Luke Bird completed his MA Communication & Media Studies at the University of Leeds in 2018, after a number of false starts he began to realise he was making some fundamental mistakes with his approach to jobsearch. Read how his more targeted approach led to him securing a graduate job.
My overriding feelings of being a graduate without employment were frustration and disappointment, but it is worth noting that for many graduates this is par for the course. Some of the reasons for these feelings were out of my control, in that I was eager to secure employment in a field where there just weren’t many jobs in Leeds, but along the way I realised most of the reasons were in my control.
Detail is everything
Firstly, it is important to remember that detail is everything when applying for a graduate job. Most big companies receive hundreds if not thousands of applications every year, and in order to stand out you must pay attention to detail. After three months of taking the scattergun approach to job searching, where I had been sending my CV out left, right and centre through jobsites without much research about the companies I was applying for, I realised the CV I had uploaded to loads of jobsites made no sense. Because I hadn’t converted the document into a PDF, when I uploaded it online every single part of my CV had been jumbled into a nonsensical, seven page document that read more like code than a piece of work I had spent hours on.
This week Beth Leslie from Inspiring Interns is talking about why you should target your CV to the job and company you’re applying for and gives some useful tips on how to go about this.
Let’s be honest, job hunting is not fun. The path to that fulfilling and high-paying career of your dreams is strewn with obstacles, from all the other applicants you have to compete against, to the fact that some job openings never get advertised.
With opportunities scarce and competition fierce, many graduates are trying to up the odds by applying to every role they come across. They bung across the same CV and cover letter, cross their fingers… and get rejected 99% of the time.
In this post, we are discussing resilience, and why it is such an important skill to take from your placement, internship or graduate job search. It’s a skill that is not only useful in the job-hunt process and professional life, but in day-to-day life as well. Read on to find out why.
The job-hunt process – a thought to strike fear into any sane finalist. For many students, job applications will be their first experience of real, actual failure. You thought that stellar academics and hard work would land you the job of your dreams. But the real world is more complex than that and, fifty applications down the line, things aren’t looking good. You feel lost and powerless; the last thing you want to do is write another cover letter.
The answer? Knuckle down and get on with it. Because the first thing this experience should teach you is the importance of resilience.
Cat is currently a final year student at University of Leeds, and has recently completed a placement with Rate my Placement. Below she gives advice on how to look for placements.
My name’s Cat, I’m a fourth year (eek!) Geography student and have recently returned to the scary world of referencing, seminars and turnitin after a year of working as a marketing assistant at RateMyPlacement.co.uk.
If you haven’t heard of the website before, essentially, it’s a one stop shop for work experience. They work with around 250 employers to help find students placements, internships, vacation schemes and insights.
Securing my own role, recruiting the following year’s placement students and working for a website dedicated to placements, I’ve managed to pick up a few nuggets of information along the way which I want to share with you on how to make your job hunt as effective as possible!
International students – Life after Leeds
Gaining employment after graduation can be difficult but particularly so for international graduates who need immigration permission. To be in the best possible position, you should start planning early. In this post Careers Adviser Laura Blackledge provides advice for international students who wish to remain in the UK once their studies have ended
Research – You need to research the types of organisations you would like to work for and ensure that you are gaining the relevant experience and skills to meet their requirements. Employers are looking for people who have the right combination of skills, qualities, knowledge and experience. They employ proactive graduates who have made the most of their time at university by working, volunteering and taking part in student activities. Continue reading
Alex Edward, studying Geological Sciences, has recently started an industrial placement at Sirius Geotechnical and Environmental in Leeds. He will be writing a number of posts for this blog during the course of his placement. In this first post he gives his advice, based on his experience of looking for placements last year, to other students seeking placements.
For the vast majority of my 2nd year, my main focus wasn’t on my university studies. It wasn’t on going out every night. It wasn’t on one of the various societies I was a member of. It was on trying to secure myself a placement for a year in industry (although the first and third points did help with the latter). I was mainly motivated by the fact that I know that work experience, not necessarily degree qualifications, are key to getting a good graduate position.
I am by no means suggesting don’t bother working hard at uni: Most places require you to have a good degree, especially in a technical field, but getting experience in your desired field before you graduate I think Continue reading
First of all, congratulations! Finishing university is a big milestone and a fantastic achievement. It is an exciting time; you may be eager to get out there and make your mark on the world, and excited about the multitude of options open to you. However, once the relief of finishing finals is out of the way, it can also be a daunting and stressful time, particularly if you do not yet have a job, or other plans, lined up.
We are here to help you all the way with your next steps Continue reading