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How to Land your First Graduate Job - Blog

about 2 years ago by Luigi Muscat Filletti
Person using a laptop

The battle for a job on the market becomes more and more competitive as new and soon-to-be graduates begin job-searching for their ideal first graduate job opportunity. Fresh out of university, graduates crave to get the ball rolling for a successful career in the industry relevant to their previous studies, and should therefore form a sharp approach in their job-seeking ventures. This article consists of advice dedicated to assisting the individual who’s looking to secure their first graduate job.

Enhance your Prospects whilst at University

University life offers plenty more opportunities besides those of education - by becoming involved in campus activities such as voluntary work or charity events, forming part of NGOs or NPOs based on campus, joining societies of common interests, joining a sport team, enrolling in extra-curriculum programmes, as well as applying for Erasmus exchanges are all very beneficial ways to enhance your CV and your personal growth, outline your commitment and ability to address your responsibilities and time management. With regards to contributing to the operations of a NGO or NPO, one will be developing their sense of purpose by working to provide greater value to the services offered by the organisation they are part of, thus showing qualities of loyalty and trust in the eyes of their future employer.

In addition, some individuals recognise a gap in the market during their years of study, and act upon that by creating a business opportunity, whether alone or in partnership with fellow course-mates. Such an initiative to act on an idea and make it happen is another attractive quality which employers look for.

Further to this, the ability to juggle a part-time job whilst studying is also beneficial, even more so when that job is relevant to your field and in your industry. Working part-time will optimise one’s time management skills and allow them to obtain other transferable soft skills and make new connections. After all, employers all looking for the right balance of soft skills and hard skills during the recruitment process.

Attend Networking Events

Attending networking or industry-related events can be a game-changing step in one’s approach to landing their first graduate job, or any other job throughout their career. When meeting professionals within your industry, one will be expanding their horizons by gaining insider information about the latest industry trends and recruitment opportunities on the job market - what is more is that the right people might be able to offer you internship or part-time job opportunities, recommend you to other companies and make referrals.

Networking can provide one with very useful information to help them progress in their job search - for instance, if you are a graduate or soon-to-be graduate in Finance, attending a networking event related to latest industry trends in the Financial Services such as Regtech, Insurtech or Blockchain will help you gain valuable insight and meet people in these fields who can guide you in your career decisions. If you are looking for a job in Technology, then attending events related to AI, Big Data and IoT might present you with opportunities to connect with people in these industries too. By introducing yourself and mentioning your career prospects and ambitions to other individuals in your industry, you will most likely make connections which will prove beneficial in both the short and long term.

Become Informed about Trending Topics of your Industry & Reach Out

Researching trending industry topics and the impacts they have on one’s industry is an important way to stay sharp, allowing you to be open to discussion and engage with other professionals to share insight and opinion. This plays a major role during an interview, as one’s potential employer would be pleased to hear the candidate give their point of view on certain topics and show keen interest across various subjects relative to the industry. This is especially the case when seeking career opportunities within the Financial Services, as new sectors within Fintech continue to emerge through digital innovation, meaning that upcoming professionals in Finance will be expected to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the forthcoming changes brought about through technological advancements. Therefore, such individuals would benefit from being informed about current and upcoming trends in the Financial Services.

Moreover, one can also research the top companies within their industry to learn more about how they operate and the type of roles that are being offered. One can also approach such companies by introducing themselves and outlining their skills and goals, asking them if they offer any internship opportunities. Alternatively, one might also kindly request what requirements and experience is needed to secure a role in such a company - one has nothing to loose, and by showing interest one would be getting their name out there. Networking with professionals working at a company can help you find out about any job openings and hence give you the chance to be recalled and considered down the line.

Optimise your CV and tailor your Covering Letter

Your CV should consist of your educational background and work experience relevant to the job application in question. According to the job description and requirements, one should structure their CV around the given criteria. One must also make sure that their covering letter is tailored to the company they are approaching in their job search. One should customise their cover letter for each and every job, highlighting how their skills and experience will provide additional value to the company they are approaching. By tailoring one’s words and communicating their skills within the correct context, they will come across as a more serious candidate simply because they will be explaining why they feel they would be ideal to fulfil that particular role within that particular company.

Make sure your Online Presence is On Point

Nowadays, the majority of employers admit to searching candidates on social media platforms. The reality is that it’s difficult to resist the curiosity of what a prospective employee is like behind the scenes, and with the instant accessibility of the internet, you can be almost certain that your potential employer will be looking you up on Facebook and LinkedIn. Therefore, maintaining a clean yet down-to-earth social media presence is important to show your potential employer that you are indeed a trustworthy and professional individual. Employers tend to do this particularly when candidates are of the younger generation, so for an individual looking to land their first graduate job, it becomes a greater consideration. First impressions mean a lot, even more so in the digital age - so this means that one should make sure that their photos, posts, interests and other content which is viewable on their social media page is appropriate for all.

Having said that - one should make the most of such platforms, especially LinkedIn, which acts as a secondary source of information during the recruitment process. Practically being a digital CV, with the addition of making connections, joining groups and viewing content relevant to industry interests, this professional social media network should be optimised to communicate your education, skills, achievements and work experiences as much as your traditional CV does. LinkedIn also serves as an online networking platform through which one can connect with people from all industries, offering a truly vast area for people to engage and lead up to more serious conversations.

Further to this, one should also consider creating their own personal website to showcase their skills and work (this is usually done by individuals working in Technology, such as UI, UX, Web and Graphic Designers, Software Developers, Digital Marketers, etc.) through an online portfolio in a unique way.

Seek Professional Guidance

Seeking guidance from professional recruitment consultants is an excellent method to finding the right job opportunity - recruitment agencies with strong and trustworthy connections with their client brands will be able to present you with suitable job opportunities relevant to your field - something Castille Resources goes above and beyond at. Professional recruiters know the market well, and should be informed about the latest industry trends which are presenting new and exciting job opportunities for their candidates. With such a large network of connections at their fingertips, recruiters will be able to understand your skills and career ambitions to better present you with the most worthy jobs. With personal information kept confidential, one does not need to worry about their details being sent out to multiple companies. In order to make get the most out of their recruiter, one should discuss their career goals and ask for the right guidance to achieving them - if recruiters do not have the right job offer on the table, they will always keep the candidate updated with any new roles which may be of interest to them. Professional recruiters will make sure to go above and beyond to tailor their professional service to your career development and ambitions.

To Conclude

All in all, there are a number of ways through which one can create a great approach towards landing their first graduate job - the above tips will help the individual strengthen their presence from various angles and by doing so help them immensely when seeking their first job to kick-start their career.