Graduating this summer? 9 steps to land a graduate job: Part 2

This is the second part of our 2-part post on securing a graduate job. See part 1 here.

6. Be proactive  

As highlighted in part 1, there are many different ways of finding a job. If you speak to people you know you will probably find they got jobs, or heard about jobs, in all sorts of different ways.  I would particularly recommend networking (easier than you might think and doesn’t need to be scary or sleazy) and targeting employers in which you’re specifically interested.

You might also want to look at some of the ways other Leeds students and graduates have secured jobs or internships.

7. Research

This is probably the single most important thing when looking for and applying for jobs.  Get to know the sector, the employer and be clear about your interest in them both;

  • What are the current trends and hot topics?
  • What’s going on for that particular organisation at the moment?
  • What are their key concerns likely to be? Think about how you can help find solutions to their problems.
  • What can you add to the team/ organisation that they might not already have?
  • How will this help their business?
  • Why are you interested in working for them in particular (as opposed to a competitor perhaps)

8. Personalise it

If you’re applying for an advertised opportunity, use the person specification and job description to clearly demonstrate how you meet their criteria as well as demonstrating your interest in and passion for, the opportunity.  If you are applying speculatively, draw on your research to inform your CV and covering letter.  This is your opportunity to get their interest; demonstrate what you have to offer them, how you could help their organisation and why you are interested in them.

If you are applying with a CV and covering letter, you need to adapt your CV as well as your covering letter: Generic applications or failure to demonstrate an interest in the role and demonstrate how you meet their criteria are two reasons employers most often reject applicants (the 3rd, if you’re interested, is poor spelling and/or grammar).

9. Create structure

Creating some structure in your job-search can help you stay on track and stay motivated.  This could take many forms, but some ideas below are starting points;

  • Schedule “job-search related” activities into your diary
  • Perform a regular review of what you’ve discovered/ new contacts made/ careers of interest.  The internet is brilliant for the amount of information you can find. The flip-side it that the volume of information can be overwhelming and make it difficult to remember everything you come across.  Try keeping a note of key points, conclusions or insights you gain from your research and review these regularly.
  • Keep a record of jobs you’ve applied to (along with a copies of your application and the job-descriptions etc in case invited for interview)
  • Set yourself mini-deadlines. For example, “by next Friday I will have made contact with 10 companies in x sector to enquire about internship opportunities.”

In summary

  1. Don’t panic – we’re here to help
  2. Aim for career direction rather than a fixed plan
  3. There are jobs available
  4. Be flexible
  5. Use a variety of approaches to your job-search
  6. Be proactive
  7. Research
  8. Personalise it
  9. Create structure

Remember, we are here to help you for as long as you need us after you graduate from the University of Leeds, and whatever stage you are at in terms of your career. Find out more about how we can help you on our website


Filed under Advice, Job Market

2 responses to “Graduating this summer? 9 steps to land a graduate job: Part 2

  1. Pingback: Graduating this summer? 9 steps to land a graduate job: Part 1 | University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog

  2. Pingback: Your Job Search post 2013 graduation | University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog

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