So what happens next?
Graduating from university is a period in a persons life which is filled with many different emotions. It is exciting and fulfilling because you have obtained a degree. It is a relief because you can finally wave goodbye to all those nights staying up doing coursework and revising for exams. However, it can also be a daunting period, especially if you are unsure of what to do after. Since we were born, our lives in terms of education has basically been dictated to us. From nursery/preschool to primary school to secondary school to college/sixth-form then finally, university. So, now that it is all coming to an end, it can seem quite overwhelming and lonely because we are now taking full control of the next step of our lives. No more obligatory routines, no more government regulation about what we do next with our lives, so yes this sounds exciting but can be a confusing and overwhelming period.
With that being said, there is so much to do after University, so don’t limit yourself! You are able to go travelling and explore the world whilst you are young with limited responsibilities. Others start their own businesses, learn new skills e.g. a new language or take up a new hobby such as baking. Some people decide to go back into education and do their Masters/PhD, to become experts in their chosen field of studies. Last but not least, WORK! Starting work and earning a salary to pay back those debts is the route most people take when they complete their degree. So in this post I am going to share with you some career advice and provide some useful tips that have helped me with my job search.
Firstly, always get your CV and cover letter checked by professionals. It is important to get a second look at your CV as you may need to update it and change the format, depending on what job you are applying for. Your CV and cover letter will essentially be the first impression your future employer will make of you, so make sure this is the way you want to be presented and remembered!
Make use of your University’s career advice services. It is there for your use so you don’t need to feel embarrassed or awkward as they understand that job searching whilst studying can be difficult so they are there to aid you in this process, during university and even after. Get your full £9000 worth of university by using the facilities it provides! At Loughborough University, my career centre was amazing!. Since then they have given my CV a complete makeover and as a result of this I have been getting a lot more interviews.
Signing up with recruitment agencies is also a useful way to find your first job. Recruitment agencies are really good because they help finds jobs that are best suited to what you are looking for and your current situation. They represent you as a candidate and are very helpful, especially in the interview process. Some good agencies that I have used are; Angela Mortimer, C&C Search, Digby Morgan and Frazer jones.
MAKE USE OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS! It’s easy to get caught up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram reading about the latest gossip or the latest news story, however, as entertaining as these platforms are, they are also great for job searching so please utilise them. Twitter is a great platform as there are many accounts purely dedicated to posting graduate jobs (@firstemploy @graduatejobsuk @guardianjobs @graduatejobfeed). So turn on those notifications and be the first to hear about that new vacancy! Another great social media site is LinkedIn. If you don’t have a Linkedin account make one right now, I cannot stress how imperative this is! It is one of the, if not the best social media site for making the right work connections and it will makes your job search 10x easier. Linkedin is like the Facebook for the corporate world, so instead of a social profile, your profile will be filled with your education qualifications and your job experiences.
You know what they say, 'your network is your net worth'. I have spoken to various people who have landed their first jobs purely on who they know, so it is important to get out of your comfort zone and make an effort to meet new people. Attending networking events is a great start because such events make the process of meeting people that much easier.
Finally, yes the job search process can be tedious but you have to keep going till you get that perfect job for you. Don’t just settle for anything, but settle for a role where you can see yourself developing and growing and most importantly, that you will enjoy. Be vigorous and proactive with your search and don’t be afraid to ask - if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Sometimes emailing ‘please find my CV attached’ is not enough because the majority of the time they won’t even open the email. However, if you are calling companies, booking appointments and demonstrating enthusiasm, they are more likely to notice you!
These are some tips that have been useful to me, it may or may not work for you but the most important thing is that you do what makes you happy! As I mentioned previously, getting a job is not the only route to take after university, but it is the most popular.
Be happy, be passionate and go and reach your goals!
By Sade Oludoyi (Founder of I.N.S.P.I.R.E)
Recruitment sites mentioned