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
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
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
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
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
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!