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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can 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.
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.
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.
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
King & Wood Mallesons
These virtual work experience placements are free and take around 6 hours to complete.
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.
Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped aspiring lawyers to enter the legal profession. Visit our one-to-one career coaching service.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
There are a few cases in which having a master’s may help you to get a job
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.