To Help You

While you are at University, you might not necessarily be thinking about looking for a job or career for after University. You might have an idea of the sector however not the particular company you want to work for! Not many will have a company in mind and know exactly what job they want.

However while at university make sure you are getting experience in your sector you are studying and want to work in. For example, if you are in photography, can you do a free photoshoot for someone, they will most likely cover travel costs and food, but by doing this you can build up your portfolio. After that, can you create your own website, list all your photos on there, or upload them to a website such as Unsplash.

There are many sites where if you don’t like the idea of working for experience, you can charge and set up on Fiverr, UpWork, and sites like these. This is easier to do if you don’t need to be in the physical location and can do it remotely. This is a great way to prove that you can manage projects, time, and expectations.

Many students will come out of university with a degree, there is nothing wrong with this however, many now come out with degrees, so what separates you from the person sat next to you? If you know you want a job in marketing, what experience can you get to show that when they hire you, you will be the right fit for their team and have the appropriate experience? They will want someone they can train, someone who has had experience with dealing with others, managing their time and they can rely on.

Every student needs to be able to adapt to different social situations, by this we mean that you may need to work in groups, as an individual and with someone who has the complete personality type and you need to understand how to interact and work together. Being in a sports club, society or a social group helps with this really well and we advocate this, you can see how different people react to situations and how to act in different situations.

Build your CV, get lots of experience there, understand how to display and format your CV, and after all this, practice your interview.

You can be excellent on paper, but employers want to see that what you have written matches how you are in person. An extreme example is saying how you are a thrill seeker and massive extrovert but won’t talk in an interview. Nerves are to be expected, you can tell the difference between nerves and personality.

The best advice I was given on a personal note was: If you sound too rehearsed, you haven’t practiced enough. You don’t know it off the top of your head.

After You Have Finished University

Once you have finished your studies, had a look at some jobs and preparing for interviews, still keep active with your experience. If you stop then it will be a gap and you can very quickly become unmotivated!

It is always best to apply for jobs before you finish university and write an expected grade on your CV or in the application. This will give you an edge before everyone starts applying after they have their grades.

Quick Fact: The average employer looks at your CV for an average of 20-30 seconds.

If you have to complete an application for your interview then you need to keep it CONCISE. This means no waffle, important information, and straight to the point. This is because many won’t have time to fully read applications. If they have 30 applications on their desk and it takes them 5 minutes to read each one, that’s 5 minutes they could potentially be spending in other areas of their business.

A Good Application

To write a good application make sure you know which points you must hit. Find the essential criteria on the Job Description or Person Specification and go through it to make sure when you are completing your application it ticks off the right points.

When writing it is important not to waffle, if you write 6 A4 pages, not many will read it cover to cover. Break it up on the page, make sure you cover the important bits, and don’t be afraid to use bullet points. There is a fine balance between enough and not enough detail. The role of the application is to see if you are eligible for an interview and meet their criteria, not to sell your life story!

This doesn’t mean that during the application process you can’t be YOU. The biggest differentiator in any job is YOU, the individual. Make sure they see who you are because you want to feel comfortable in your workplace!

The Interview

Be polite, have a good handshake, take any materials you might want to use or need, and have several copies of each and again, nerves are ok!

When preparing for an interview it is really important to research the company, make sure you understand what they do, how they do it, what sort of teams they have, and how they operate. Many students don’t look at the companies website to see what they do and this shows that they are just after a ‘job’ and not interested in the company.

Please remember that if you split your day into 8 hours, you will spend a third of your time at work, make sure you enjoy what you do and where you work. Think of questions that you would want to ask, they can be job-specific, about job satisfaction, the benefits of the job, pension, can you have a tour around the office, have they got an office dog, can you do a weeks work experience first, it could be anything, however, please ask something because you never want to leave the room with regret.

There are lots of things to cover for an interview, but please believe in yourself, show your personality and amazing talent off to the prospective employers. They will be judging at how you will fit into the team, how everyone will get along with you, and whether you are capable fo doing the job!

Top Tip: Always have a glass of water and if you get asked a tricky question, take a sip of water and think about your answer!

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