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The basics
Study abroad : Career Prospects

Top tips on finding a job as a graduate

We know it can be tough to find work, which is why we've got 5 top tips to help you with the whole process.

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Whether you’ve just graduated from university or you’re coming to the end of your degree, you are probably starting to think about finding a job. We know it can feel overwhelming at first, but don’t forget it can also be exciting. This is your chance to learn new things, gain work experience, meet new people, develop your interests, and start earning a salary. To help you land your first job after university, we’ve investigated the best ways to find a job as a graduate to make this whole process a little more straightforward.


1. Tailor your CV and cover letter to the job


It is vital that your CV and cover letter are tailored to the jobs you are applying for. This can be achieved by using similar language to the job posting and emphasizing the most relevant experience you have. While this may make the process more time-consuming, the rewards will be worth the effort.


Employers can be sent hundreds, even thousands of applications per role, so you need to make sure you match the requirements of the job advertisement as closely as possible. Although you will be highlighting certain aspects of your skills and experience, this does not mean you should lie. Stay honest and be yourself while demonstrating your best qualities. You don’t want to get to the interview stage and feel completely out of your depths.


Once you have written a few cover letters, you can start using the same or similar structure, but you must make sure that you are writing each one based on the job you are applying for. This includes addressing the cover letter to the hiring manager or CEO of the company to demonstrate that you have taken the time to research the organisation.


2. Sign up to recruitment agencies


The job hunt can be arduous and frustrating at times, so if you need some support, contact a recruitment agency. It is totally free to sign up and recruiters are paid to help you find work. Some recruitment companies even find jobs just for graduates specifically. They may also be able to recommend certain graduate schemes with availability.


All you need to do is tell them a bit about yourself and what it is you are looking for and a recruiter will try to match you to a suitable role. This can take a lot of the stress out of a job hunt, and you may even get some personalised feedback on your CV and cover letter.


Recruiters can also be useful when it comes to negotiating your salary with an employer, which saves you from having to the conversation if you find this uncomfortable. You can also ask the recruiter important questions such as:


  • What is the company culture like?
  • What will the interview process involve?
  • How big is the team?
  • Does the company have a remote work policy?


Once you’ve had your interview, the recruiter will usually be able to provide feedback from the employer. They can tell you what worked well and what didn’t so that you can improve for the next interview stage or for future jobs.


3. Research companies


Research, research, research. It is essential that you check out the company and the role you are applying for before you make an application. This reflects your interest in the company, even if you aren’t totally committed to the role yet. Your research should involve checking out their social media pages, recent campaigns, and the history of the company.


Employers will also be trying to assess whether you are a good fit for the organisation. So having some knowledge about the company will be useful during the interview stage when you could be asked questions such as ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’ or ‘What drew you to this role?’. If you don’t have good enough answers to these questions, it is unlikely that you will progress any further.


Want to know the top 5 graduate jobs in the USA, Canada and New Zealand?


4. Design your own routine


When applying for jobs as a graduate, it can be helpful to create a schedule so that you are committing sufficient time to your applications. However, you should also factor in time for breaks so that you’re giving your mind a rest. Set yourself different tasks for each day so that you have clear goals. Otherwise, the process can feel draining and repetitive.


For example, if you know you focus more in the morning, get up early to send your applications but give yourself the afternoon to relax. Plus, the lack of structure after university can be disconcerting, so giving yourself a routine will help you to feel motivated and more productive.


5. Get comfortable with rejection

The truth is everyone faces rejection at some point. Although you might feel like you’re the only one without a job after university, this certainly won’t be the case. It can be hard to find a job that you like and particularly when you have minimal experience as a graduate. Be patient and trust that you will find something, even if it doesn’t happen straight away.


If you do get rejected, you can always ask why you weren’t considered for the position. Although the feedback might not be what you want to hear, this is a good opportunity to make improve your applications or interview approach for future roles. Try to see the rejection as a positive. Perhaps that role wasn’t suited to you anyway and something better is just around the corner. Dealing with rejection and disappointment is an important life lesson that everyone must deal with. Try not to take it too personally.


Not feeling ready to find a job? Perhaps you would prefer to study a master’s degree? You can use our course matcher tool to find a course and university.


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