You have graduated, and the summer is going nicely, life is good but you have to look for your first job without work experience.
But what lies beyond that?
The answer to that question of course will be different for everyone, but in one, really important way it’ll be the same for everyone too; The world itself lies ahead, and it is a world of opportunity, for those who take the time to prepare well, and a large part of making the most of it, is in getting the right job.
With a life of academia now behind you, it is time to look forward to the next chapter, and making those hard-earned qualifications pay dividends. It is time to fulfil the potential and plant your feet firmly on the ladder, there is a climb ahead. Prepare yourself as well as you can with these great tips for graduates looking for their first job.
Graduate careers fairs
These are an essential resource for all graduates, held by nearly all universities and advertised widely; they are a place to meet recruiters who are there especially to promote their graduate vacancies for the coming year. They can be used to find jobs, internships and placements in your chosen field.
Graduate programs are used by companies to identify talent with the potential to rise to the top, so the selection process is stringent, but the experience on offer is priceless. With time spent across different departments and the investment in those who win places, considerable. Research is useful into when exactly organisations open their pre-registration, and research into the application process, and planning your application itself, will do your chances no harm at all.
Identify your training gaps
Yes, even graduates have training gaps or more likely shortfalls in their knowledge. Software that is used at university, for example, is also used in the workplace, and every graduate will have a working knowledge of things like Excel and Word. It is worth bearing in mind though, that for some jobs, a working knowledge will not be enough, for jobs in finance or marketing for example, a strong knowledge of the whole Microsoft Office suite is essential. Bearing this in mind, and filling in those gaps will raise your employability level quickly, and considerably.
Learn about assessment centres
Not so much a place you visit, as a technique, or rather a combination of techniques which are used to gauge a candidate’s suitability for the role they’ve applied for. If your actively seeking a post- graduate role, the chances are that you’ll come across assessment centres sooner rather than later, and some people find them intimidating. With that in mind it is worth learning about them and what exactly to expect beforehand. Group-based, role-play, and psychometric tests are quite common, as well as competency-based interviews, more of those below.
These are structured, and systematic. With questions that can be quite challenging, aimed at gauging your skills in particular areas, unlike unstructured interviews, there is far less room for conversation and far less opportunity to showcase your character. Competency interviews are much more scripted, and often written by psychologists to reveal insight into you, your strengths and weaknesses.
Do the research, pre-empt the types of questions you may be asked and prepare engaging, well -thought out answers, and don’t be afraid to sift through your life history to provide examples, along with the positive results your actions had.
First job without work experience
Following these steps should give you the change that you need to get the ideal first job. Remember this is the most difficult job hunt to get the first job without experience.