6 Tips For Finding a Graduate Job

Congratulations! You’ve graduated. But what’s next? You probably want to turn your degree into a graduate career. If you need help finding a graduate job, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped 500+ students and graduates to land the job of their dreams. They are now highly successful and are thriving in companies such as Google, Facebook, JP Morgan and many more, check out our successes

1. Get a Graduate Coach

Finding a graduate job can be difficult. Only 52% of graduates land themselves a graduate-level job the remaining 48% work in roles that do not require a degree. 

However, finding a graduate job is one thing, but finding the RIGHT graduate job is quite another. 50% of graduates that do land a graduate level job quit after 2 years after realising the job isn’t right for them. 

Our one-to-one coaching program will accelerate your journey of turning your degree into a graduate-level career. 

We are the only graduate career coaching company in the UK who can guarantee you a graduate job. 

2. Learn how to write an achievement-based CV

The aim of your graduate CV is to convince the employer to invite you in for an interview. 

Think of it as a sales pitch. 

Include the following sections on your graduate CV: 

  • Personal statement 
  • Key skills and achievements
  • Academic achievements 
  • Non-academic achievements 

For more information on how to write an achievement-based CV read the blog post that we wrote in collaboration with Chris Pennington from Your CV consultant on 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV.

If you are thinking of sending your CV to graduate recruitment agencies, make sure that your CV is the best it can be.

Along with an achievement-based CV, it is important that you learn how to write great covering letters. 

3. Optimise your Linkedin profile 

Graduate recruiters are increasingly using social media platforms such as Linkedin to look for suitable graduates to fill graduate-level positions. 

If you do not have a profile, or if your profile has not been completed you could be missing out on great opportunities and narrowing your chances of finding a graduate job.  

With an optimised LinkedIn profile more potential employers will visit your page and reach out to you directly if they feel you’d be a good fit for their company. 

Secondly, many graduate employers post ads on LinkedIn’s job board. Before applying to any of these jobs via the platform, it’s a good idea to improve your profile so that you give off the right impression. 

Here are some tips on how graduates can create an eye-catching LinkedIn profile

finding a graduate job

4. Work out what jobs are right for you 

Before you start job hunting, identify your career typology.

Graduate jobs can be divided into 3 broad categories: 

  • Specialists 
  • Knowledge architects 
  • Communicators 

Grads are hired into each of these categories for different reasons. 

Specialists such as doctors, nurses or pharmacists are hired for their expert knowledge in a particular field. 

Knowledge architects such as consultants for financial analysts are hired for their ability to interpret data and derive valuable insights from them. 

Communicators such as account managers and salespeople are hired for their ability to maintain profitable, long-term relationships with clients and to relay important information to other team members. 

Identifying which of these career typologies you identify with the most will help you to narrow down your job search so that you’ll be more likely to apply for jobs that are more aligned with your skill set. 

5. Brush up on your interview skills 

Here are 5 key points when it comes to graduate interviews:

  •  You must prepare adequately for your graduate interviews if you want to boost your chances of successfully finding a graduate job.

    This sounds obvious, however, the average candidate spends on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews. This is not enough time.

    Before your interview, make sure that you know everything that is humanly possible to know about the job description of the role that you are applying for, the company and the industry.

    It is a good idea to review all of the work placements and internships you have done in the past and write answers to common competency-based questions using the STAR format.

    The more prepared you are for the interview the more confident you’ll come across to the interviewer.

    Confidence is very important in interviews. If you are not confident in yourself and your ability to do the job really well, how will the interviewer be confident in you?

  •  You must demonstrate that you have the skills required to do the job really well.

    If you have adequately prepared for your interview, you’ll be able to confidently draw upon your work experience and skills to articulate why you should be selected for the job over other candidates.

  • You must show empathy to the interviewer.

    It is important to show the interviewer that you truly understand what they are looking for. It’s about showing the interviewer that you care about what truly matters to them.

    Again, your ability to understand your interviewer’s thoughts, motivations and feelings will depend on how prepared you are.

  •  You must ask for the job! 

The idea of asking for the job may seem daunting at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it. 

You get a couple of minutes just before the end of an interview to ask questions. 

Use this time wisely. 

Reinstating why you really want the job and asking for it will help you to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. 

Remember they may be interviewing several other candidates for the role. How you end the interview is vital. 

  • Most graduate jobs require candidates to complete a video interview

It is important that you find out as much as you can about how to perform highly in video interviews.

Here’s a guide on how to prepare for a video interview.

If you have been continually rejected after interviews, you probably have a good CV, but a poor interview technique. 

Our founder Chris Davies wrote a post for CV-library where he explained in detail the reasons why you’re failing your interviews

6. Embrace the process of Finding a graduate job 

Many graduates struggle to find a job after university

Sometimes the process of finding a graduate scheme or job can make candidates feel stressed. 

However, we encourage you to use this stage to gain some lifelong skills such as learning how to interview really well and how to write strong CVs. 

You’re not taught these skills at school. 

The chances are that you’ve never received proper careers advice. Many students do not visit their universities career service for help. 

That’s why we step in with our graduate coaching programmes and courses to help you to bridge the gap between your academic career and your graduate career. 

Want everything you need to know to find the graduate job you really want? Check out this book written by our founder Chris Davies.

HELP! I’m Struggling To Find A Job After University!

So you’ve finished your time at university, but it is taking longer than you’d have hoped to bag yourself a graduate-level job.

We’ve put together this actionable blog post to help graduates who are struggling to find a job after university.

We’ll first cover why some graduates struggle, before providing a step-by-step list of actions to take in order to help you to land your dream job.

Why graduates are struggling to find a job after university

struggling to find a job after university

If you’ve been struggling to find work in a graduate position or have been applying to several graduate schemes without success, the first thing to note is that you are not alone.

Whilst it is a distressing fact, 48% of graduates never land a graduate-level job and remain underemployed.  

That’s why it is our mission here at Graduate Coach to help students and graduates to turn their degrees into careers – and so far we have helped over 500 people to do so.

Over the past decade of offering career coaching to hundreds of graduates around the world, we have been able to pinpoint the main reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.

Here are the top 3 reasons:

1. They don’t know what graduate jobs are right for them

Many people start their job hunt by applying for jobs that they think will be right for them or they ‘panic apply’ for jobs.

The problem here is that there are around 1200 different graduate job titles out there so if you are unsure of what you want to do, it can be very overwhelming.

Here at Graduate Coach, we highly recommend that before you even send out a single application that you take some time to identify your transferable skills and career typology.

We help our candidates on our coaching program to do this with the help of our online course called “discover your career path”.

By the end of this course, candidates will be able to:

  • Confidently list their skills
  • Identify the experiences that have given them transferable skills
  • Explain the graduate job market and the key attributes all grad recruiters look for in candidates
  • Understand their career typology and know what jobs are suitable for them
    And more

By the end of this process, you’ll be able to pinpoint the graduate job titles/roles that are aligned to your skillset, interests and ambitions.

2. They haven’t put together an achievement-based CV

Writing your graduate CV can be quite tricky, especially if you haven’t yet gained much or any work experience.

Regardless of how much work experience you have, it is vital that you highlight the skills you have gained from the experiences you have had – even if this is from your academics, unpaid work experience or extracurricular activities.

The aim is to create a CV that ticks enough boxes so that the graduate recruiter simply must interview you.

We have put together a really useful document on how to create an achievement-based CV. It is available to download as a PDF from our website on the recourses page. We highly recommend that you read it! For even more guidance on how to write an achievement-based CV and to see several examples of excellent graduate CVs, read chapter 6 (page 69) of The Student Book.

As part of our full graduate career coaching program, we not only help candidates to create an excellent CV and cover letter, but we also teach them the art and science of doing so, as we recognise that knowing how to do so is a life-long skill.

3. They are not preparing for interviews adequately

Did you know that people only spend on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews?

This is not enough.

We find that most of the graduates we coach are not confident about interviews unless they have done activities like drama or have been to theatre school.

The reason why most people are so unconfident about interviews is that they have never been taught the science and art of interviewing and have never refined their interview technique.

Most graduate positions require you to take one or more different types of interview as part of the application process:

What We Offer Here At Graduate Coach

Unfortunately, many of the candidates who come to us after failing several interviews have started to lose confidence in themselves. This has a negative impact on their interview performance because being able to convey confidence to the interviewer is a must. Think of it this way – if you aren’t confident in yourself, why should the interviewer be?

That’s why we offer interview coaching as a stand-alone course and as part of our full one-to-one graduate coaching programme.

Like being able to write excellent CVs and cover letters, being able to perform well in interviews is a very important lifelong skill.

Being able to clearly articulate that you have the skills employers are looking for and confidently demonstrate your aptitude for the job is very important.  

These are the main 3 reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.

If you are in this situation, the key is to try not to beat yourself up about it. We find that many of the graduates who come to us have never received proper careers advice or that the support they got from using a career service in the past was not enough.

Whilst it may be disappointing that you put so much time and money into pursuing a degree with the hopes that it would help you to get a graduate job there are still several actions you can take to get yourself on the career ladder.

What to do if you are struggling to find a job after university

The short answer is to get help. There’s no need to struggle alone. Here at Graduate Coach, we have help available regardless of what you studied, where you studied and what your budget is.

If you are struggling to find a job after university there’s no point continually sending out applications and hoping that you’ll eventually get lucky.

The right help can accelerate your job search and help you to get the right job for you.

Next steps…

Book a FREE career consultation with us here at Graduate Coach and we will put together a bespoke career coaching plan and outline exactly how we can help you to get a graduate-level job.

Also, don’t forget to grab your copy of The Student Book and The Graduate Book!

A Third of UK Graduates Are Overqualified

With university students across the country now, or soon to be, taking their exams, many will be looking ahead for when they enter the job market. The hope that many graduates have is that they will be able to find a job that allows them to use their degree.

Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case with The Week reporting that a third of UK graduates are over qualified for their job.

The Numbers

The number of overqualified graduates has been steadily increasing for a long time with the figure at 22% in 1992 and 34% in 2007. 

Current figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that “London had the highest proportion of overeducated workers in the UK”. Graduates from an art and humanities background are the most likely to be under-utilising their education. This is despite the fact that UCAS reports that 78% of graduates now achieve a first or a 2:1. With more students going to university than ever before and getting higher grades, the issue of over qualification is only going to increase. 

Negative Psychological Effect on Employees

So what does this mean for graduates who aren’t using their education to the best of their ability? A study published on the Metro explains how employees that are overqualified for their jobs are more likely to experience ‘psychological strain’. Workers who feel they aren’t using their qualifications can feel deprived and undervalued. This, in the long run, is detrimental to the workers’ mental wellbeing and can cause a decrease in overall productivity. Workers who spent time underemployed are also more likely to earn less than their peers, even after finding a job that fits their academic credentials. This is because they will have started much later.

Are University Degrees Still Worth It?

The answer is yes. The Department for Education published statistics which show that graduates are still paid 30% more, on average, than those who don’t have a degree. It’s also worth noting that most employers require a degree as a bare minimum when applying for a job. Not having a degree puts prospective job seekers at a much greater disadvantage. 

The State of the Job Market 

While a third of students are overqualified for their job, the good news is that the UK labour market is currently strong. The ONS reported that unemployment fell to a low of 3.9% between January and March this year. However, there are still many factors that could change that figure with the economic calendar on FXCM showing high volatility for the ILO Unemployment Rate. Much of this is partly due to the ambiguity over Brexit and its potential effects on the job market. Graduates need to be aware that the job market could change and get a lot worse in the near future. This is something they need to take into consideration when applying for jobs. 

With record high student enrolment figures in universities this year, coupled with progressively competitive industries, this issue is unlikely to go away anytime soon. While it may make for hard reading, this is a reality that graduates have to face.