How To Find Your First Graduate Job (TIPS, ADVICE)

21/01/2014 09:29 | Updated 03 March 2014

No-one said finding your first graduate job would be a walk in a park. But they never said it would be this hard, either.

We know you don't need reminding about how competitive it is out there, etc etc, and so instead we're bringing you some positive, assertive advice on kickstarting your job hunt.

SEE ALSO: What Life After Graduation Looks Like

Top Tips On How To Apply For An Apprenticeship

How To Write The Perfect CV

We spoke to Selina Boshorin, careers adviser for the National Careers Service, and she shared with us her top five tips on finding your first job out of university. Good luck!

  • 1 The internet is a great tool to kick start your job search...
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    Job search websites can allow you to find vacancies, and there are sites you can register with to allow employers to find you. Social media sites are also amazing tools to find and connect with employers - have a search for companies with their own profiles and you might be able to find out instantly when they have vacancies. It’s important to remember to make sure that your privacy settings are up to scratch, as employers might be searching for you too!
  • 2 ...But don’t neglect the real world
    Using the internet to expand your options is great, but don’t stop at just that. By putting in a little bit more leg work, you might find opportunities right on your doorstep. It can be expensive for employers to advertise jobs through online sites and newspapers, so some may rely on you to contact them directly to ask about possible positions. This can include leaving a CV with a shop or store, phoning companies or businesses to ask about vacancies or speaking with family and friends about options they could suggest. And remember to keep your options open. There are over 100,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 200,000 locations.
  • 3 Use your time wisely
    Finding a job can take some time, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay at home, waiting for the phone to ring. Volunteering or doing work experience can be a way to gain some different skills and experience, build your confidence about your own abilities and can be really rewarding for you and for the people you work with. It also looks impressive on a CV or application, and can make the difference between making the shortlist and getting the job. Start your preparation for finding a job as early as you can. It can be difficult to juggle time when you’re preparing for exams, but if you can, set aside some time to give some thought to the kind of jobs you’re interested in, developing a CV or attending job and recruitment fairs. You could give yourself an advantage in the job market by being a bit organised and planning your job hunt.
  • 4 Tailored to fit
    Different employers will focus on different skills - chances are, that the restaurant on the high street wouldn’t be as interested in your technical drawing skills as they would be with your customer service abilities. Making sure that you adapt your CV and covering letter to the role being applied for will greatly increase your chances and show that you’re the right person for the job. Have the job advert or person specification to hand when writing your application and think about the skills they’re asking for. Be positive about yourself. You’ve got lots to offer a potential employer and the key is to get this across in your application and interview. Think about all the new skills you’ve learnt and experiences you’ve had that have developed you as an individual. This is what employers are interested in.
  • 5 Don’t do it alone
    It can be a struggle to find a job – and that’s where the National Careers Service can help. Friendly, trained advisers can help you to explore all of your options for finding a job. Advisers are available every day from 8am – 10pm and you can choose to get in touch for free on 0800 100 900 or through the website Let fellow students, friends and relatives help you along the way too, even if it’s just with moral support. This network can help you get keep an eye on the advertised and hidden job market. Get some support and advice with some of the practical aspects of getting your first job. Your school or university careers team can help you to put together a new CV, look at the job market, prepare for interviews and plan for the future.

And here are some other handy sites you may want to set your beady eyes on:

If you can’t see the job you want and or you find you don’t have the experience required, have a look at the option of doing an internship. These are often paid and offer practical work experience which can look great on a CV. You can find details of internships opportunities for graduates using the following links:-

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