Everything you need to know about using a recruitment agency for the first time

If you’re looking for your first role after graduating from university or college, you should try to use any resource you can, especially in a tough job market.

Did you know that using a recruitment agency is completely free and can help put you in front of fantastic employers in your field?

At Tiger Recruitment, we can help you find graduate jobs available, even though the pandemic has meant that some roles have been put on hold.

Below is our complete guide to using a recruitment agency for the first time, what to look for in a great agency and tips to help you get the most out of the experience. 

This is a guest post by Rebecca Siciliano, the Managing Director of Tiger Recruitment.

What is a recruitment agency? 

A recruitment agency matches businesses and private individuals with potential job seekers. A recruitment consultant acts as a sort of middleman between the job seeker and an employer throughout the hiring process, organising interview times and relaying feedback to the relevant party.

If you’re a job seeker, this is an entirely free service – all you have to do is register with the agency and they will do the work for you. When a placement is finalised, it’s the company who pays the agency for helping them find a fantastic employee. 

How do I know if an agency is right for me?

There are hundreds of different recruitment agencies out there. Depending on the role or the industry you want to work in, you can register with either a generalist or specialist agency to help. 

For example, Tiger focuses on business support, private household, hospitality, virtual and HR recruitment. We specialise in roles like personal assistants, executive assistants, receptionists and office managers, alongside staff for private households, hospitality establishments or HR teams.

We are also industry-agnostic, whereas other recruitment agencies may focus on one particular industry, like media or finance. Do your research to find the best agency for your intended career path. 

It’s important that your consultant listens to your preferences and aims to match you with a role to suit your personality as well as your skills.

This is important as you’re so much more than your CV! Look for agencies that have good testimonials from other job seekers, or ask around in your own circle to see if anyone you know has had a great experience with an agency. 

Benefits of using a Recruitment Agency

There are many benefits to enlisting the help of an agency throughout the recruitment process.

First, your consultant will support you with moral support and coaching at every stage of the job hunt, from the first interview until you sign your employment contract (and beyond)!

It will also save you time, as your consultant will work to find roles that suit you, rather than you having to scour job boards and send hundreds of individual applications. 

As some employers exclusively use recruitment agencies to source particular roles, it’s possible your consultant will put you forward for a position you wouldn’t otherwise have had access to.

Lastly, many job agencies offer support and resources for job seekers, which is extremely helpful for graduates entering the job market for the first time.

Whether you’re looking for CV and career advice, interview training or professional development opportunities, a good recruitment consultant will be able to help you.  

How do I register? 

The registration process differs slightly for every agency, however, you will usually submit an initial enquiry online if you’re interested in registering.

If they feel your experience is suited to their clients and roles, they will then invite you in for a face-to-face registration.

This is usually a 30-minute chat where your consultant will talk through your CV and ask questions about your experience and achievements. 

They will also use the opportunity to find out what you’re looking for in a role, including the types of companies you’d like to work for.

This allows them to gain an understanding of what environment you’re best suited to working in.

It’s not unusual for them to ask you to bring certain documents to your registration, like your passport (to prove you have the right to work in the country), or other qualifications. 

What happens after I’ve registered?

After your registration interview, your consultant will upload your details into a database. This will allow you to be considered for any vacancies called into the agency that fit your skills and preferences.

If you’re applying for a business support role, you may be asked to complete skills testing to assess relevant skills such as touch-typing or Microsoft Office proficiency. 

If your consultant finds a role they want to put you forward for, they will check with you to make sure you want to be considered for a position. A consultant should never share your details with an employer without first asking your permission.

Generally, a shortlist of three-five candidates is then sent to the company seeking to hire. From there, they will make the decision to invite you in for an interview with them. 

Agency etiquette

When using a recruitment agency, it’s important to follow a few rules of etiquette to ensure your consultant puts your forward for as many opportunities as possible.

Firstly, keep your interview slot with the agency – if you’re late or you cancel at the last minute, it may lead them to believe you’re unreliable. It’s also a good idea to dress smartly for your agency interview and have a positive attitude (think of it as a practice run for future job interviews). 

Next, make sure to return phone calls from your consultants in a timely manner, as they need to be able to act quickly with the client in order to stay ahead. This is also an indicator of your enthusiasm for a role and will encourage your consultant to put your forward for the opportunity. 

Finally, if your consultant puts your forward for an interview with a client, you should conduct your own research into the company and interviewer. Alongside this, make sure you read the interview brief and job spec carefully, as this will allow you to be as prepared as you possibly can be. 

lady using a recruitment agency service

Tips on how to work with an agency and secure your dream role 

  • Make sure you’re in regular contact with your recruitment agency via email, updating them on any changes to your circumstances
  • Always check your agency’s website to see the current roles they have on their books 
  • Follow your recruitment agency on social media as they will post job listings that may interest you, as well as resources to help you with your job hunt 
  • Take some time to ensure your CV is polished and well-formatted so it stands out from the rest
  • When you’ve been to the interview, call your consultant and give them feedback so they can pass it on to the client
  • Once you’ve been presented with a job offer, give your answer to your consultant and return any contracts or paperwork as soon as possible

Finding your first full-time role can be daunting, especially given the current situation and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, by partnering up with a fantastic recruitment agency, they will be able to offer you the help and support you need to navigate your job hunt. 

Author bio: Rebecca Siciliano is the Managing Director of Tiger Recruitment, a consultancy that specialises in business support, HR, private, hospitality and virtual recruitment.

Tiger Recruitment is headquartered in London with offices in Dubai and New York.

Following Up After A Job Interview [4-steps]

Once you have completed a job interview, it feels like the hard work is done. A huge exhale of breath is usually followed by introspection at how the interview went.

You run over in your mind all the good things that you did, but of course, it’s human nature to dwell a little longer on the mistakes that you felt you made along the way.

And then you wait. You wait for a phone call, or you wait for an email to let you know if you have secured the job or not. Except, maybe this is not the right way to go about things. Maybe there are certain steps you should have followed after the job interview was completed.

In this guest post by Ellie Coverdale, we share four proactive steps for following up after a job interview. 

1. Find out the next steps before the interview is over 

During your interview, it’s a good idea to ask the interviewer what the next steps are.

This is an effective approach for two reasons. Firstly, you are showing an element of nous and organisation in asking this question. Now, not asking it is not going to work against you as such, but enquiring does show an important bit of gumption.

The second benefit to taking this approach is that you now know, or at least have a good idea, what the next step will be.

So you know how long you will probably have to wait, and you will know if you need to do anything (be proactive) or simply wait by the phone. It clarifies the next step in your mind, which can never hurt.

Pass your next interview

2. Send a ‘thank you’ note 

Really? Well, not a physical note, obviously, but an email to the person you were dealing with before the interview was conducted to thank them for their time and for meeting with you.

“Sending a ‘thank you’ note may seem a little old-fashioned, but that is just one of its charms. The fact that perhaps not a lot of people do this anymore will stand you out from the crowd, and anything that does that in a positive way had to be a good approach to take,” recommends Charlie Kravtitz, a career blogger at Academized and Stateofwriting.

You may find it useful to find a ‘thank you email template’ online. Generally, in your thank you email, you will:

  • Thank the person and company for meeting with you.
  • Reiterate that you are interested in the position.
  • Cover any points that you feel you failed to cover and provide any relevant additional information


  • As a rule of thumb send out your thank you note within 24 hours.
  • Don’t forget to use an eye-catching subject line.
  • After every interview, send a follow-up email.

That doesn’t mean regurgitating what is on your CV, of course. But anything that you wish you had said in the interview but didn’t can now be included in the email, so it’s a good way of rounding everything off. Try it. Oh, and make sure you do it quickly too.

3. Ask if you can connect via social media

Another question that you should ask in the interview itself, or you can include in the ‘thank you’ note, is to enquire as to whether you can connect with the company via the right social media channel, which to all intents and purposes here, is probably LinkedIn. The company’s other channels are for marketing, and so anyone can follow and like the company there, but LinkedIn is different. 

“LinkedIn is something a little more focussed on recruitment and B2B. Getting in this way keeps you fresh in the company’s mind, and just reconfirms your proactiveness and desire to get the job,” says Piers Cuelmo, a business writer at BigAssignments and AustralianHelp.

Connecting with the hiring manager

4. Check-in

Even if you have been told that the company will contact you, after a certain period of time has elapsed, it’s certainly not a bad idea to check in once more.

Obviously doing it too quickly will show that you are a little overeager, which could count against you, but certainly after a week or so it’s no bad thing to follow up with an email or a phone call to simply ask at what stage of the process the company is at in its decision making.


How do you inquire about a job after an interview?

So you’ve already sent your thank you email and you haven’t heard back, even though they told you that you’d know the outcome by now.

What should you do? At this point, it is worth sending out a follow-up email to inquire about the job.

They may well have given the job to another candidate however, it is possible that their recruitment process may have been delayed or the team is still in the middle of their decision-making process.

Enquire by sending an email reinstating your interest in the job and asking when you are likely to receive an update.

Whilst waiting to hear back, be sure to continue your job search.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! Feel free to reach out to us here at Graduate Coach if you are currently on the hunt for your dream job – we can help you. Check out our 1-2-1 coaching programme or our interview coaching programme page for more information.

If you are a job seeker currently looking for a new job check out these related blogs posts:

Ellie Coverdale is a lifestyle writer at EssayRoo as well as at UKWritings. She has been involved in many projects down the years, which she has taken valuable learning experiences from, and she also teaches writing at BoomEssays.

Stuck in a dead-end job with a degree? [There’s Hope]

Are you stuck in a dead-end job with a degree? If you are, you’re not alone. In fact, 48% of graduates end up being underemployed. Furthermore, 50% of graduates change their job after 2 years. If you’re in this situation, don’t despair- there’s hope, and we can help. 

It can be extremely frustrating when your current role isn’t aligned with your professional goals and career aspirations. The quickest way to discover your career path and re-energise your career is to get help from an experienced graduate coach. 

We have helped hundreds of graduates to escape from dead-end jobs and land graduate-level jobs at great companies.

Why you may be feeling stuck in a dead-end job even though you have a degree

Here’s why you might be feeling stuck in a dead-end job as a graduate:

  • After graduating, you took a job mainly for the money and to gain some experience but now you feel like you can’t leave.
  • You ‘panic applied’ for jobs after university and took the first offer you got without fully understanding the role.
  • The role isn’t challenging anymore and you have become comfortable at work. You don’t like this feeling but you are apprehensive to leave.
  • You feel as though your skills are becoming outdated and would like a role with more training and development opportunities.

Stuck in a dead-end job? Here’s how to escape with the help of a graduate coach

Here at Graduate Coach, we help students, graduates and career changers to turn their degree into a graduate career.

A graduate coach is a type of career coach who specialises in helping students, graduates and career changers with a degree to get the right graduate job. In order to achieve this, a graduate coach will help with everything from writing an achievement-based CV to teaching candidates how to perform highly in job interviews. 

Here’s how a graduate coach can help you to get a high-quality graduate-level job that is right for you: 

Identify your valuable skills

You will have gained a wide variety of transferable skills from your current role. Graduate recruiters will be particularly interested in finding out more about the skills you have and how you acquired them. 

There are 9 key employability skills that all graduate employers will expect graduates to have. 

The experience and skills you have gained so far will give you a competitive advantage when it comes to applying for graduate-level jobs. 

When candidates sign up for our 1-2-1 coaching programme we work with them to complete an audit of their current skills. This is a great starting point.

With our help, many candidates realise that they have many more skills and experiences than they thought. We then help graduates to understand why and how their skills and experiences are valuable to employers. 

Work out your career type

There are three career typologies for graduate jobs. Once you have worked out your career typology it will help you to identify what job roles would be right for you.

The diagram below illustrates the three different career typologies.

graduate job types

We help graduates to identify their graduate job typology, then explain which jobs would be right for them. This helps them to drastically narrow

Learn how to write a graduate CV and effective cover letter

Next, it’s time to work on your CV and cover letter. Getting these two documents right is vital.

They need to be good enough to convince the recruiter that you have the skills and competencies

As you have already gained some experience, you will find it much easier to craft both your CV and cover letter.

Here at Graduate Coach, we advise candidates to craft an achievement-based CV. This type of CV emphasises how you have used your skills to add value to the companies they have worked for.

Navigate the job search

The job search can be extremely overwhelming. It can be even more challenging if you are currently employed.

When the steps above are completed properly, navigating your job search will be much more strategic.

You will probably complete the majority of your job search online.

The Google job search tool makes it much easier to find relevant job vacancies. The tool lists job openings from around the web, based on the search term you enter.

Get interview training 

Being able to perform highly in interviews is a vital skill.

We offer interview coaching to graduates. Interview coaching is a wise investment as the skills and techniques you learn will stay with you for the rest of your career.

We guarantee success! 

We guarantee success with our 1-2-1 career coaching programme. Once you have landed your graduate job, we will continue to mentor you so that you can thrive in your new role. 

We hope this post has helped you if you feel as though you are stuck in a dead-end job with a degree. If you would benefit from our coaching services, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

If you are stuck in a dead-end job with a degree, get in touch with us. We can help you with our one-to-one coaching sessions (in-person or online), online courses and our books.

5 tips for finding the perfect outfit for your office Christmas party

Your work Christmas party is a fantastic opportunity to get dressed up and have a great time with your colleagues but finding the perfect outfit can be a difficult feat. Here, Steve Cochrane, Managing Director of designer clothing retailer Psyche, shares his top tips for dressing for the office Christmas party this year.

The festive season is almost upon us! And, as everybody begins to get into the Christmas spirit, your company is sure to have announced their plans for the office Christmas party.

Whether you’re headed to a formal sit-down dinner or your employers want to make the most of the impressive company office space with a party in the office, you’ll want to be dressed to impress. 

Here, I will be sharing my tips for putting together a Christmas office party outfit that’ll get heads turning. 

1. Refer to your invite

Before you begin planning your outfit, it’ll be important to consider your Christmas party invite. Some employers will set a dress code which will be included on the invite, but if not, knowing the details of where you’re going can help you to plan the most suitable outfit.

After all, nobody wants to be the person who is blindingly obviously under- or over-dressed for the occasion. 

As well as the location, you should take the time of day into account. If your office Christmas party is going to take place during lunchtime, it probably isn’t appropriate to be dressed in your best suit or your most dazzling high heels.

So, pay attention to the details sent over by your employer, even if no dress code has been mentioned. 

Pair of Brown Leather Casual Shoes on Table

2. Dressing for a formal festive dinner

If your company are hosting a formal sit-down dinner to celebrate the end of a successful year working together, your outfit should match the setting. 

For posher occasions, men should consider a well-fitting blazer which is complemented by a crisp shirt and tailored trousers.

When it comes to footwear, dress shoes can nicely tie together your sophisticated aesthetic, but if the occasion is slightly more relaxed than this, a polished pair of brogues can have the same effect. Finish off your outfit with a designer belt and pair of cufflinks to add little touches of luxury to your look. 

For women, I’d suggest opting for a slightly longer cocktail dress than usual, perhaps in a midi style. Alternatively, a quality maxi dress will look beautiful and suit the occasion perfectly.

As you’ll be sat down, you can consider wearing higher heels than if the party involved a lot of dancing. However, if heels aren’t your style, a sparkling pair of ballet pumps can help to tie together your festive look. And, don’t forget a stunning bag to match your outfit.

A luxury clutch can perfect your look and will serve as an investment piece you’ll be able to wear time and time again. 

Black Framed Eyeglasses On White Jacket And Blue Denim Bottoms

3. Dressing for a lunchtime Christmas party

A lunchtime Christmas party is likely to be a more casual occasion than a formal sit-down meal, as it’s traditionally a more relaxed mealtime than dinner. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your outfit and dress to impress — just check the website of the place you’ll be eating to figure out the vibe before you plan your outfit. 

For both men and women, a quality, well-fitting pair of jeans teamed with a shirt or a blouse will look great and tick the unwritten smart-casual dress code that most lunch places have. If it’s a little chilly outside, you can even layer a stylish knitted jumper over the top to keep warm.

You can never go wrong with a leather jacket, and investing in a high-quality, designer one can certainly add to your look. 

Shoes can be tricky when dressing for a lunchtime Christmas party, as you want something comfortable and appropriate for the daytime, but nothing that’s too casual. For this reason, I’d advise against athleisure trainers, and instead suggest opting for fashion trainers that don’t look as sporty.

Alternatively, loafers or casual brogues can be a good option for men, while ballet pumps or court shoes with a smaller heel can nicely finish a woman’s outfit.

Woman Wearing Peach Dress and Black Jacket's Left Hand Closeup Photography

4. Dressing for an after-work pub party

Knowing what to pack for an after-work party can be unnerving, but when you’re just headed to the pub, it’s likely that you can go in some of your best casual wear. 

Men should stick with a quality pair of jeans and team it with a long-sleeved T-shirt or casual shirt along with some fashion trainers or brogues. Although your outfit should be a bit more pared down than it would be at a formal dinner, don’t let it put you off from wearing patterns and prints to show your personality. 

Similarly, women can wear jeans teamed with an embellished or satin top and some court shoes. However, if you’re looking to dress a tad smarter, a woollen skirt with tights with a polo neck tucked in can look great at this time of year.

For accessories, I’d suggest a mini shoulder bag to hold your essentials and add detail to your look — especially if you pick a statement one in a bold pattern. 

Pair of Brown Leather Wingtip Shoes Beside Gray Apparel on Wooden Surface

5. Dressing for an office party in the office

If your office party is actually being held in the office, you can wear whatever you’d like! However, as it’s your place of work, you may prefer to dress a little smarter.

For men, this can mean teaming a relaxed shirt with some tapered trousers and smart brogues, while women may choose to wear a midi-length dress with a smart jacket or cardigan over the top. 

No matter where your Christmas party is going to be held this year, you’re going to want to look the part. Follow my top tips for dressing to impress for the work’s office party and make it an evening to remember!

If you enjoyed this post, check out our post on ways to look more professional in your new job.

Looking for a new job in the new year?

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped 500+ students, graduates and career changers to land their ideal jobs at great companies.

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.

Applying for a Masters in the UK? Everything you need to know

We’ve put this guide together for international students who have made the decision to study for their Masters in the UK. 

This guide will help you to gain a better understanding of postgraduate qualifications in the UK. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about studying in the UK. 

1: You can apply to as many Master’s courses as you like 

It is vital that you conduct in-depth research into the courses that you wish to study. 

Create a spreadsheet listing all the courses that you wish to apply for. 

You can apply to as many postgraduate degree courses as you wish when you are applying to do a Masters in the UK. 

It’s a good idea to submit more than one applications to “spread the risk”, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket. 

Bear in mind that some universities will have an application fee which will vary across institutions. 

As some will require you to pay a fee to submit your application, it is very important that you conduct thorough research to ensure that you meet the entry requirements. 

The fee will be stated on the websites for the universities you wish to apply for. 

To apply to do a Masters in the UK you will submit your application directly to the university.

The tuition fees for international students will usually be listed on the course pages. If you can’t find the information regarding the fees do not hesitate to contact the admissions department. 

2. You’ll need to meet the academic entry requirements 

Most of the Master’s degrees at the top universities in the UK will require that you have a 2:1 (upper second class) in your Bachelor’s degree.

This is equivalent to getting a 3.0 to 3.5 GPA score. 

Some universities will accept applications if you have lower academic grades and if you experienced mitigating circumstances they will take this into account if you inform them.

The admissions team will also take into account any relevant work experiences that you have gained. 

Undergraduate degree classifications in the UK 

1:1 (First class) 70% and above

2:1 (Upper second class) 60 – 69%

2:2 (Lower second class) 50-59% 

3 (Thrid class) below 49% 

You’ll need to work out what you got in your Bachelors, to see if you meet the entry requirements for a Masters in the UK. 

3. There are different types of Masters degree in the UK 

  •  Master of Arts MA 
  •  Master of Sciences MSc
  •  Master of Philosophy MPhil
  •  Masters of Research MRes
  • Masters of Business Administration MBA

There are also a number of other postgraduate qualifications such as a postgraduate certificate or a postgraduate diploma.  

4. There will be English Language requirements 

Applying for a masters in the UK

If you wish to study for your Masters in the UK, your course will be taught in English. 

Therefore, as well as meeting the academic requirements of your course, you will also need to meet the English language requirements. 

If English is not your first language, or if you’re not from a majority English speaking country, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English Language skills. 

You’ll be able to demonstrate evidence of your English Language skills if you have: 

  • Completed a minimum of twelve months of academic education in a majority English speaking country. 
  • Undertaken a minimum of eighteen months of work experience in the United Kingdom. 
  • Completed a English language certification. 

It is important that you check the English Language requirements for every university as the requirements will vary. 

There are a wide variety of English Language qualifications that you can take in order to prove your English language skills. Some examples include:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 
  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English

It is important to check the required scores required by the universities you are interested in applying to. 

5: You’ll need to submit a personal statement and your CV 

Your CV (resume) will outline your education and your academic history. 

It is important that you tailor your CV for the course that you are applying for. Ensure that your CV is 1-2 pages long. 

Your personal statement needs to convince the admissions team that you will excel on the course. 

It must also explain your motivations for deciding to pursue higher education. 

6: All universities will have different tuition fees. 

Master’s degrees are not capped at a specific price in the UK. 

Therefore, the tuition fees will vary across institutions and courses. 

You may find that the more prestigious universities have higher fees. 

Most universities offer scholarships, therefore, be sure to check with each of the universities you are interested in to see if you are eligible. 

7: You do not need to study a Masters in the same subject as your undergraduate degree. 

When applying for your Masters, it is a good idea to include your career plans in your personal statement. 

You do not need to do a Masters in the same subject as your undergraduate degree. 

For example, if you studied Geography for your undergraduate studies, you could study Accounting and Finance for your Masters. 

It is important that you demonstrate a genuine interest in the course that you are applying for. 

Students studying Masters degrees get the opportunity to specialise in an area of interest. 

Whilst studying for your Masters it is a good idea to also work on improving your employability skills. 

8: Masters courses usually last 1 year 

There are different modes of study for Masters degrees in the UK. 

You can either study full time for 1 year or part-time for 2 years. 

If you are studying for a PhD, MBA or a DBA, the course duration will be longer. 

We hope this guide comes in handy if you have decided to study in the UK. 

If you are still considering if a master’s degree is the right decision for you, read our post called: “should I do a master’s?

For some help to secure a job in the UK after you graduate, get in touch with our graduate coaches here at Graduate Coach. 

We offer one to one coaching to help you to find the right graduate-level career.

Useful videos if you are considering studying for your Masters in the UK

A Third of UK Graduates Are Overqualified

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

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

The Numbers

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

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

Negative Psychological Effect on Employees

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

Are University Degrees Still Worth It?

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

The State of the Job Market 

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

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

4 Of the Best Tips for Writing a Winning Graduate CV from Your CV Consultant

An excellent graduate CV is the difference between getting a positive response from prospective employers and no response at all.

We’ll take you through 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV that demonstrates what you’ve accomplished in the past and indicates what you are capable of achieving in the future.

So if you need to write an accomplishments-based CV that makes you stand out from other candidates, keep reading!

➡️ Editor’s comments: For this post, we’ve collaborated with Chris Pennington, the Director at Your CV Consultant.

#1: Identify your Career Typology

Leaving University can be an exciting but also daunting time. After studying hard and taking your exams, entering the job market can feel like a large leap into a new world.

During this time, many graduates panic and apply for multiple jobs without taking the time to first assess their skills and work out what graduate job roles are right for them.

Chris Davies from Graduate Coach always advises candidates to do two key things before writing their graduate CV.

The first thing is to identify your career typology, as graduate jobs can be categorised into the following 3 groups:

  • Specialist: This category includes roles within fields such as engineering, science and medicine. These graduates are hired for their core expertise within a particular area.
  • Knowledge Architect: This category includes roles within consultancy, logistics, marketing, finance etc. Graduates are employed in these roles due to their ability to interpret data and deliver insights from them.
  • Communicator: Graduate roles within this category include account managers, salespeople and hospitality.

➡️ Action point: from this list, identify which of the three categories describes you best.

#2: Complete a Skills Audit

Once you’ve identified what career typology suits you best you’ll be able to identify suitable graduate roles.

With this knowledge, you can then perform a tailored skills audit.

➡️ Action point: Identify the job role that is suited to you. Then using job descriptions online compile all the skills and competencies you need to demonstrate in order to be successful in that role.

In a table format, list out the required skills and competencies in one column, and in the column next to it, using the STAR format, give an example of how you have demonstrated that skill in the past.

The STAR format

  • Situation – What was the situation that you or your employer faced?
  • Task – What tasks were involved in that situation?
  • Action – What actions did you take?
  • Result – What were the results of those actions?

Your completed skills audit will provide a solid foundation for you to write your achievements-based graduate CV.

#3: Writing your Achievement-based CV

The next step is to write your graduate CV. Your CV must convince the employer that you should be given the job that you are applying for. Think of it like a sales pitch.

You’ll want to include:

A Personal Statement – this is the first section the interviewer will see. Use it to attract attention. In a few short sentences, tell the employer who you are, what you are looking for and what you can offer in return.

Key skills and achievements – Try using powerful opening action verbs to describe each achievement you have completed in relation to your roles, and more importantly University experience.

Then follow up with impressive results or outcomes so your achievements can be measured, An example could be ‘Successfully transformed’ or ‘Inspired fellow classmates’.

These openings can then form the start of a bullet point where you can go on to state what was achieved. Think about writing your University experience like you would a job role.

This style can really help when entering the job market and it also shows the reader you have thought through what is needed from the CV.

Academic achievements – in this section you’ll need to include your degree grade.

You can also include other achievements that you gained whilst at university. Many graduates omit achievements from activities such as volunteering, marketing for the student union or organising an event for a society or club.

Non-academic achievements – Once you have your University and College experience on page one of the CV, then add any employment experience you have.

This can include placements you may have undertaken and also part-time or summer jobs.

Again, highlight what skills and achievements you have made and pick ones that would help in the role applied for.

As your career develops your work history will eventually move to page one above your education; so remember to keep your CV updated and change its style as you become more experienced.

4: Review the structure and formatting of your CV

How your CV looks on paper is very important.

Ensure that the typeface (font) and the font that you are using is consistent throughout your CV.

Conventional typefaces such as Times New Roman or Arial are best when it comes to writing your CV. Avoid using informal fonts such as Comic Sans.

When it comes to font size, you’ll want your name at the top to be larger than the rest of the text so that it stands out. You may also use a slightly larger font size for headings. The remaining body text should all be the same size and no smaller than size 11.

Final Thoughts From Chris Pennington, Founder of Your CV consultant

Once you have completed the steps above, review your finished CV. Then review it again!

It’s really important there are no spelling or grammatical errors as that can lessen the impact of the document.

You should now have a well designed, thought-provoking, and professional looking CV that showcases your skills and shows how you can benefit the company and role applied for.

If this is done correctly it can really help you stand out from the crowd and your University peers.

Your CV can then give you the edge so you can get those important interviews and all your University experience will have added depth to your history.

It may also have given you an advantage over more experienced applicants making YOU the ideal candidate for the role!

About Chris Pennington

Your CV Consultant was founded by Chris Pennington who has had a successful 15-year career within Financial Solutions Management and as a Personal Insolvency Specialist. Within this time he has built up experience within CV Assessment, Recruitment, Interviewing Candidates, and Career Coaching.

Nail That Interview Online Course

Once you have a winning CV, the next stage will be ‘the interview’. A CV is all about getting a candidate to this part of the process. Not everyone though is a natural or experienced at them. Interviews can be improved by practice. However, sometimes that is not enough. Your CV Consultant have therefore teamed up with Graduate Coach. Using their expertise, they offer a ‘Nail That Interview‘ course. We believe this course can make all the difference in getting offered the job you are looking for. Module 1 – I CAN do the job – contains the Graduate Coach Skills Audit and the 9 Employability Skills.

How to ensure your son or daughter lands a Graduate job!

Most of the parents we speak to believe that if their son or daughter gets a 1st or 2:1 from a good university, then it will guarantee a graduate job after University.

Sadly this is no longer the case.

With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1 with honours, a good grade no longer helps you stand out from the crowd. Many students work hard on their studies but neglect building the employability skills employers look for in graduates.

With 500,000 students graduating each year, how can you ensure your son/daughter gets ahead of the competition?

This article outlines how to help them land a great job, all is not lost!

But first of all, here’s a bit about Graduate Coach.

Who are we?

Over the past 9 years, the team here at Graduate Coach have helped students and graduates to transform their degrees into careers. We’ve helped 400+ people to land opportunities at great companies such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Google, Facebook, Walt Disney, Amazon The NHS, and many more.

How to help your son / daughter get a graduate job

1) Encourage them to get work experience

Why is work experience so essential to career success?

There are far too many graduates competing for too few graduate jobs. Some vacancies receive over 100 applications. For roles at Blue Chip companies, it can be well over 500.

As a result, employers only consider employing Graduates who can hit the ground running from day one. To hit the ground running you need extensive, demonstrable work or work-related experience.

  • 85% of graduate employers automatically reject candidates with no work experience
  • 91% of employers believe work experience is more important than a degree.

Work experience is vital for two reasons;

  1. It teaches graduates vital employability skills
  2. It helps graduates understand what they WANT to do as a career.

1.2) Employability skills

The infographic below shows you the nine key CBI employability skills that employers look for in Graduates.

You must encourage your son or daughter to acquire these life skills via work, volunteering, any other form of experience. Anything that enables them to demonstrate to employers that they are work ready.

But what happens if they have already graduated and don’t have these skills?

Essentially, they need to acquire these skills via a graduate level internship or any other form of employability/work skill acquisition. It’s quite acceptable to do a short stint as an intern after University.

1.3) What the Graduate WANTS to do

Graduate employers’ biggest frustration is that most Graduates do not know what they want.

How many of us went into a job blindly at the start of our career, only to realise that it didn’t suit us at all?

Years can be wasted, confidence lost, potential earnings lowered – the negative impact on our well being of working in the wrong job can be astounding. We have seen examples of these symptoms time and time again in the Graduates we coach.

The more work experience that a student/graduate has, the better they understand their preferences and values and thus; what their ideal career is.

They can, therefore, be clear with employers about their wants and desires for their career. The employer can have confidence that the graduate will put 100% into the role and are likely to commit to the job and stay for a number of years.

This is a huge area that most people overlook.

For these reasons, work experience is vital for your son and daughter.

2) How else can you help?

  • Encourage your son or daughter to find work experience that is related to their areas of interest and passions.
  • Consider your network, who could help them in these areas?
  • Encourage your son or daughter to activate and build their own network, former teachers, lecturers, re-contacting old acquaintances.
  • Contacting companies with a carefully prepared cover letter which highlights the skills they will bring to the company.

3) Hire a graduate coach

As your son or daughter grew up, they will have undertaken extracurricular activities such as learning a musical instrument or playing a sport. To help them learn the violin, you’d get them a music teacher, to excel as a tennis player, you would hire a tennis coach. More recently, to learn to drive, your son or daughter will have utilised a driving instructor.

Graduate coaching is no different. 

To land their dream graduate job, it makes sense to get them a graduate coach to help write excellent CVs, perform well in interviews, navigate their early career and more.

We are the UK’s leading Graduate Coaching company. Please schedule a call with our Head Coach and founder, Chris Davies at a convenient time for you.

Graduate Coach: What We Do

We help Graduates who struggle to secure a graduate-level job. We have seen countless examples of Graduates who have failed a couple of job applications and as a result, are now working in bars and coffee shops. This is a tragic waste of talent and ability.

Our mission is to help Graduates find the jobs that their education deserves.

We help Graduates to understand their unique strengths, skills and values and to select graduate job types that suit them best.

We also help guide students who are currently at university to build a career plan to increase their chances of securing a Graduate level job after graduation.

We offer a wide range of services to suit every budget from ebooks to 1-2-1 career coaching sessions. We invite you to check out our website for more information.

Our mission is to help as many students and graduates as possible. No matter what your son or daughter’s situation is, we are here to help.

Our Resources

  • Check out, and share our blog with your son or daughter. We share careers advice specifically tailored to students and graduates.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips on interviews and other career advice.
  • Our founder and Head Graduate Coach Chris has published 2 books. The Student Book is designed to tell your son or daughter everything they need to know to get a job. The Graduate Book helps Graduates to thrive in their career.
  • We offer a range or Online courses and 1-2-1 coaching as part of our core services.

Contact us via email or call 02070 149547 to find out more.