It can be a minefield - coming straight out of college into the real world. There are so many things to consider, should you do a masters, should you go travelling or should you start on that career ladder? If you decide on the latter, here are a few tips here to get you going.
Many graduates make the mistake of not bothering with a cover letter or just using a generic letter. You should address the main points of the job with your relevant experience and skills. The most important thing is to proofread. Get a friend or a parent to read it over. There is nothing worse sending on misspelled cover letter with bad grammar. Keep it simple and keep it on-track.
Tailor your CV
This is really important. There is little point in a blanket approach to applying for jobs. Some of your experience or skillset will be more or less relevant depending on the job you are applying for. Be clever about it.
Many of you have come out of college with little or no experience in your chosen career path. Have no fear - if you had a part time job during college, this can really work to your advantage. Retail/Service industry jobs are the best way to build your communication skills and your ability to work under pressure. These are invaluable skills in any workplace. Draw on examples from these jobs in an interview scenario. Volunteer work is also a really fantastic addition to your CV and also provides real workplace scenarios. If you are still lacking in experience then internships are a fantastic way to build and grow your work experience. They can also open the door to full-time positions.
If you’re not already on LinkedIn, get on it! It’s the first port of call that recruiters use to source and contact candidates. It’s basically an online CV. Treat it like one, update it on your skills, experience, awards, volunteer work etc. A healthy LinkedIn profile looks very attractive to future employers. There is also a feature on LinkedIn where you can let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities. Connect with friends, old colleagues, lecturers, build up your network! Twitter is also really useful, following recruitment agencies is a really good idea. They generally pop up their job vacancies on their Twitter profile.
It is a good idea to sign up with recruitment agencies. Recruiters help prepare you for interviews, give you tips and tricks of the trade and bring you through the whole process. They also have a range of connections with different client companies that could really work to your advantage.
Don’t put all your energies into just the degree you earned. Sell the whole package. Be confident, you have worked hard and now it’s time to get yourself on the career ladder. Don’t be too disheartened if you don’t get the job the first few times. The more interviews you do, the more skilled you become. The market for jobs at the moment is fantastic.