5 things graduate job seekers need to know


2556419805_jobs_xlargeIt’s getting towards the time of year final year students are selling up their old text books, fixing the holes they made in their rented rooms so they can get their deposit back and looking towards the job market to see where their chosen field of study will lead them. Now is the time the question we all asked ourselves at the end of our education starts to niggle continuously in the back of our minds, the dreaded ‘has it all been worth it?’ question. How loud that niggling is depends on how well our job search is going, but there are a few things to remember to keep the whole, ‘I’m twenty something and so much in debt’ feeling firmly in check.

Remember – There are always jobs out there

The past few years have been lean employment era globally and jobs have not been as plenteous as in years before but this does not mean that there are NO jobs available, it just means that you have to dig a little deeper and be more resourceful to secure one. The good news is that the market seems to be on the turn and companies are back on the talent search track.

“Doom and gloom makes headlines but, believe it nor, not there is a huge shortage of bright, employable graduates,” says James Uffindell, founder of recruitment site Bright Network. “The war for talent is back on. Major blue chip recruiters and fast-growing start-ups are recruiting again.”

The news may report that there are ‘97 graduates apply for every position’ but that is merely a statistic and an attention grabbing headline, it in no way guarantees you are up against 96 others when applying for a job. The trick is to use every resource at your disposal for finding an advertised position, then go for it. It may not be the job you want to still be in in five years’ time, but it may give you the springboard to get where you want to be.

Carefully Consider More Education

More is not always better, sometimes more just means … more. It is easy to consider another degree as a way to ‘wait out’ until the job you want comes by. Consider this option very carefully. If you are able to get into an Ivy league school then yes, it’s a great idea and will increase your chances of securing a better position. If it’s a less prestigious school then it may just mean you are deferring the problem – or even worse – putting yourself in a worse position as you will be battling against another batch of fresh faced graduates, and all those who didn’t get a job last year.


Never forget Universities are a business now and they want you to stay another year. Take a good look around you and you’ll probably see most graduate job positions are happy with a good undergrad degree and a positive attitude, as opposed to another year at school. After all, the wages are likely to be the same.

The perfect resume is a myth

It’s easy to feel that the whole job process hangs on a perfectly crafted resume, and that may be true, but that doesn’t mean a really good resume won’t stand out just as effectively. Stop fiddling and obsessing with your resume and tweaking it to find ‘resume Nirvana’ as it doesn’t exist. Each resume needs to be tailored to the position, so you’ll have to rewrite it anyway.

Instead, spend your time looking at your online footprint. Google yourself. What comes up? What kind of image does it present? Your potential employers will take the time to do it, so make sure you are one step ahead of them and do it first. Check your ‘view as’ profile on Facebook and see how people can see you and adjust your material accordingly. Update your LinkedIn profile with any new skills you have acquired and keep it bang up to date. Then make sure any other accounts you have present a professional, employable you.

If it doesn’t work – time to try something new

If you find yourself bemoaning, ‘I’ve applied for a thousand jobs and heard nothing back’, stop straight away. If you have heard nothing back from that many jobs – your job hunting and resume skills need a complete recalibration. In fact, stop after 50. If you are getting nothing back you need to reassess what you are doing, how you are doing it and what you are sending out. Each industry has their own way of employing. Networking does not always work for government jobs as they have a formal application, whereas media jobs rarely have a job application let alone see a filled out one. They are mostly filled by contacts and networking. Be bold! If your current regime of applying for jobs isn’t working be brave enough to change it. After all – you don’t have a job so what have you got to lose?

Size Doesn’t Always Matter

It’s easy to get caught up in searching for the ‘Holy Grail’ of all graduate jobs, but they are few and far between. If they are around at all they can afford cherry pick the most outstanding graduates from a huge area and expect the competition to be fierce. In your scramble to secure the job of your dreams for a company that has a slide between floor instead of stairs and a ball pit instead of cubicles, do not overlook the smaller, less attractive companies. There are more of them and they can have job with a better career path as they are not constantly having bright new graduates throwing themselves at them. Make yourself employable and get a job. You’ll realise once you are in a position you can see how your chosen industry works for you, if it was a good fit and then start to move up. It won’t take you long to work out that it’s far easier to swap jobs than it is to secure one.

Breaking into the job market is no easy feat, but upbeat consistency is the way to cope whilst you find a job that can, and will, lead you down the career path you want to tread.

This post was courtesy of Free Resume Builder

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