Help for Graduates Looking for Work

Congratulations! You’ve earnt your degree and your time at university has come to an end. Since graduating, you’ve probably been thinking about your next steps and your graduate career. However, navigating your graduate job search can be stressful if you are unsure of your career path. In this post, we will provide help for graduates looking for work

Why graduates need help looking for work 

Most graduates have gone through their entire academic career without getting adequate careers advice. Even if you visited your university’s career service a few times, you may still find yourself struggling to find a job after university

The graduate job search is multi-faceted. There are many factors to take into consideration such as:

  • Working out what type of graduate job is right for you 
  • Identifying your employability skills 
  • Understanding what graduate employers are looking for
  • Assessing your work experiences 
  • Crafting an achievement-based graduate CV 
  • Optimising your Linkedin profile and other social media profiles
  • Writing effective cover letters 
  • Sending out high-quality job applications
  • Performing highly in interviews  

Many graduates are unaware that there is help available to help them to land their dream graduate job. 

Over the years we have helped hundreds of graduates who have come to us after realising that: 

Help for graduates looking for work 

Help for graduates looking for work

Here at Graduate Coach, we offer a wide range of services that are designed to help graduates looking for work. 

Here are some of the services we offer: 

Books for students and graduates 

The founder of Graduate Coach, Chris Davies wrote The Student Book and The Graduate Book

The Student Book outlines everything you need to know to get the job you really want. 

The Graduate Book outlines everything you need to know to do really well at work. 

These are must-read books for graduates who want to excel in their career. 

Interview coaching for students, graduates and career changers 

Interview coaching is a short-term investment for long-term success. Getting interview coaching early on in your career will equip you with a lifelong skill that will help you to stop missing out on great career opportunities. 

Whether you decide to apply for structured graduate schemes or graduate jobs, you will be required to perform highly during interviews. 

We also offer an online interview course called Nail That Interview. This course is divided into 9 modules and brings together all we have learnt from coaching graduates over the past decade. 

One-to-one career coaching for students and graduates 

We have created a 6-step career coaching program for graduates. Our one-to-one coaching program comes with a guarantee that we will help you to get the right graduate job. 

You will be supported through the entire graduate job search process from discovering your career path to nailing your interviews and getting an offer. 

Help for Graduates Looking for Work: Summary 

If you are a recent graduate who is struggling to land your first graduate-level job, seek help. 

Many graduates panic at the idea of being unemployed after uni and send out several low-quality applications with no success.  

This leads to several graduates feeling lost after graduation and some graduates even feel depressed after university due to not being able to get a job. 

Your graduate job hunt should be strategic and geared towards finding the right job, not just any job. 

We hope you have found this post outlining help for graduates looking for work useful. If you need help, do not hesitate to reach out to us

16 Legal Work Experience Ideas

Whether you are an aspiring solicitor or barrister, you want to boost your chances of entering the legal profession once you have graduated.

In this post, we will share 16 legal work experience ideas that will help your applications to stand out. 

1. Send out speculative applications to high street law firms 

Many aspiring lawyers focus solely on getting a place on a vacation scheme at larger firms. However, it is possible to get some valuable law firm work experience at a smaller high street law firm. 

A speculative application is a request for work experience even though this opportunity has not been advertised. 

You may find success, sending out speculative applications as there will be less competition relative to vac scheme applications at larger firms. 

How to get work experience at a high street law firm

1: Research high street firms in your area  

2: Put together a spreadsheet with contact details for each firm 

3: Update your CV

4: Send out batches of emails to local firms requesting work experience and attach a copy of your CV 

You may need to send out several speculative applications for legal work experience until you are successful. 

Tip: If you don’t hear back, be sure to follow up via email or telephone. 

Once you have completed some work experience at a high street law firm, don’t forget to add this experience to your CV and LinkedIn profile. 

Applying for law firm work experience speculatively can be time-consuming, however, it is worth it if you manage to gain some valuable experience. 

Some firms such as GT Stewart invite students who are interested in the areas of law that they work in to apply for their work placements/internships by sending a CV and cover letter.

2. Get some voluntary work in a legal setting 

Doing pro bono work will give you some hands-on experience with real legal cases. It is an excellent way to get legal work experience whilst helping people in need. 

Benefits of getting involved with pro bono work and gaining voluntary legal work experience:

  • Develop practical legal skills such as interviewing clients and drafting letters 
  • Demonstrate legal research skills 
  • Expand your professional network
  • Explore different areas of law 
  • Add value to your training contract and pupillage applications 

How to get pro bono experience 

Check if your university has a pro bono centre as the first port of call. 

You can also check out the following organisations: have compiled a really handy list of pro bono and volunteering opportunities.   

Alternatively, you could volunteer at a court. Doing so would provide you with valuable court work experience.

Court volunteers provide reassurance and support for clients. Volunteers in courts generally support clients in the following ways:

  • Explaining how the court system works 
  • Assisting with tasks such as filling out court forms 
  • Helping clients to plan what they are going to say in court 
  • Going into court hearings with clients 

Find out more about how you can get involved in volunteering in a court

3. Get a job as a paralegal 

Working as a paralegal is a great idea for gaining legal work experience and bolster your CV. 

Paralegals provide administrative support to solicitors and only requires candidates to have (or to be pursuing a law degree).  As a paralegal, you may be required to complete the following tasks: 

  • Interviewing new clients 
  • Taking witness statements 
  • Preparing and drafting legal documents 
  • Providing legal advice

There are paralegal opportunities within both high street firms as well as within larger firms within the city. 

Being a paralegal is a good way to kick-start your career in law. It is an excellent idea to gain legal work experience by working as a paralegal part-time whilst studying at university. 

Tip: Find out as much as you can about the role of a paralegal, then start applying for opportunities.  

4. Secure places on vacation schemes 

Vacation schemes last between a week and a month. Vac schemes usually take place during the summer, Easter or Christmas. 

During a vacation scheme, you will get the opportunity to meet trainees, associates, solicitors and partners. The scheme will also help you to improve your legal knowledge and help you to gain a better understanding of your career path. 

The structure of the vacation scheme will differ depending on the firm. However, generally speaking, you will get a supervisor and will gain experience within different practice areas

Benefits of completing a vac scheme 

Some law firms use vacation schemes to identify candidates for their training contracts. This means securing a vacation scheme can significantly boost your chances of getting a training contract at a top law firm.

Several firms offer vacation schemes these includes (but are not limited to): Allen & Overy, Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, Shearman & Sterling, Trowers & Hamlins, Mills & Reeve and Penningtons Manches. Such placements give students structured law firm work experience.

Tip: apply for vacation schemes as early as possible as they are extremely competitive and many places are filled on a rolling basis. 

As a part of the application process for vac schemes, you may need to attend a one-to-one or a panel interview. Here at Graduate Coach, we provide interview coaching for students, graduates and career changers. Find out how we can help you to nail your vac scheme interview with our interview coaching

5. Apply for mini-pupilages 

Mini pupilages are short work experience placements for aspiring Barristers. They are designed to give you a taste of the Bar. 

Mini pupillage applications are usually open for second or final year undergraduates. However, it may be possible to get a mini-pupillage placement in your first year of university. 

Applicants tend to be current law students. Non-law students may have to wait until they are doing their GDL. 

The mini-pupillage application process

To apply for mini-pupillages, you will need to send a copy of your CV and cover letter to each of the chambers you are applying to. Some applications will require you to complete an online application form. 

Here is a handy list of Barrister’s chambers that offer mini-pupillages

6. Do some marshalling 

Marshalling is another way of gaining law work experience.

It involves shadowing a judge. Marshalling experiences typically last between one day and a week. This experience will give you a birds-eye view of the legal system. 

It is a good idea to marshal a judge if you aspire to the Bar. Whilst marshalling is not a substitute for completing a mini-pupillage, it will complement any mini-pupilage experiences you get. Marshalling experience will also stand out on your CV. 

Here is a great article on what to expect from Marshalling.

How to gain Marshalling experience 

  • Contact your Inn of Court or your local Crown or county court 
  • Send out speculative applications to judges explaining why you would like to marshal them 
  • Ask contacts within your network 

7. Take part in debates and mooting 

Most universities host debating and mooting competitions for students interested in pursuing a legal career. Find out if your university hosts these opportunities and get involved with them. 

Mooting involves presenting a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. Mooting is often mistaken for a mock trial. However, it differs from a mock trial as it assumes that the evidence has already been tested. Mooting places more emphasis on practising the ability to argue the question of law. 

If you are studying a for an LLB law degree, you will probably be presented with the opportunity to gain mooting experience as a part of your course. 

Moots involve:

  • Conducting legal research 
  • Preparing written submissions 
  • Delivering an oral presentation  

It is a good idea to get involved with mooting opportunities because getting into the legal profession is very competitive and recruiters will be interested in seeing any evidence of advocacy or mooting experience.  

8. Visiting a court

Regardless of whether you want to become a Solicitor or Barrister understanding of how courts operate is important. It’s a good idea to visit a court to gain valuable insights. 

Court visits allow you to sit in on real cases to see legal professionals in action. Gaining this experience can help you to make informed career decisions and work out what area of law you would like to pursue. 

Spending some time in court can help you to decide whether to practice in a contentious or non-contentious area of law. 

Even if you are sure that you would like to become a solicitor visiting a court is useful. Some law firms take their trainees to the High Court to help them to gain a deeper understanding of how their work impacts what happens in court.  

Tips for visiting a court to gain legal work experience 

  • Arrive a few hours before the case starts if it is a high profile case with lots of media coverage. 
  • Check the rules of the courtroom before you enter. At the Old Baily, for example, you are not allowed to bring anything electronic. 
  • Remember to bow to the crown when entering the courtroom and stand when the judge enters. 

9. Attend law insight days 

Insight days are also known as open days or workshops. 

These events are held at law firms and usually involves shadowing, a guided tour of the office, group exercises and talks from partners and the recruitment team. 

Attending insight days will help you to decide which law firms you would like to apply for. 

It is a really good idea to attend legal insight days because some firms use them to screen applications for their vacation schemes and training contracts. 

Here is a list of open day dates and their application deadlines

10. Join law societies

If you are currently studying at university, it is a good idea to join the law society. Being a member of the law society will present opportunities to network with other aspiring legal professionals and to meet legal recruiters. 

University law societies host events and talks to give students a deeper understanding of legal careers. 

You can also gain valuable skills from helping to run the law society at your university. 

If you are a member of an unrepresented group and wish to become a solicitor, you can join Aspiring Solicitors. Aspiring Solicitors work with law firms to provide events, mentoring, commercial awareness competitions and employability assistance.  

Every year, Aspiring Solicitors collaborates with Barclays to host a work experience week in Canary Wharf.

The programme offers 50 Aspiring Solicitors’ members to do a one-week legal work placement with Barclays. During the one-week placement, candidates gain a unique insight into the internal workings of an in-house legal function.

Find out more about the Barclays Legal Experience weeks here.

11. Get a legal research position 

Various institutions such as universities and governmental bodies require people with legal knowledge. 

Look out for legal research job opportunities. This role would help you to develop your legal research skills as well as providing some law-related work experience. 

Legal Work Experience

12. Complete a Legal virtual internship 

The last of our legal work experience ideas is to do a virtual legal internship.

A few of the leading law firms have collaborated with InsideSherpa to provide virtual law internships and experience programmes. 

Some of the companies offering these experiences include:

  • Latham & Watkins 
  • White & Case 
  • Pinsent Masons 
  • King & Wood Mallesons  
  • Baker McKenzie 

These virtual work experience placements are free and take around 6 hours to complete. 

Alternatively, you could sign up to a company called Virtual Internships. Virtual Internships was founded by Edward Holroyd Pearce who also founded CRCC Asia.

They have a legal programme that is designed to help candidates to develop key competencies for a successful career. Typical placements include roles such as: Legal assistant, Legal researcher, In-house legal intern, commercial exec and business development.

13. Do an internship abroad

Gaining international legal work experience will help you to stand out. International law firms will look at this experience in high regard. have put together a list of the 10 best law internships abroad.

City Internships also offers internships abroad for those who are interested in law and politics. The programme allows students and graduates to do a legal internship abroad in cities including: New York, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Toronto.

14. Sign up to access to law programmes

Law firms are increasingly taking steps to increase the diversity within their organisations. A diverse workforce allows the firm to reflect, and understand their clients better.

There are a few companies that help law firms to access diverse talent. They also help students and graduates from underrepresented backgrounds to get law work experience.

Another one of our legal work experience ideas is to sign up for the following organisations if you are eligible:

  • Prime is an alliance of law firms who are committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience.
  • The Brokerage is a London-based social mobility charity connecting young people to employers. Sign up if you are interested in exploring career opportunities in law.
  • SEO London aims to connect some of the most prestigious commercial law firms with law and non-law undergraduates, graduates and career changers.
  • Rare recruitment have a legal development programme called “articles”. Candidates who complete this programme are 27 times more likely to get hired after completing articles.
  • City Solicitors Horizon provide training mentoring and law work experience placements to improve access to the legal profession.
  • UpReach has a law springboard programme sponsored by Slaughter and May. They also have a law programme giving candidates exclusive employer insights.
  • EmployAbility is dedicated to providing opportunities for disabled and dyslexic students and graduates. They are partnered with law firms including Bird and Bird.

15. Do a law-related placement year

If you are in the first or second year of your degree and would like to gain some relevant legal work experience, you could consider taking a law placement year.

Placement years are often referred to as sandwich years or industrial placements and involve working at a company for 12 months before going back to university to finish your degree.

If you are currently doing an LLB Law, with a placement year, you’ll be keen to secure your placement. If you are doing a three-year law or non-law degree, you can speak to the admissions team to see if you can do a placement as part of your degree.

There are a number of companies offering undergraduate students law placement year opportunities.

For example, the Simmons and Simmons Evolve placement year – The evolve placement allows undergraduates to work with lawyers and innovation teams to explore how technology can be integrated across the business. If you have an inquisitive mind and an interest in a legal career, you might want to consider this opportunity. This opportunity is available for students studying for a law degree and non-law students. Throughout the placement, candidates will be assessed for a training contract.

16. Get a law summer internship

If you are currently completing your degree but do not have any law work experience you may consider completing a law summer internship.

If you are an aspiring corporate lawyer, you may have only considered applying for vacation schemes at law firms. However, many reputable companies hire interns to work within their in-house legal teams.

Gaining in-house legal experience will help to boost your CV and will interest legal graduate recruiters.

Check out this page for a list of legal summer internship opportunities.

Don’t dismiss non-law related work experience 

We hope you implement the above legal work experience ideas.

Remember, both law and non-law work experiences are really important. Gaining a wide range of experiences will help you to develop your commercial awareness skills. If you will be applying for commercial law firms, recruiters will be interested in your commercial awareness skills. 

Work experience is important because it will help you to gain and develop employability skills. 

Legal work experience ideas: summary 

We hope this post has given you some new legal work experience ideas

Whether you shadow a judge, visit courts, get onto a vacation scheme, do a virtual internship or become a paralegal, all legal work experience will help you to stand out.

As well as taking on board these ideas, don’t forget that some law firms also have application forms for their work experience opportunities online. So be sure to conduct thorough research to find suitable opportunities.

For example, Kingsley Napley offers a number of unpaid work experience placements throughout the year to students who are 18+ and entitled to work in the UK. Placement students get hands-on experience by sampling many different tasks such as attending court meetings, drafting documents, shadowing, qualified lawyers and more.

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped aspiring lawyers to enter the legal profession. We can help you with creating your law CV, sending successful applications for vacation schemes and training centres and preparing for assessment centres. Visit our one-to-one career coaching service. 

If you are in year 12, and are looking for inspiration for some legal work experience ideas, visit Student Ladder’s work experience opportunities for year 12 students.

Legal work experience ideas: FAQs

What work experience do you need to be a lawyer?

It is a good idea to gain a variety of experiences that are relevant to the type of legal career you are pursuing.

In order to secure a training contract to become a solicitor or a Pupilage to become a barrister, you’ll need to first meet the academic requirements. As law is a highly competitive field, having work experience will give you a competitive edge by improving your CV, cover letter and interview answers.

Where can I get work experience for law?

Where you can get work experience for law will depend on what stage of your academic career you are at. Some work experience placements are reserved for sixth formers studying A-levels. Whereas others are for undergraduates. Revisit the 16 work experience ideas above for a list on where you can get work experience for law.

How do I get a law job with no experience?

If you are keen to get a job in the competitive field of law but do not have any work experience:

  • Do a virtual legal work experience placement
  • Audit your skills and leverage your non-law experience
  • Aim to gain some work experience by implementing some of our legal work experience ideas above

What do you do in work experience in a law firm?

This will vary depending on what company you work at and what area of law they practice in.

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Social Media: Five Ways To Make Your Profiles Recruiter-Friendly

Social media can be great for so many things – a place to vent, share photos with your friends and keep up to date with the latest news. What’s not to like? 

Where it tends to fall down is when it comes to your job search. While it may seem like a great idea at the time to post drunken university photos or strong-worded statuses, recruiters may not look so favourably on them. 

In fact, according to a recent survey by Reppler, seven out of ten recruiters actually reject candidates based on their social media content, highlighting just how important it is to make them recruiter-friendly. 

But with so much already to think about when it comes to social media – like disabling Twitter autoplay or keeping on top of Facebook’s privacy settings – it can be easy to overlook how important your online persona actually is when searching for a job. 

Fortunately, we’re here to help! Dakota Murphey has put together this post sharing tips for making your social media platforms more recruiter friendly.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t be doing on social media, to boost your employability. 

1: Remove offensive material. 

The first question you need to ask yourself is – if you were an employer looking at your profile, how would you feel? If you have photos of you planking in various locations from 2012, for example, it may be time to get rid of them. Likewise, if you have any especially bad university drinking photos publicly available, they will only make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. 

It’s not just photos you need to think about either – employers will also look at the past statuses you’ve shared as well. Look back through the posts you’ve published, and remove any which use offensive language, relate to illegal activity, or just downright make you cringe. Likewise, while it may be tempting to keep any hilarious frapes for the memories, they could only hinder your chances of getting your dream job. 

Think about what you post. 

Once you’ve sorted your profile out, don’t fall back into the same routine by posting more offensive material. You need to think about what you are publishing, and avoid coming across overly negative or opinionated. 

While it’s perfectly fine to have an opinion, constantly publishing status after status about certain hot-topics will only make it come across like you’re a bit of a loose cannon. As such, it could make employers question whether you’d be a disruptive influence in the workplace. 

Don’t give them that luxury – think about what you’re posting and avoid sharing content too regularly. 

Utilise privacy settings. 

Nearly all the social media platforms now have privacy settings you can adjust on a person-by-person basis. Make the most of having this option; when you share a new post, alter the settings so that only your friends can see it, rather than the entire public. 

Do this with your previous photos, videos and statuses as well – your potential recruiter will only be able to see what is made publicly available to them. Keep anything you don’t want them to see behind closed doors. 

Emphasise how hireable you are. 

Your social media profiles should convince recruiters to hire you, rather than deter them. The best way to do this is by making sure they match your CV and emphasise any particular skills you have, or experiences you’ve done. 

If you talk in your cover letter about a particular gap year experience you’ve had, for example, make sure you have photos available that corroborate your story. Also, if you have done any work that you’re particularly proud of, share it and make it easier for recruiters to come across. 

Think about who you follow.

It’s all well and good having the perfect social media profile, but if you follow the wrong people or organisations, you could shoot yourself in the foot. While it may be fine to support what you believe in, recruiters may not look too fondly on your application if you follow people or organisations that disagree with their working environment. 

For example, if you retweet a Donald Trump status or show your support for a controversial campaign, you could come across badly to recruiters. Make sure you don’t annoy them before they’ve even had the chance to meet you. 


There you have it – five effective methods to clean up your social media profiles for employers. 

The most important thing is to really think about what it is you’re posting, and carefully consider how it comes across. If it’s at all risky, don’t do it. But if it adds to your employability, then do – it all comes down to common sense. 

One thing’s for certain though, make sure you remove those planking photos. Nobody liked them – even when they were a thing. 

Author Bio
Dakota Murphey has more than a decade of experience in a range of HR and Marketing roles. Since becoming a full-time mum, she enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge through her writing and connecting with like-minded professionals. Follow her on Twitter: @Dakota_Murphey

Here at graduate Coach, we offer one-to-one career coaching, interview training, online courses and books.

How to Beat Interview Anxiety

Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk into your next interview feeling confident and anxiety-free? 

In this post, we will share tips on how to beat interview anxiety before, during and after your interview. 

What is interview anxiety? 

Anxiety is the state of feeling uneasy such as feeling fearful or worried. 

We all experience feelings of anxiety at some point during our lives. 

Feeling fearful or worried about an interview is common. 

Interview anxiety can range from being mild to severe.  Some job seekers feel worried just before their interview, whilst others miss interviews due to severe interview anxiety. 

How to Beat Interview Anxiety before an interview

Here are some tips on what you can do to reduce your anxiety before your next interview.


Being prepared for your interview will help to reduce your anxiety. 

It is important that you research the: role, company and industry in detail. 

During your interview, you will need to convince the interviewer that you can do the job. Therefore, you will need to prepare for competency-based interview questions. 

When it comes to researching the company, it’s not enough to skim over the website. Be sure to find out as much as possible about the company especially the company’s mission and values. 

We offer interview coaching that is designed to teach you lifelong interview skills. Over the past decade, we have helped hundreds of people who came to us feeling anxious about their upcoming interviews. 

We also offer an online interview course called: “Nail That Interview“. We condensed our learning from our one-to-one coaching to design this course.

The course is divided into 9 modules and contains 8 downloadable guides.

Be organised

As well as preparing for your interview, it is important that you prepare the following in advance:

  • What you will wear to the interview
  • The directions to where the interview will be held
  • What you will bring to the interview i.e. your CV, notebook and a pen
  • plan to arrive at the destination of your interview 20 minutes early
  • Decide what you will have for breakfast on the morning of your interview day
  • Plan to have a good night of sleep before your interview

Having all of the above ready in advance of the interview will help you to beat your interview anxiety.

How to Beat Interview Anxiety

Reducing anxiety on the day of your interview

So, you’ve prepared for your interview well and you’ve organised everything you will need for the interview in advance. This will significantly help you to reduce your interview anxiety.

However, as it gets closer to your interview, you may notice a spike in your anxiety levels.

On the day of your interview, it is important to stay as calm as possible.

Use the S.T.O.P method to reduce feelings of nervousness and anxiety on the day of your interview.

S = stop what you are doing and focus on your thoughts
T = take some deep breaths
O = observe what is going on in your mind and body
P = proceed with an action that will help you to feel more confident

The S.T.O.P method is a cognitive behavioural technique used to nip racing thoughts in the bud.

If you are sitting in the waiting area before an interview and start to feel anxious do the following:

  • Stop and acknowledge your anxious thoughts and nervous energy
  • Take 5 deep breaths to reduce tension
  • Observe how you are feeling and what you are doing. If you are fidgeting, stop.
  • Proceed by taking positive actions. Sitting up properly and taking further deep breaths can help to reduce your anxiety.
interview nerves before an interview in a waiting room

Get into the right mindset

Block out anxious thoughts by rationalising the situation. Remind yourself that an interview is a conversation. The interviewer isn’t trying to catch you out and this is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can do the job.

Be present with your thoughts instead of thinking “what if my mind goes blank” or “what if I don’t get the job”. Focus on the task in hand.

How to reduce anxiety during interviews

Ask for a glass of water

You will normally be offered a glass of water at the start of the interview.

Don’t decline the offer as there are many advantages of drinking water during your interview.

  • If you are asked a challenging question, taking a sip of water can give you extra time to gather your thoughts.
  • It will help you to stay hydrated. nervousness or anxiety may make your throat feel dry. To prevent this sip on some water during the interview.
  • Drinking water may help to reduce your stress levels

Check out our blog post on the benefits of drinking water during an interview.

Speak slowly

Many people speak very quickly when they are feeling nervous or anxious. However, even if you are feeling this way, speaking slower can help you to come across as being calm and confident.

Don’t worry if you hesitate. It is ok to take some time to think about your answer before you start speaking.

Taking just a few moments before responding, thinking of a strong answer and speaking slowly can help you to give better answers.

Remember, the interviewer will understand that you may feel nervous

Most candidates feel anxious during interviews.

The person interviewing you has most likely interviewed several nervous interviewees. The likeliness is, if they sense that you are feeling particularly anxious they may try to make you feel at ease by encouraging you to take your time with thinking about your answers.

Remember, the interviewer is just another human being. There is even the possibility that they feel a bit anxious during your interview as well.

Dealing with post-interview anxiety

Waiting to hear back from hiring managers after an interview can be extremely nerve-wracking.

You may start to over analyse your performance and the responses you gave.

Some people experience job offer anxiety.

Job offer anxiety is the stress and anxiousness experienced by someone who is waiting for a call back to learn about the outcome of their interview.

Continue your job search: After your interview, continue your job search. Having other opportunities on the horizon will put you at ease regardless of the outcome.

Put things into perspective: if you don’t receive a call back the next day, it might be because the people involved in the interview process may not have had the opportunity to meet yet. So don’t worry if you haven’t heard back after a few days.

How to beat interview anxiety: summary

We hope that this post has helped you to reduce your interview nerves.

Job interviews make most people feel anxious. Feeling a bit anxious can be advantageous, but if your anxiety is negatively impacting your interview performance, it’s time to take action.

If you have been receiving rejections after your interview check out our post called: “Why do I keep failing at interviews?

Here at Graduate Coach, we offer coaching and career advice for students, graduates and career changers. Our coaching helps candidates to land the right job. We also offer support with CVs, cover letters, video interviews and more.

When to Start Looking for Graduate Jobs

Ideally, you’ll want to have a graduate job lined up and waiting for you when you finish university. However, this is not the reality for many graduates. Knowing when to start looking for graduate jobs is vital. 

This post will cover when you should start looking and applying for graduate jobs to give yourself the best chances of success.

It is never too early to start looking for graduate jobs

Your graduate job search can start as early as your first year of university. 

Graduate employers build talent pipelines. These are comprised first, second and final year students. 

Candidates who are a part of a company’s talent pipeline increase their chances of getting a graduate job

How to become a part of a company’s talent pipeline? 

You can become a part of different companies talent pipelines by:

  • Attending networking events and insight days
  • Attending graduate careers fairs 
  • Applying for internships, spring weeks and vacation schemes 

If you attend an insight day at a company that you are interested in, during your first year of university, you will gain an advantage when it comes to applying for a summer internship in your second year. Getting a summer internship will increase your chance of getting a graduate job at the company. 

When to Start Looking for Graduate Jobs

When to start applying for jobs before graduation 

To get a graduate job before you graduate you need to actively seek opportunities to gain as much experience and exposure as possible.  

  • First-year students – During your first year of university lookout for opportunities to attend networking events and insight days.

  • Second-year students – In your second year, look for structured summer internships, vacation schemes, spring weeks and placement year opportunities.

  • Final year students – In your last year of university, you can start sending job applications for graduate schemes before graduation. The main application window is between September and January. You can also apply for graduate jobs. These opportunities are open all year round.

As well as seeking out these opportunities, it is important that you do the following: 

  • Practice psychometric tests 
  • Look for short-term work experience placements and shadowing opportunities 
  • Improve your interview technique 
  • Understand what you will need to demonstrate at assessment centres 
  • Research the graduate recruitment process
  • Write achievement-based CVs and cover letters
  • Keep your social media profiles professional  

The above is really important if you want to start applying for jobs before graduation. 

Why it is important to apply for graduate jobs and schemes early 

All companies have different application processes for students and graduates. 

However, most graduate recruiters hire on a rolling basis meaning they make offers to suitable candidates on a first-come basis.  

When to start applying for jobs if you have already graduated 

What should you do if you haven’t secured an opportunity and you have already graduated?

Check out our post on what to do after graduation from university

If you would like to join a graduate scheme you may need to wait until the next graduate scheme application window which is between September and January. Graduate scheme start dates are usually between July and October of the following year. 

In the meantime, you could apply for graduate jobs which take applications all year round. 

To gain a deeper understanding of the difference between graduate schemes and graduate jobs read our post called “what is a graduate scheme”. 

What types of graduate jobs to look for 

Your job hunt can be extremely difficult, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. 

If you are unsure of what graduate career is right for you, get yourself a copy of The Student Book, written by Chris Davies the founder of Graduate Coach. 

The Student Book contains everything you need to know to get the job you really want. Here are some other books for graduates who want to excel in their career. 

We also offer a six-stage one-to-one coaching programme to help students and graduates to discover their career path and get the right graduate-level job.  

When to Start Looking for Graduate Jobs: Summary 

When it comes to looking for graduate jobs, time is of the essence. If you are at university, start looking as soon as possible if you want to secure a job before graduating. 

Whilst you are at university there will be several opportunities to network with potential employers. It is a good idea to take advantage of these opportunities. 

If you have already graduated, all is not lost. You can still apply for graduate schemes starting the following year. You will also be able to start applying for graduate jobs that recruit all year round.

Benefits of drinking water during an interview

Drinking water during an interview has many benefits. In this post, we will outline how having water with you in an interview is advantageous. 

Saying yes to a glass of water helps to break the ice

At the beginning of your interview, you’ll probably be offered a glass of water. 

The interviewer will be trying to make you feel comfortable and welcome. Therefore, it is ok to accept the glass of water. Doing so will make the host feel more comfortable in your presence. 

Many people feel that taking up the offer of a glass of water will be inconveniencing the interviewer or wasting time. However, this is not the case. 

Chances are, the interviewer may also want to get themselves a beverage too. Also accepting a glass of water before the interview starts is much better than realising you need one halfway through the interview. 

Accepting the glass of water will also help you to engage in some small talk and break the ice. 

Whilst the host gets your water you’ll get some extra time 

Many interview rooms will be set up with a jug of water. If this is the case, you’ll get a few moments to gather your thoughts and to get comfortable. 

If the interviewer needs to get the drinks from another room you will get some more time to:

  • Gather your thoughts
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Look over your notes and CV/resume

A glass of water can act as a prop 

If you are asked a tricky interview question, you can take a sip of water to buy yourself some time to think of a strong answer. 

Many interviewees feel as though they need to give a response straight away. However, taking some time before answering can improve the quality of your answer. 

Drinking water during your interview will keep you hydrated

glass of water

A combination of being nervous and talking a lot can cause a dry mouth or throat. Drinking water during an interview can help to keep your vocal cords moist. 

Benefits of drinking water during an interview: summary 

In your next job interview, don’t feel apprehensive about drinking water. Take a bottle of water in your bag with you just in case you are not offered any. If you are offered water, take it. Even if you do not drink all of it, having it nearby to sip on can come in handy.  

If you have an interview coming up, book an interview coaching session with us! We will help you to improve your interview technique and help you to feel confident and ready for your upcoming interview. 

FAQs about drinking water during an interview

Is it OK to drink water during an interview? 

Yes, drinking water during an interview is ok. Ideally, you’ll take sips of water at appropriate times during the interview such as before or after being asked a question by the interviewer. 

Try not to drink water whilst the interviewer is asking you a question because you’ll want to show them that you are actively listening to the question being asked. This will involve giving the interviewer eye contact. 

Also, try not to drink excessive amounts of water during the interview as this may become distracting. 

Should you accept drinks during an interview?

Yes, accepting drinks during an interview is a good idea. The interviewer may offer a cup of coffee tea, water or even juice. There are many benefits of accepting a drink during an interview so it is worth it even if you do not finish your drink.

Unemployed with a Master’s Degree [What To Do Next]

You’ve embarked on furthering your education by studying for a Master’s. You hoped that this experience would give you the edge when it came to applying for graduate jobs. However, this hasn’t been the case and now you have found yourself unemployed with a Master’s degree.  

If you are in this situation, don’t worry, help is available.

In this post, we will share advice on how you can turn your master’s degree into a career that is right for you.

Master’s degrees and employability 

Unemployed with a Master's Degree

It is important that we first talk about the effect of a master’s degree on your employability. Then we will cover what you can do to find work as a graduate. 

“I have a master’s degree and no job.” If this statement resonates with you, maybe one of the main reasons you did your master’s was to improve your employability. 

However, this is not always the case. 

Employability can be defined as the quality of being suitable for paid work.

All university courses are designed to give students the opportunity to develop employability skills regardless of what degree they study. 

Some examples of skills you’ll gain at university include teamwork from working on group assignments and communication from writing essays. 

Therefore, having a degree, undergraduate or postgraduate, isn’t a differentiator. Or in other words, it won’t necessarily help you to stand out. Having varied work experiences and being able to articulate how you have developed your skills will impress graduate recruiters.

Furthermore, the majority of graduate jobs and graduate schemes have a minimum requirement of a 2:1 at undergraduate level.

So to summarise, having a master’s degree doesn’t make you stand out amongst other candidates with master’s. Secondly, the majority of graduate recruiters ask for a minimum of an undergraduate degree. Once these entry requirements have been met, employers will be more interested in a candidates ability to demonstrate skills and competencies. Having work experiences helps candidates to do this. 

The exceptions

There are a few cases in which having a master’s may help you to get a job

  1. You did a master’s degree that has given you specialist knowledge for a specific role.

    Around 10% of graduate jobs are classified as being specialist roles. Graduate employers hire graduates with specialist degrees for their specific knowledge.

    A few graduate jobs ask for a master’s degree in a specific subject.

  2. You didn’t get a 2:1 at undergraduate level 

Some companies state that if candidates did not achieve a 2:1 in their bachelor’s degree then they accept a 2:2 with a master’s degree.

However, this is not always the case so it is important to do research. 

What to do if you are unemployed with a master’s degree 

Now we will share some tips on what to do if you have a master’s degree but can’t find a job. The advice we share is action-based which means implementing it will help you. 

Identify your career typology 

The first thing to do if you are unemployed with a master’s degree is to identify your career typology.

All graduate jobs can be classified into three categories:

  • Communicator
  • Knowledge architect 
  • Specialist 

To find out your career typology, read page 65 of The Student Book. It will help you with your job search by helping you to determine what sort of job is right for you. 

Tip: Before you apply for a job, work out which of the three career typologies you align with most. Once you have done this, you will be able to narrow down your job search. This will be very helpful if you don’t know what to do after graduation from university

Think about your employability skills

According to the confederation of British Industry (CBI), there are nine skills that are essential for employability. These are:

  • Numeracy 
  • Information technology 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Communication 
  • Business awareness 
  • Team working 
  • Self-management 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Resilience

Chapter 2 of The Student Book explains each of these key skills. 

Just because you are unemployed after uni, it doesn’t mean that you are unemployable. This is because you have a set of skills. 

It is vital that you demonstrate your skills throughout the entire graduate recruitment process. 

Task: For each of the nine key employability skills above write a few lines explaining how you have demonstrated these skills in the past. 

You may have demonstrated these skills for full time or part-time work, internships or shadowing experience.   

If you do not have any work experience start searching for some work experience that will allow you to gain and develop your skills

Brush up on your interview skills 

If you keep failing interviews you will definitely benefit from some interview coaching. Interview coaching will teach you lifelong skills such as verbal communication and presentation skills as well as helping you to boost your confidence and beat interview nerves

We also have an online interview course called: “Nail that Interview”. The course condenses our learnings from over 20 000+ hours of learnings over the past 10 years. Try the first module for free.

Get help 

We can help you to get a job after your master’s degree.

We offer a six stage one-to-one coaching programme. It is designed to not only help you to find a job but to find the right job for you. Navigating the graduate job market can be tricky but with the right help, the process can be a lot easier. 

During the course, you will discover your career path, improve your CV, learn how to write effective cover letters and ultimately land a graduate job.

Over the past decade, we have helped several graduates who were unemployed with a master’s degree to get a graduate job. 

Unemployed with a master’s degree: summary

We know that it can be stressful being an unemployed graduate especially if you have invested extra time and money into attaining a master’s degree. 

Regardless of your situation, all hope isn’t lost. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to get a graduate-level job, and there’s help available. 

If you would like more information on how we can help you, do not hesitate to contact us

Graduate Coach Prospectus 2020

Our complete guide to how we help graduates turn their degrees into great careers – what we do and how we do it.

Worried About Getting A Job After Graduation? Read this

Are you feeling worried about getting a job after graduation? If you are, you’re not alone. In this post, we will outline the main reasons why students and graduates worry about getting a graduate job and share tips on what to do to beat your employability anxiety. 

Why students and graduates feel worried about getting a job after graduation 

Here are the main reasons why you might be feeling worried about getting a graduate job:

Not knowing what career path to pursue 

Recent graduates struggle to find a job after university because they don’t know what career path is right for them. This uncertainty makes many students and graduates worry about their future and career prospects. 

Until now, your education has provided a level of structure. Lessons have been planned out and you’ve had a timetable to follow. However, once you graduate, the numerous different routes you can take may make you feel overwhelmed. 

Some graduates panic after graduation and apply for as many jobs as they can without thinking about what path is right for them.

Without having adequate careers advice or graduate career coaching, navigating your job search can be very difficult. Some graduates even experience depression after university or report feeling lost.

Concerned about the application process 

Applying for jobs can be a lengthy process. Most graduate job applications require candidates to fill out an online application, complete online tests, conduct video interviews and attend an assessment centre.  

You may be feeling particularly apprehensive about one or more stages of the graduate job process. The good news is that with practice and the right help, you can drastically improve the quality of your applications and subsequently your chances of landing a job. 

During the application process, you will need to know how to write a graduate CVand cover letter and how to nail your interviews

Lack of work experience 

If you feel as though you do not have enough relevant work experience you may worry about your chances of getting a graduate job. 

Having some work experience under your belt really helps you to demonstrate your skills and competencies to potential employers. 

We have put together a blog post sharing advice on how to get a graduate job with no experience because many candidates are left wondering how they will be able to get experience without having any experience. 

Some graduates assume that their part-time job isn’t relevant. However, this is far from the truth as graduate recruiters will be interested in the transferable skills you have gained such as the ability to balance your studies with work. 

The idea of having a full-time job for the first time and adapting to a change in lifestyle makes some people feel a bit worried. The Graduate Book by Chris Davies, the founder of Graduate Coach outlines everything you need to know to do really well at work. 

Fear of getting rejections

Nobody likes getting rejected. However, receiving rejections is a good way to gain feedback and gain a better understanding of your strengths and the areas you can improve. 

The job market for graduates is highly competitive. Some graduates apply for several jobs before landing a job. 

Accepting that you may face rejections whilst job hunting and understanding the positives you can derive from getting a rejection can help you to worry less. 

Many graduates feel panicky about the idea of not being able to get a job straight away after university. Some graduates don’t find a graduate job after one year, some may take longer. 

However, everyone’s journey is different and it is important that you do not get into the habit of comparing yourself to your peers. 

What to do if you are worried about getting a job after graduation 

Taking action is one of the best ways to beat worry when it comes to getting a graduate job. There are many things you can do to improve your employability and alleviate anxiety. 

If you are still at university, don’t wait until you have graduated to start thinking about your career. If you have already finished your studies, check out our post on what to do after graduation.

Work out your career typology 

Before you set out on your quest to find work, first work out what your career typology is. 

All graduate jobs can be divided into three typologies:

  • Specialists
  • Knowledge architects
  • Communicators 

Understanding which of the three career typologies align with you the most will help you to navigate your graduate job search. 

Think about your employability skills 

Despite what you have studied at university, you will have gained and developed a wide range of employability skills. 

There are six key skills that all graduate employers will look for in candidates. 

These six skills include: 

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving 
  • Organising and planning 
  • Professionalism
  • Using your initiative 

Spend some time thinking about how you have acquired and developed these skills. 

Being able to demonstrate these key employability skills throughout the application process is really important. 

Boost your CV with work experience

If you are worried about getting a job after graduation, be sure to get as much work experience as you can. 

Work experience is going to significantly boost your CV and give you examples to talk about during your job interviews. 

There are many ways that you can get work experience:

I hope you have found this post useful! The best way to alleviate your worries about getting a job after graduation is to take action. 

Sometimes worry and uncertainty can lead to procrastination. However, if you take a strategic approach to your graduate job search and get the right guidance, you’ll find the process of finding a job smoother.

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing your First Business

Need help getting the word out about your new business? Jonathan Birch is Creative Director at the digital marketing agency Glass Digital. Along with his team, he’s overseen successful marketing campaigns for countless businesses, from small start-ups to major household names. Plus, as a co-founder of the company, he knows exactly what it’s like in those hectic early days. In this article, he explains what you need to do to start marketing your new business venture. 

If you’ve taken the plunge and started your own business fresh out of uni, then congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step towards forging a rewarding career as your own boss.

Of course, the hard work isn’t over just yet: the first few years are almost always the most challenging for any business, and your decisions during this key period can often make — or break — your company.

Plus, with so much competition out there, it can be very challenging to stir up a buzz and get your name out there. So, it’s essential that you come up with a great marketing strategy as soon as you can. 

In this article, I’ll share the basic principles of creating a successful marketing campaign, so you can get your business off to a flying start.  

Create a detailed strategy 

Work out a detailed marketing strategy before you get started.

This should cover exactly what you want to do and when including how you’re going to prioritise your time and spending as your business grows.

Leave no stone unturned: you want to explore every plan, idea, and goal you have for your marketing in as much depth as possible. It can help to create quantifiable, time-sensitive objectives (e.g. ‘we will have 500 followers on Instagram by the final quarter’) as these will give you a clearer idea of what you need to be doing and when.

It will also make it easier to measure the success of your strategy later on. 

I’d strongly recommend setting out clear guidelines for your branding at this stage. For instance, what tone of voice will you use in your marketing materials and on-site content? What sort of colours, fonts, and design details best fit the ethos and attitude of your company?

Making these decisions now will help to keep your branding consistent further down the line. 

Set a budget and prioritise your spending 

Student life means living on a tight budget, and running a start-up is very similar. You’re probably going to be counting every penny during your first year or two of trading, so you need to work out a budget for your marketing, and make sure you don’t overspend.

Once you’ve got your marketing strategy sorted, create a list all of your focus areas, and do a bit of research to create some cost estimates for each area of your plan (like your website, social media, online ads, and so on). This should give you an idea of which tactics and ideas are financially feasible for your company.

It may be that some of your goals are a little ambitious for you just yet, but you may be able to achieve them as your revenue increases. 

When you’ve narrowed your budget down to your essentials, you can create sub-budgets for every aspect of your marketing, which should help you to avoid overspending. You can always scale up your plans if revenue increases faster than you first estimated. 

Get your site sorted 

Whatever industry you specialise in, it’s likely that your website will be the first port of call for prospective customers, so you need to make sure it makes a great impression.

Your site will also be the foundation for a number of other marketing techniques as your company grows, so it makes sense to get it shipshape from the outset. 

Ideally, you want your site to load quickly and look great, with consistent branding. And, make sure it’s mobile-friendly: nearly half of all web page views take place on smartphones these days (Statista), so you want to make sure you can capture that traffic.

All of these points are also essential for search engine optimisation so, if you want to add an e-commerce element to your business, this will be particularly important further down the line. 

Make the most of free tools 

You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to market your business, and there are plenty of free online tools you can take advantage of.

Blogging and email newsletters are both free, and you can put those skills you learned writing essays at uni to good use, which is great for those early days when you’re running on a shoestring budget.

If you have a brick and mortar premises, you’ll also want to fill out your Google My Business profile, as this will help you to get listed on Google Maps, so you appear for local searches. 

A social media presence is a must-have for any business nowadays: it allows you to showcase your products or services, keep in touch with your customers, and strengthen your brand identity.

So, you’ll definitely want to set up Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles for your company if you haven’t already. Remember to stick to the branding guidelines I mentioned earlier when creating your profiles to ensure consistency, and try to update them as often as you can. 

As the co-founder of a business, I know what a big step it can be to strike out on your own, especially for a recent graduate. But, with a great marketing strategy under your belt, and plenty of passion and determination for good measure, you should stand every chance of success.

Jonathan Birch, co-founder of Glass Digital

If you need any help making decisions after university, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Graduate Coach.