Tips: Landing your first graduate job

Getting your first graduate job is by no means easy, but there are things you can do which will mean you have a greater chance of landing one! I got my graduate job before I even graduated, and I strongly believe you can too, if you do all of these things;

1. Get work experience within your University

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Whilst at university, I pursued a sub-editor job at the university’s magazine. This was an unpaid bit of experience that gave me valuable experience with writing, layout design, interviewing, and proof-reading. All things relevant to my now-job in marketing/PR! If your university offers an extra-curriclar activity like this which offers you experience, it’s a no-brainer. I also went on courses that were offered by my University and relevant to my career path; take every oppurtunity!

2. Get work experience in the real world

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I literally tweeted local digital marketing companies asking if they had any work experience. It only took one to tweet me back and I did unpaid, flexible work with a local company a few months over summer, gaining experience in applying my skills and learning new skills for REAL clients. I would suggest tweeting, emailing and messaging companies directly is a great way of opening up opportunities for work experience that may not be necessarily advertised.

3. Update your LinkedIn

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Link with everyone you know, even if you met once. Update all your work experience, volunteering, skills, EVERYTHING, on here. Its great to show off your experience and place yourself in the market, and if anything it allows you to see gaps in your experience and what you can do to fill them (for me, I realised I didn’t have much blogging experience, so I created a blog).

4. Speak to your University recruitment team for help

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Once it got to the point in third year where I was applying for lots of jobs, I quickly realised that I wouldn’t hear back from hardly any. I went along to the recruitment department at Uni and never looked back. They found me jobs and sent my CV to employers to see if I was worth an interview; already a much quicker process than going it alone. They can also help you re-word and design your CV. Before I knew it, I had my first interview lined up and I was then given interview training FOC from the department to prepare myself for it. It all paid off, and I landed the job!

5. Don’t be fussy, or too sparse in your applications

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Some of my uni friends applied for one job a month and for some reason, felt like they would be getting it. Of course, they never heard back and are still looking now. You need to apply for every single job you see on indeed that you match criteria for. I also can’t stress enough about not being overly fussy. My graduate job was not ideal, it was half marketing (yay) and half customer services (boo), and in an industry I was not passionate about at all. However, I’ve now been in this role over a year and am now full time marketing and PR (big yay!), have learnt a whole bunch of new skills and also have over a years worth of graduate job behind me, all whilst making friends with my new colleagues. You really do need to give these jobs a chance, because they open up the door for you to have your dream job for your second graduate job. Obviously this goes within reason, I don’t suggest that you apply for jobs you are going to hate or not give you the experience you need, but you must understand how jobs can develop over time.

Hopefully these tips will help you get your foot in the door, as much as they have helped me! It all comes down to making your own opportunities and taken those presented to you.

Please help out fellow students with commenting your own advice! And if you have any questions or need advice on how to land a marketing role, please feel free to ask away!

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Survival Guide: Moving back home in your twenties

Some of us will never have to do it. Some of us will, and the real lucky ones will do it more than once.

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Most likely after the alcohol-infused years of university are over, your once bright future is succumbed by the fact you have no graduate job, no money and no way of getting your own place. Or, perhaps a long term relationship breakdown leaves you no option but to move back into the box room, ah, single and claustrophobic.

Whatever the deal, once you’ve flown the nest, moving home is hard. And horrible. I won’t lie – I’ve done it twice, a time each for the reasons above. But here’s how you can survive these dark, dark times.

1. Remember, it’s not forever.

Unless you want it to be, it’s not forever. So remind yourself this. Most likely, the next time you move out will be the last (especially if this is your second time moved back). Don’t forget it.

 

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2. Save, or spend.

Everyone tells me to enjoy the opportunity to save whilst living back at home. Great. That’s the sensible thing to do. However, finding myself on 18k in my graduate job, newly single and back home, the last thing I wanted to do was save! I spent half my savings on going to New York on my first ever non-couple girlie holiday and made great lifetime memories (plus some amazing Instagram pics). I then proceeded to go on holiday again. And again. Whilst also buying a lot more clothes. Silly? Probably. Fun? Yes. Will I ever get the chance throw all this disposable money away again? Probably not. Best advice? Spend and enjoy your youth and possibly new-found singleness, but maybe take a little caution and save at least something in your ‘actual’ savings (as opposed to holiday savings), instead of waiting for your next pay rise for the saving to start. Even if it’s a little bit.

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3. Cherish the family moments

In-between the anxiety of your future and feeling like you’ve lost all independence and adult-ness, try to enjoy living at home. Film night with your mum, jokes with your brother, home cooked meals. Whatever it may be, find the little things that make living at home a bit of a perk (not including the saved rent/bill costs). I’ve been living at home for 6 months now and even though I mostly despise it and can’t wait to have my own place, I do find myself enjoying aspects of it and try to remember these when I’m freaking out about how I’m ever going to afford a place!

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4. Set Goals

If it’s getting tough, set a goal to save more each month towards your next place. Or, on the flip side, set goals to travel more whilst you have the opportunity to do so more at home with less costs/responsibility. Any goal you set will have you realising that living at home is the best thing for you right now.

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5. Join in on the food shop, and even cooking

One of the things I missed most at first is picking all the food that I wanted, and cooking lovely meals. Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t struggled adjusting to being fed every night, but it has been hard looking in the cupboard/fridge and seeing nothing there you fancy. Your family might have completely different taste to you, or not fill up the fridge as often. The best way to hep combat this is to offer to do or join in on the food shop. Especially if you are paying rent, there is no reason why you can’t drop all your favourite yoghurts, lunch goodies and Nutella into the basket. Having the food you like in the house will help, trust me.

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6. Realise how blessed you are

So I’m 23 and don’t own a house. I could rent, but I chose to live at home a little bit longer to save. Am I a failure? No, even though I feel like one often because generations before us worked so differently. I realise that even though I am back home, I have a ton of things to be blessed about – one being that I have a family who have welcomed me back home (twice, oops), given me a lovely room, feed me, support me, and will even (maybe) miss me when I do move out (this time forever – promise!) Plus, the family dog now loves me more than he loves everyone else. If that isn’t a silver lining, I don’t know what is.

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