As the UK heads into the summer months, the nights get brighter, the days get warmer and the atmospheric euphoria of summertime fills the air. Meanwhile, thousands of graduates are struggling to find a job after university and simultaneously coming to the harsh realisation that uni days are over and the real world awaits with sharpened claws.
While some university leavers may have jobs lined up waiting for them like a limousine escort at an airport terminal, ready to whisk them off to the promised land of employment, chances are that the majority of UK graduates will find themselves with no job after graduation, seamlessly transitioning from academic student to unemployed jobseeker the moment the scroll is passed.
Finding a job after university isn’t easy. As such, it pays to be prepared. Fortunately, this exact blog is here to do just that. So, sit back, push that overdue library book to the side and grab a slice of last night’s pizza, as we run through our top three tips on how to get a job after university.
If there’s one thing that influences the world more than anything else in 2021, it’s social media. As a result, it makes sense to use it to your advantage! Social platforms like LinkedIn in particular are great for networking and expanding your contacts within your chosen industry, so why not get ahead of the curve and set up a profile right from the get go.
LinkedIn is widely considered to be THE social media platform for professionals and, while it may seem a little odd to set up a professional profile with little or no professional experience, the upside can far outweigh that awkward scepticism. So, shake off that feeling of imposter syndrome because you definitely belong!
Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online CV, so it’s important to treat it like one. As a rule, try to keep it professional across the board, from your posts to your images, and present yourself how you would want a recruiter to see you. Choose a profile picture that accurately reflects who you are but also in a manner that suits the industry you want to be in.
It’s also important to keep in mind that LinkedIn is commonly used as an additional avenue for would-be employers to find out more about you once you’ve applied for a position, so a detailed, career-focused profile is definitely a smart move. That being said, LinkedIn isn’t the only social media site would-be employers visit to vet their candidates...
According to a study by CareerBuilder, it was found that a colossal 70% of employers use social media to pre-screen potential candidates during the recruitment process. Not “LinkedIn” but “social media” in general, so that includes personal pages like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram... so, you may want to change that profile picture of you chugging the yard of ale!
One of the cruel ironies of post-university life is that many former students quickly find themselves stuck in professional purgatory, without a job or the experience that comes from having one. Consequently, you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job - a cruel palindrome from Gods of Jobs.
As a result, practical application of your academic skills has yet to be proven in the real world of work. However, there is a way around this quagmire of unemployment and it comes in the unlikely form of unpaid work placement.
While on the surface that may seem to defeat the purpose of getting a job (i.e. to earn a living), this is most definitely a classic case of short term pain for long term gain; one step back to take two forward; pulling teeth to enjoy the ice cream! Okay, we made that last one up, but you get the idea.
Inexperienced graduates can gain instant CV-bolstering experience through unpaid work placements and volunteering. Best of all, said experience also proves to future employers that you not only have the ability to handle a professional environment but you have already been there, done it and have the complimentary employee t-shirt to boot.
In addition to those benefits, it’s also not unusual for unpaid placements to evolve into a full-time paid position in time. Through hard work and dedication, it’s infinitely possible to prove yourself worthy of a full-time role by making yourself indispensable to your employer. Play your cards right and they might not want to see you leave!
Get a Job
Okay, we know this one might seem obvious but hear us out...
When you first leave university, it’s pretty likely that you’ll have a particular job, industry or even employer in mind - which is great! After all, having a firm career direction in mind is definitely a good thing going forward. That being said, it’s important not to let this positive career clarity become a detrimental form of clouded tunnel vision.
If you have applied for a specific role that compliments your skills, degree and dreams yet have been as yet unsuccessful, sitting on the sidelines waiting for another role that fits that description is not always a wise move. In fact, it’s almost always the exact opposite of that.
Remember that there are thousands of other job hunters out there, all vying for those same few spots at the same time. Chances are that, as a freshly minted graduate, there’s probably someone else out there who has applied for the same job and has more first-hand experience in the role you want at this moment in time.
If you have hit a brick wall in terms of applications for the specific jobs you want, why not broaden your horizons and search for jobs outside your chosen profession or even your preferred industry? Most people that have ever found themselves searching for jobs will tell you that it is a lot easier to get a job when you already have one. While that statement may seem odd on the surface, there’s actually a LOT of truth to it.
When you’re already in employment, there isn’t the same sense of stress and desperation to nail an interview (which can in turn hinder performance), nor is there long spells of gloomy downtime to dwell on rejections. Meanwhile, the routine of going to work, meeting new people and generally staying busy can be massively beneficial from a mental standpoint.
Taking a stop-gap job as a placeholder until you find the role you really want shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. So what if you have to start at the bottom rung, at least you’re on the ladder. Best of all, it’ll provide an income to live off, pay the bills and enjoy life while you continue your search for your dream job in the background.
Think of it as a financial safety net: you now have the freedom can leap for the big roles without a second thought, knowing there’ll always be something to support you if you fall short.
So, there you have it: our top three tips for how to find a job after graduation. If you’re a graduate looking for more tips on finding a job after graduation, why not give us a call today? Alternatively, if you’re looking to bag your first job after university, head over to our jobs section now!