So you’ve just finished uni. Now what?
Unfortunately, not everyone will walk straight into the job of their dreams after graduating. And if you’re struggling to find work after university, it can be all too easy to let circumstances get you down. Luckily though, there are a few key ways you can boost your chances – you just need to know where to start.
To help inspire you, here are five great ways to beat graduate unemployment:
So, in between the relentless hunt for your dream job and hearing that ‘something will come up’ from everyone you know, all you (seemingly) have time and energy for is binge watching Netflix whilst wondering if you’ll be unemployed forever.
But instead of using this time to feel down on your luck (and/or hold out for one position), start looking for some real work experience that will actually boost your employability.
Anything from working part-time, volunteering, or freelancing, through to interning and temping, could help you to gain a number of practical skills and abilities – many of which will be useful in almost every job (think: transferable skills).
Even making the most of your hobbies and interests during your time off could help to emphasise your relevant traits and attributes.
In other words, using your time wisely will allow you to bring more to an interview than a flawless impression of Eleven (thanks but no thanks, Stranger Things).
Broaden your horizons
Finishing university can prompt many feelings and/or unanswered questions.
Whether it’s ‘what am I going to do with my life now?’, or even just ‘how will I live without student discount?’, it can be pretty daunting – especially if you’re still wondering which career path is actually right for you.
But don’t start panicking just yet. Instead, it might be time to open your mind and broaden your search.
Firstly, do some research (whether it’s online, through networking, or by taking a course) into what industries and roles are suited to your skills, passions, and area of study. Then use what you find to give your search a clearer direction.
It might be that there are a number of suitable positions in industries that you hadn’t previously considered – and even branching out to more realistic entry-level roles could be exactly what’s required to guarantee that much-needed call back.
Make jobseeking your 9-to-5
We get it, this is probably the last thing you feel like doing.
After all, why get up at 9am when your only plans (i.e. job searching) for the day can be done at 2am – possibly in some kind of duvet cocoon, surrounded by snacks – right?
Wrong. Although not having a clear timescale to work to might mean you put basic routines and tasks at the bottom of your list of priorities, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to stick to them anyway.
In fact, failing to stay on some form of schedule could be seriously affecting your wellbeing – and consequently, the effectiveness of your job search.
So plan for each day with a clear wake up time, and make a to-do-list you can stick to. If you treat your job search like a full-time job, it’ll only increase your chances of finding the right role for you.
Improve your technique
Making your CV cover letter stand out as a graduate can be tough.
But now’s the perfect opportunity to figure out where you’re going wrong, and make the changes needed to perfect your applications.
Start by making sure your graduate CV and cover letter ticks all the boxes, whether it’s by using a template or following our helpful tips and advice. And if it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your CV, it might be time for a refresh. Asking employers for feedback on your application is also a great way to pinpoint potential areas for improvement.
Aside from boosting your confidence and giving yourself a better idea of what you’re capable of, updating your skills and experience also ensures employers are getting an accurate portrayal of your suitability.
Just remember: always tailor your application to the role you’re applying for.
Use social media (wisely)
Depending on how you use it, social media can either be a help or a hindrance to your job search.
After all, it can be easy to forget that many employers can (and will) screen candidates’ social media profiles before inviting them to an interview; meaning that being selective with what you show online is absolutely vital.
Oversharing, inappropriate photos, and overly critical posts, are all things that could put a prospective employer off.
We’re not saying that you should ghost your entire friends list – but privacy settings are there for a reason. So use them to emphasise your strong points, and hide your inappropriate status updates (see also: tagged photos).
Whether it’s that you’re an avid blogger, designer, or you simply want to back up what’s shown in your CV and cover letter – your social media pages are a great way to give an employer the added boost they need to confirm your suitability.
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