Searching for jobs post-study can be a tedious cycle of applications, interviews and anxious hours spent waiting for the phone to ring. So what can you do to stand out above all the others? Securing work as a recent graduate requires more effort than a generic 'copy and paste' resume. This is your chance to step into the industry you studied so hard for. Whether you're fresh out of high school or you've passed your tertiary studies with flying colours, check out our eight tips for getting hired as a recent graduate.
Check your competencies
When combing through job sites, be sure to delve a little further than just the job title. Your potential employer is looking for someone with a specific set of competencies and skills, so make sure you check out how you stack up against the required competencies, and expand on how you encompass each of these skills in your resume.
Don't go generic
While it's universally acknowledged that applying for jobs can be one of the most frustrating experiences a recent graduate has to endure, applying with a generic CV and cover letter won't do you any favours. Take the time to customise each of your applications, tailoring them to the specific position available.
Get work experience
Start accumulating work experience while still studying. Not only will this give you the chance to put the theory you've been learning into practice, but it will expose you to real life industry scenarios. For some, work experience can be included as part of your studies, whether it's childhood education, a traineeship, or a VET course while still in high school.
It's never too early to start preparing for the process of job hunting, whether it's organising work experience, constructing and polishing your CV or even sending out applications when you're still studying. Save yourself a lot of stress, and get organised ahead of graduation.
Build your portfolio
Drawing on your portfolio during an interview is a good way to connect with your interviewer, providing evidence of your high quality work and giving you a chance to expand on what skills or experience you used throughout the process. Ensure you take with you a copy of any assignments or extracurricular projects that you feel showcase a specific set of skills you feel are relevant to the position on offer.
Word-of-mouth hiring is powerful stuff, so make sure you're in the position to use this to your advantage. If you know people in an industry you want to break into, ask them to recommend you, or ask for their advice on the most effective ways to break into the industry.
Clean up your social media
For some, social media can be synonymous with behaviour you wouldn't necessarily want your potential boss to see – and if you're not careful, a simple Google search can be your whole undoing. Clean up your social media profiles, ensure you present yourself in a professional and respectful manner, and change your settings to private if necessary. This is also a great time to search around for any available positions – social media channels have become ripe with employment opportunities.
Don't immediately opt for more study
Getting fed up with too many applications and not enough offers can drive many back into the arms of study; however, undertaking a diploma or master's degree just for the sake of it can hold you back both professionally and financially. Avoid making a rash decision – if you are set on post graduate study, put the same amount of time and thought into it as your undergraduate course. If you're considering starting your study journey, contact Foundation Education and discover over 40 different courses and endless career options.