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 we’re discussing some simple steps you can take to stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate jobs/internships.
If you’re a soon-to-be graduate looking to give yourself nightmares, Stephen King has nothing on job hunting statistics. To snag any given graduate role, you’re going to have to fight off thirty-eight other applicants, and that number only rises if you’re applying for a particularly competitive industry or particularly prestigious employer.
Of course, some of these competitors may quickly rule themselves out of the running with low grades, sloppy professionalism or general incompetence. But many won’t. And while polishing your CV and honing your interview technique will certainly put you ahead of less dedicated job-seekers, it won’t elevate you above people as prepared as yourself.
Luckily, there are ways to stand out from even the most experienced, conscientious and competent crowd. Using the methods below won’t guarantee you a job, but it’ll definitely up your chances.
Do nerves get the better of you in interviews?
Does the thought of networking or giving a presentation fill you with dread?
These are essential elements of job search and selection processes but are things which many of us find terrifying at worst, or simply uncomfortable at best. Confidence – or at least being able to fake it ‘til you make it – will help you excel in these. In this post I share tips for improving your confidence, through the lens of behaviour expert and author Olivia Fox Cabane’s work on charisma.
As a Careers Consultant, confidence – or lack of it – is one of the things I most often see holding people back. Whether this be a general lack of self-confidence, or more specific issues around situations like interviews and presentations; how we feel, think about and talk to ourselves are, in my opinion, the biggest influences on confidence. Continue reading
As something that I usually mention in interview preparation with students and graduates, I’ve been thinking about writing a post on the rule of 3 for a while. Being reminded of the Olympic motto, with its focus on aiming high and continuous improvement, this weekend prompted me to get it written.
The Olympic motto; “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, is one example of the rule of 3. Think how often popular phrases, soundbites from famous speeches or advertising slogans are comprised of 3 words or parts.
You can find examples in pretty much any area of life, Continue reading
Hoping for long-term, secure employment with one organisation? Or perhaps you’re planning to build your career on a freelancing model? Whatever your personal preferences, the world of work is changing, not least in the extent to which people are employed on a permanent basis. In this post, Careers Consultant Marc Steward looks at the rise of the so-called Gig Economy and the implications of this.
If you’ve spent any amount of time around campus you will, by now, have come into contact with Uber; either through ordering a ride home after a night out, or simply by trying to avoid being run over by one of their more “excitable” drivers. Ubiquitous, they are!
You may or may not know, however, that Uber are probably the best proponents of the Gig Economy, a business model where “…temporary positions [of work] are common and employers contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.” Whatis.com. Continue reading
This is the final post in our 3-part mini series outlining 3 key ways LinkedIn can help you find potential employers, whether this be for jobs, experience or placements.
You may already have a dream employer in mind, but are struggling to identify similar organisations to broaden your options. This can be particularly difficult if your interests are quite niche. This post shows how you can use two features of LinkedIn to do this.
Part 1 of the series outlines how the advanced people search function can help you identify potential employers.
Part 2 of the series outlines how you can use the company search feature to identify employers by location and sector.
Whether you’re looking for experience, placements or a graduate job, it can sometimes be hard to identify potential relevant employers. This is particularly so if you’re looking outside of the large multi-national organisations. Opportunities with other types of employers, or in other sectors, may not be as widely advertised, and many people actually find jobs and experience by pro-actively approaching employers of interest on a speculative basis. Continue reading