I was talking to a friend the other day who told me he would rather recruit a graduate who had taken on any job for a couple of years (no matter how unrelated to his business) before undertaking a Masters degree, than a graduate fresh out of university with a Masters and no work experience.
This got me thinking about some of the reasons graduates struggle to get a job. Here are 5 of them, in no particular order:
- Many graduates believe that they need to submit a lengthy CV with their application. As a recent graduate you are not expected to have the experience of someone who has been working for 20+ years therefore your CV should be short and to the point; definitely no more than two pages and preferably just one.
Tip: Make your CV is relevant, concise and targeted to the job.
- Some graduates feel that because they have studied for four or five years, they have the knowledge to change the world and shouldn’t have to start at the bottom. It’s great that you have confidence and that you have a degree however with limited work experience you have to start somewhere and this tends to be in a lower position than you might like.
Tip: Use this to your advantage to learn as much as possible about the business because the chances are you will move up the organisation far quicker and reach a higher level faster than someone without a formal education.
- Like many people, often graduates just don’t interview well because they don’t spend sufficient time researching and preparing for the interview. In addition, many don’t come prepared with relevant questions to ask the interviewer.
Tip: There is no excuse in this digital age for not being well informed so take time to research the job you are being interviewed for, the company and the industry it is in.
- Often graduates do see the value in sending a thank you email after attending an interview however they do not use it to emphasize the passion they have for the job and therefore are not making effective use of it.
Tip: Briefly show what you learnt from the interview, make it clear how much you genuinely want the job and confirm why you are the right candidate.
- Many have never worked or taken up an internship or done any voluntary work.
Tip: If a job vacancy states that the company is looking for someone with 1-3 years experience, you can still apply as this will probably be an entry level position and if you have had an internship or done some voluntary work, it will definitely help make you stand out above your peers who haven’t.
One last point, while graduates are well versed in social media, not all have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the place to showcase your professional skills; it will make you searchable, findable and professional. Make sure you create a profile on LinkedIn and feel free to connect with me so I can give you a few tips on how to make your profile stand out even more!
© Anne Galloway
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Anne Galloway is the Careers Consultant & Certified Advanced Resume Writer for those who want to put the fun and passion back into their working week. Find out how Anne can help you along your path to career success at www.power-to-change.eu