Congratulations! You’ve just graduated! You’ve dedicated your time and hard work at university or college for the last few years to get the qualification you were wanting and now you are ready to put that to use and get into the world of employment.
But, what now? Where do you go from here and how do you get your foot in the door with a new employer?
It can be very competitive looking for an entry level role as there are so many people in the same boat as you. This could leave even the most resilient of graduates feeling overwhelmed.
So, what can you do to help you succeed? Here are my top 5 tips for someone in your position:
What do you actually want to do and where do you want to go with your career? Having a think about this and researching potential employers or industries will really help you to pull together a plan. You may be unsure or just looking to gain experience in a more broad role – That’s completely fine too! But putting in some initial thought and research will help get you on the right path. Look at job adverts. Look at company profiles and blogs. Look at LinkedIn members with a similar degree (what are they doing, how did they get there?). There’s a whole host of information out there for you to gather.
In the professional world, LinkedIn is utilised by most employers and recruiters so ensuring you have a fully up to date and informative LinkedIn profile will ensure you are on the radar of the correct people. Think about including full educational and work history, along with list of duties and achievements including volunteer work, certificates gained etc. Also make clear what you are actually looking to do. Think about your current job title and how you will be found by potential recruiters running a search. And always include a professional photo.
Your CV gives you a real chance to showcase what you have done so far in both your educational and employment career. If you are at the start of your career, it’s important to show any extra-curricular projects you’ve been involved in. It’s also important to think about your profile. I’d recommend avoiding the stereotypical stuff like “I am a hardworking, punctual, enthusiastic individual etc”. Think about breaking down why you are interested in this particular employer, why you are interested in this particular role and finally, why are you RIGHT for the role. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your personality and help you stand out from the crowd.
I feel this is really important and something that not enough graduates do. I am always impressed when someone reaches out to me for support – particularly when I am not advertising for a particular role as it shows they are being proactive. Think about the type of industry you are wanting to work in and start to draw up a list of reputable employers within this sector/location. Start making introductions to key decision makers even if there is not a role there. There may not be now, but could be one in the not too distant future and leaving a great impression with a well written intro can get you ahead of the game!
Engage with a recruiter
There are a lot of agencies out there so engaging with the RIGHT agency and recruiter is so important. I’d recommend doing your homework – think about the amount of time they have been working in their market; how knowledgeable they may be; LinkedIn recommendations they have received from candidates/clients. Your chosen recruiter will likely be working roles that you may not know about and could be representing you to a client, so building a strong relationship is important. You want someone who is going to “have your back” and consult with you as opposed to just treating you like a number. One final thought here: A good recruiter will put opportunities in front of you and potentially secure you interviews. An excellent recruiter will do the same, but they will also consult with you throughout the whole process including ensuring your CV is 100%, interview preparation and keep you up to date throughout the whole process.
I am delighted to be currently recruiting marketing roles across Scotland and beyond – helping you take the first steps in your marketing career or simply to find the “right fit” for you. Click here to drop me an email to find out how I can help.