How to Apply for a Graduate Job

Posted by | May 4, 2017 |

Becoming a graduate is pretty scary. You’re so used to your schedule being designed for you in the education system that when it’s gone, what are you supposed to do with yourself? Next comes the job hunt. If you’re a soon-to-be or recent graduate, finding a graduate job can be pretty difficult. It isn’t easy to figure out what you want to do with your life, especially at a young age. Actually, many people in their forties still don’t know what they want to do with their lives. Luckily, you’re at a great stage in your life when you can afford a little trial and error. If you’ve moved back in with mum and dad – as frustrating as it is – the benefit of this is that you can try out a few job roles in different sectors to see which one suits you best. But how do you get yourself on the career ladder to begin with? If you’re a university graduate in Peterborough, our thriving city is home to a great variety of graduate job opportunities and schemes. So, that’s why we’re dedicating this article to those applying for graduate jobs, to help you boost your chances of success.

Think about what job would be right for you

We’re all guilty of being dreamers, but you must keep in mind that you can’t reach your final destination at the start of your journey. Before you get there, you may have to work a few jobs that you don’t particularly like. Prior to the job hunt, consider the sort of job that would suit you. Think about the area your degree is in and the type of personality you have. If you have an English degree and enjoy learning about language, a writing position may be best for you. If you have creative degree and you think your artistic nature is your main strength, consider a job in the media, fashion and digital industries. But your degree doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all of your career path; you don’t have to take a job that corresponds with it. Instead, you could have a think about your personal skills. Are you an extremely organised person? Maybe a HR, PR or admin position would be good for you. Do you enjoy being around other people? Consider a job in the customer service, marketing and sales industries. If you like to help people, why not look into health and education?

Put together an amazing CV

You probably haven’t taken a look at your CV since you applied for your first retail or service job when you were at school. Lots of things have changed since then, so it’s important that you give your CV a revamp before applying for jobs. First and foremost, you should begin your CV with a short personal statement. It’s important for us to mention here that this should be unique to the job you’re applying for – not generic. If you’ve made it clear that you’ve researched the company and thoroughly read through the job description, the employer will be far more amicable towards you. Display that you have an understanding of what the job entails. In this introduction, you should describe who you are (a recent graduate with an X degree from X), what you’re looking for (a position working as X), and the skills you can offer (to utilise my skills in X). Your ‘Education’ section should follow your personal statement, written in reverse chronological order. Your degree will be the first thing the employer sees. Explain the modules you took and the skills you gained from it.

Next up is the ‘Employment History’ section. Here, you must make sure to include any relevant experience you have. If you worked a job when you were 16 that isn’t anything to do with the industry you’re applying for, tailor what you write about it to make it relevant. You may not have a great deal of work experience, so any that you do have should demonstrate your success. Show this employer that you’re responsible, you have a great work ethic, and you can meet targets. Lastly, if you have any other hobbies and interests, it’s a good idea to write them down, too. But only include interests that are appropriate for the job. The employer doesn’t want to read that you like going out drinking every weekend with your friends. If you’re applying for a creative role, you could mention that you can play the guitar. If you’re applying for a job in the media industry, let them know that you record and edit videos for fun. That’s if you do, of course!

Take a look at graduate schemes

If you’re a graduate with no idea what direction to go in, a great alternative could be graduate schemes. Consider what industry you’d like to work in, then do your research to see what schemes are available to you. They’re specially made for graduates wanting to jump on the career ladder and, more often than not, offer training opportunities and the chance to progress to senior positions.

Don’t be too picky about jobs

As a graduate, you can’t really afford to be picky. Especially if you’re finding it difficult to find a job. Above all, you should have an open mind. Don’t pass judgement on the employer before you think about how the job could benefit you. You may not want to work for a small no-name company, but you can’t expect to jump right up to the big names right away. You could gain far more valuable experience working for a smaller company that you imagine you will.

Accentuate your best qualities and achievements in job applications

Let the employer know why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Write down a list of personality traits and skills that are somewhat unique to you, then emphasise those qualities in your application. Uncover your greatest accomplishments and talents, find examples of assignments you’ve succeeded in in the past, and explain to the employer how and why that skill will benefit them. Focus on your achievements, not just the things you’ve done. You may have worked in a clothing store, but so have many other graduates applying for this job. Make yourself stand out from the others by describing what you achieved from that work experience, instead of just stating that you did it. You’re likely to have a lot more strengths than you’re aware of – use them to your advantage.