Author: Sarah Mears, Internal Recruiter, Namos Solutions
Finding your first role after university can seem like a daunting task. After the support and structure of being at university, stepping out into the world and shaping your dream career can be tough, especially in the current climate.
There are many things to consider, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It may have been a while since I was a graduate, but here is some simple advice on the Dos and Don’ts of conducting a graduate job search. It’s the advice I wish I’d been given – straightforward, honest and realistic.
I hope it helps you to secure your ideal role.
DO spend time thinking about what you want from a job. It may seem tempting to take the first position you are offered, or to turn that weekend job at Subway into a full time role, but think first : would that make you happy in the long term? If the answer is no, then your search must continue.
It’s helpful to set out the criteria you expect from a graduate role before beginning your search, such as:
- The type of position you are looking for. If you don’t have a definite role in mind, consider your core skills. If you’re really stuck, think about what you would like to do if money was no object, and work from there. For example – if you love animals and are passionate about the environment, how about roles within conservation, agriculture or even as a vet?
- The location of the role : are you willing to relocate? What will relocating entail (costs, logistics etc.) – is that a realistic proposition for you?
- Company culture.
- Opportunities for further training and future progression.
- The minimum salary you would be willing to accept.
DON’T have unrealistic expectations. The reality is that it will take time to find your ideal role and build your career. You may need to take a lower level position and spend time proving yourself, before progressing to the role you really want. Don’t settle, but also don’t dismiss jobs that aren’t 100% what you’re looking for. Think of your first role as a stepping stone to your long-term career goals. If you are willing to work hard and prove yourself within those first couple of years, it won’t go unnoticed.
DO create a first class CV and covering letter. And make sure your LinkedIn profile accurately reflects this. Your CV is the first chance you have to impress future employers, so I really can’t stress enough how important it is for that to be right! Spend time building a CV that accurately reflects who you are and sells you in the best way possible. Don’t be shy! Include your educational results, skills, practical work experience, hobbies and any other experiences you have had, such as a gap year.
DO focus on your employability. Your job right now is to secure your first job. So let that be your focus, all the time. Spend time tweaking your LinkedIn and social media profiles, so that they reflect you in the best light possible. Put your energy into upskilling and gaining as much experience as possible. Internships, volunteering, temporary work, online courses, even returning to full time study, can all boost your appeal to potential employers.
DON’T be afraid to approach employers directly. If you have applied for a role, there’s no harm in reaching out to the job poster on LinkedIn to introduce yourself. What’s the worst that could happen?
DO grow your network. For every role you apply to, every interview you attend, every call you receive, send the person you speak with a LinkedIn connection request. This way, their updates will appear on your feed (just like on Facebook or Instagram), and you will be able to see when new roles are posted. Show that you are a confident user of LinkedIn by engaging with their posts. You never know who is watching, and which employers might be looking for someone just like you!
DON’T rely solely on job applications. The graduate market can be a tough place, and standing out from the crowd is vitally important. So whilst applying online is great, explore other methods of job searching alongside those applications :
- Make a list of the companies you want to work for. Research their website – do they have a careers page? Do they run a graduate scheme? When is the next intake? Do they have an internal recruitment team you can contact directly?
- Register with recruitment agencies, specifically those who specialise in graduate jobs (such as Give A Grad A Go or Wiser Graduates).
- Likewise, search for roles posted on graduate specific websites, such as Prospects or British Graduate Jobs. All the jobs on these sites will be tailored specifically to graduates like you, so no more trawling through jobs that require 10 years experience!
- Talk to people. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. If you have previous work experience, can you connect with those employers or people you used to work with? Talk to any of your peers who have secured an amazing graduate job recently, and find out how they did it. Could they refer you for a similar role?
DO ask for feedback. It’s beneficial and will help you to avoid falling at the same hurdles every time. Ask interviewers what you could do to improve, and implement that advice in your next application or interview. Take any criticism constructively, and put it into action in time for the next stage of your job hunting journey.
DON’T be too hard on yourself! Applying for jobs at any stage of your life is an intense, all-consuming experience, and there will be rejections along the way. But that isn’t your fault! Take a moment to believe in yourself and your abilities. Each of our lives progresses at a different pace, so try not to compare yourself to others. One rejection, even two or three, does not mean the end of your search. Keep pushing and don’t give up. You will get there in the end!
Wishing every graduate candidate the best of luck for your search, from all at Namos!
Namos Cloud Graduate Scheme
Passionate about developing a workforce of home grown talent, Namos has introduced its Cloud Graduate Scheme, aimed at attracting high-potential and high-achieving graduates, keen to join a leading Oracle consultancy. Working alongside some of the best consultants in the Oracle marketplace, graduates are emerged into the Namos company culture and taught the skills to be productive from the outset.
Enjoy a rewarding career that provides work–life balance and flexibility in a global environment – Namos provide graduates with ongoing opportunities to make a real impact and be involved in exciting, challenging and complex projects all over the world.
Applications are now open for the 2021 Graduate intake. For further information on how to apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To understand more about the role of a Namos Graduate and what you can expect to be doing, please click here.
About Namos Solutions
Namos Solutions are an award-winning Oracle OPN Modernised Partner specialising in the implementation and support of ERP, EPM and HCM business solutions, both in the Cloud and on-premise.
With global experience together with an impeccable track record, our business is built on our passion for delivering successful business transformation. Passion underpins everything we do at Namos – passionate about delivering beyond expectations, earning trust and building long-lasting relationships with our clients.
Although based in central London, we work wherever our clients need us to be. Many leading organisations located all over the world trust and rely on our expertise to deliver industry-leading business solutions. Namos customers can currently be found in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and Africa. For more information, please visit www.namossolutions.com or email email@example.com.