5 Ways to Boost your Online Presence as a Graduate

When you’re a recent graduate, the job hunt can be daunting, which is why social media can be a great start. Being visible online is a great way to boost your online presence and brand. Here, Chris Stappard, Managing Director of Edward Reed Recruitment, gives his top tips to help you boost your online profile as a graduate.

Social media is big part of modern life, but did you know it could help you out in your graduate job search? Not only will it give potential employers a chance to get to know you, but it can also help you to build connections and advertise your employability skills. But there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind when using social media during your job search, and I’ll be discussing them below.

Have separate professional and personal pages

Remember that recruiters and employers are going to be looking for someone that they’d like to represent their company, so posting those photos of your wild nights at university might not give off the best impression. Try to keep your professional accounts separate from your personal ones and remember to keep your personal account private. 

It’s often a good idea to keep different platforms for certain uses. LinkedIn was created to be a professional platform, but Instagram has very little use in job hunting. Twitter and Facebook can work for both professional and personal reasons, so you could consider creating two accounts on these platforms. And don’t forget your professional headshot to give a face to your profile.

Show off your desirable skillsets to boost your online presence

Social media is a chance for you to show off your qualifications and knowledge. As a rule of thumb, we usually recommend keeping your CV to one or two pages, but this can limit what you write, and you often end up writing a brief outline of only your most noteworthy achievements. But social media has no limits, so it gives you a chance to fill out your profile with every qualification, achievement, award and skill you’ve picked up. You’ve even got the option of adding external links to your profile, so don’t forget to link to your online portfolio or blog, too. 

It can also be a great idea to take a look at the profiles of other people in your industry to find what they’re putting on their profiles. There might be something on there that you’ve forgotten, or there might be a specific word or phrase that is making them more attractive to recruiters. Just remember to only add things if they’re true!

Don’t forget to showcase your personality

Recruiters and employers aren’t just looking for your valuable skills, but they’ll also want to make sure that your personality will be a good fit for the company. The downside of social media is that, with so many other pages showing the same thing, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of similar profiles. So, don’t be afraid to showcase a bit of your personality, too. 

This could be by adding a few of your favourite hobbies into your bio or telling the story of how you first became interested in the industry. Adding a dash of humour can help you to stand out, but within reason. Employers want to know that you’re respectable and trustworthy, so bear this in mind when posting things online.

Make connections in your industry

Another great thing about social media is that it not only lets you share your experience, but it also gives you the opportunity to reach out and make connections with other people in your industry. If you connect with people in companies and roles you’re interested in, they’re more likely to look to your profile if an opening comes up. Networking is a great way to boost your online presence.

Don’t forget to engage with these people as well. This way, you can develop professional relationships, as well as keep up to date with any industry news and show your dedication to your work. Plus, if you make great connections on LinkedIn, you’ve got the opportunity for people to offer a recommendation, which can give your profile more credibility. 

Get the most out of each platform

Different platforms have different benefits, but you should try to make the most out of each one in your job search. LinkedIn is a great place for people in a certain industry to connect and share industry news. It’s also a go-to place for recruiters and employers to look for potential candidates for a role and advertise their business.

Twitter is another great place to connect with businesses and share news in a more casual setting. However, it’s often more relevant for the creative industries that are less likely to use LinkedIn, like journalism and media roles. It’s also a great place for you to showcase any freelance work you do or share articles about interesting industry topics.

You may think Facebook should be reserved for friends, but the platform has unrolled a number of new features in recent years, many of which have gone unnoticed by users. For example, did you know Facebook has a job search? This lets employers advertise their open positions, and lets you find a job near you. You can even apply straight from your smartphone. 

How to boost your online presence: summary

Social media is a valuable tool for recruiters and employers, so you’ll need to develop your professional image online. But, when you’re fresh out of university, finding a job can be a difficult feat. By following the tips in this guide, you can create the perfect online presence to get your name out into the world and market yourself to potential employers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! If you are a student, graduate or career changer who is looking to land their dream job, find out more about our one-to-one career coaching.

Am I too old for graduate schemes?

If you graduated a while ago, but are interested in getting a place on a graduate scheme, you may be wondering “Am I too old for graduate schemes?”

In this post, we will help you to make informed decisions about your career and reassure you if you are concerned about your age.

Am I too old for graduate schemes? The short answer.  

In short, no. Whilst most candidates on a graduate scheme will be in their early 20s, you can complete your degree at any stage of your life. Therefore, if you were a mature student you’ll be eligible to apply for graduate schemes.

Mature graduates with relevant qualifications can offer valuable experience gained from working in different fields.

After all, it would be age discrimination if you were denied a place on a graduate scheme due to your age. Age discrimination is illegal in the UK. Furthermore, many companies are actively trying to increase the diversity of their graduate hires.

Am I too old for graduate schemes? A more detailed answer 

If you graduated several years ago, and have a few years of experience under your belt, some companies may encourage you to look at positions for experienced hires.  

This is because graduate schemes are designed for candidates with little or no work experience. 

Graduate schemes are highly structured training programs, often with rotational placements. 

Many recent graduates who aren’t quite sure of what they want to do after university benefit from gaining varied experience. 

However, this does not mean you cannot apply for a graduate scheme if you already have years of experience. 

Start by researching the companies that you are interested in applying to. 

You may find that some graduate schemes require candidates to have graduated within a certain timeframe such as 12 months. 

If this information isn’t on the website and you’d like to be sure if you are eligible before sending your application, don’t hesitate to contact the graduate recruitment team.

Assess your reasons for wanting to do a graduate scheme if you already have years of experience. 

Some people consider joining a graduate scheme if they are changing their career into a new field that they do not have experience in. 

A graduate scheme in the new field that you are interested in can help you to get your foot in the door. 

However, just because you are changing your career, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get an entry-level position. 

This is because you will have gained a range of transferable skills. You will be able to demonstrate your aptitude to learn quickly on the job.

Graduate scheme vs graduate job: Which one is best for you? 

too old for graduate schemes

A graduate scheme is a highly structured, full-time training programme that is designed for graduates with little or no work experience. 

They generally last for 1-4 years and some times require candidates to take formal qualifications or rotate around different areas of the business. 

On successful completion of a graduate, scheme candidates may be encouraged to apply for a permanent job at the company. Or the candidate might decide to find a job at another company.

Graduate jobs, on the other hand, are less structured and open for candidates who have a degree. You can apply for graduate jobs at any age or stage of your life, so long as you meet the entry requirements. 

Some inspiration 

Here’s a story by Becca Hulton, who successfully secured a place on a graduate scheme at Deloitte.

Becca had graduated 4 years before securing her place on the graduate scheme.

Andrew Jones, a graduate of the Open University was successful in landing a graduate job at Network Rail on the Engineering programme.

Andrew had 8 years of experience prior to taking on this graduate role.

If you still think you are too old for a graduate scheme, think again.

What to do if you are unsure of what to do 

Get in touch with us!

Here at Graduate Coach, we have helped mature students and older graduates to get the right job for them. 

Whether you are considering a career change, or are looking for your first graduate-level job we can help you. 

Am I too old for graduate schemes: summary 

We hope this post has helped you if you are considering applying for a grad scheme. 

When it comes to applying for graduate schemes, your age shouldn’t be an issue. There is no age limit for graduate schemes.

Recruiters for graduate schemes will be more interested in your work history/number of years of experience. 

If you already have a lot of experience, some companies may advise you to apply for other graduate roles.

This is because they are looking for candidates with little or no work experience to offer training to. 

Regardless of when you graduated or how old you are, we can help you.

We have helped candidates who struggled for several years after university to find a graduate job. We have also helped people with years of experience to transition into new fields and navigate their career change successfully.

Books for graduates who want to excel in their careers

The transition from education to employment can be difficult. Here are some books for graduates who want to get a head start and start their career off on the right foot. 

These books contain life lessons, advice and insights. If you know someone who has recently graduated, getting them one of these books would make a good graduation gift.

1. The Graduate Book

The first book on our list of books for graduates is The Graduate Book by Chris Davies.

The Graduate Book is a must-read for all graduates. It is for those wanting to create a successful future for themselves. 

It contains everything you need to know to do really well at work. 

The book is divided into 13 chapters. Each chapter contains a key tip and how graduates can implement it at work to maximise their performance. 

Chris Davies has been helping students and graduates to land their dream jobs for the past decade. He has condensed his learnings over the past ten years into his books and courses

If you or someone you know has recently graduated, getting them a copy of The Graduate Book will help them to thrive in their new role. 

2. Lean in for Graduates 

Books for graduates

Lean in for graduates is number 2 on the list of books for graduates. 

It was written by Sheryl Sandberg.

The book contains several tips for graduates including :

  • Adopting the mantra “proceed and be bold”
  • Shift from a what do I get to a what can I offer mindset
  • Negotiate wisely
  • Break long-term goals into short-term steps.
  • Listen to your inner voice

Sheryl Sandberg has enlisted the input of many other experts to bring together a diverse range of perspectives. 

3. There is life after college

Number three on this list of books for graduates is There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know about Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow, by Jeffrey Selingo 

There is life after college is a New York Times bestseller. 

It was written to help alleviate parents’ anxiety and prepare their college graduates for the real world of work. 

4. The Student Book 

The Student book was also 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. 

If you are a recent graduate, who is struggling to find a graduate job after university you’ll find this book incredibly useful. 

It covers everything from CVs and cover letters to improving your interview technique. 

You can purchase it directly from the publisher

5. The New Rules of Work 

The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career was written by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. 

Part one: What do I actually want? This section is all about uncovering your skills and discovering the world of exciting career opportunities. 

Part two: Making a move. This section is about getting the experience you need to get your dream position. 

Part three: Charting your course through the modern workplace. This section includes on-the-job tips. 

Should I do a Masters Degree?

So you’ve finished your undergraduate studies and you’re wondering: “Should I do a Masters?”

Deciding to do a Masters degree requires serious consideration.

Reasons not to do a Masters degree

Here at Graduate Coach, we advise people against doing a Masters degree if they are doing a Masters because they think it will:

  • Boost their employability and their chances of getting a graduate-level job.
  • Help you to progress faster in your career.
  • Make them stand out from the competition.

Too many people do a Masters because they think it will help them to get a job.

Chris Davies, Founder of Graduate Coach

Getting a Masters degree won’t necessarily boost your employability.

Graduate recruiters usually look for a minimum requirement of a 2:1 or a 2:2 undergraduate degree.

A few graduate recruiters also ask for specific A-level results or UCAS points as a part of their minimum requirements.

As long as you meet the minimum academic requirements, having a Masters degree won’t necessarily mean that you have more employability skills.

Here are the 6 key employability skills that all graduate recruiters will look for in applicants regardless of the role:

  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Organising and planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Professionalism
  • Working on your own initiative

You should be able to demonstrate that you have all of these employability skills with your undergraduate degree.

Once the minimum academic requirements have been met the graduate recruitment team will focus on a wide variety of other factors.

This is to determine the candidate’s suitability for the role and the company.

A candidate with an undergraduate degree and a range of work experiences may be able to put together a stronger application than a candidate with a Masters and little or no work experience.


Empathise with the employer. For the jobs you are considering applying for, research what matters most to them.

They will state this clearly on their website.

If you want to develop your employability skills, consider getting work experience rather than embarking on a costly degree.

If you are struggling to find a job after university, the answer is not always to continue with higher education.

Will a Masters help you to stand out from the competition?

At the very beginning of your graduate career, having a postgraduate degree won’t necessarily help you to stand out from the crowd.

This is because 334, 000 or 40% of graduates have a Masters degree so it has lost its currency.

In other words, having a Masters isn’t a discriminator.

Once you have met the minimum academic requirements and have got through the initial screening, your personality, life and work experiences will help you to stand out from the competition.

Being able to articulate what makes you unique and the value you can bring to the company will help you to stand out.

A Masters degree won’t necessarily help you to progress faster in your career

Having a Masters degree won’t necessarily help you to progress faster than someone with a bachelors degree if you join a graduate scheme.

If you are applying for a graduate scheme whether you have a Masters degree or not, you’ll follow the same programme.

If at any stage during your graduate career your employer sees a business need for you to get a Masters degree, they’ll fund you to do it.

Some companies even pay for their employees to complete MBA degrees or other postgraduate qualifications.

Likewise, if at any point you feel a Masters will help your career progression, you can raise a business case to get financial support from your employer.

Some graduates considering doing a Masters feel as though they would rather get it “out of the way now”.

However, there are different modes of study. So it is possible to embark on part-time study whilst working.

What is the exception?

There are some specialist roles that require graduates to have a Masters degree.

For example, if you wanted to specialise in Economics. Some roles in Economic consulting ask for a Masters.

However, it is important to check the requirements of roles you are interested in before embarking on your degree.

Tips for parents of university students

You are so proud of them! They worked so hard at college and earnt themselves a place at university! Packing your son or daughter off to university can be an exciting but slightly daunting time. Here are some tips for parents of university students.

1: Encourage them to focus on their employability as well as their academics

Whilst it is a distressing statistic, 48% of graduates never secure a graduate-level job and remain underemployed in jobs that do not require a degree.

We conducted a surveyed of 1500 graduates to find out why they struggled to get a graduate job

The survey revealed that:
90% found it difficult to work out what job was right for them
86% found it hard to write a graduate CV
85% find interviews difficult and nerve-wracking
85% admitted needing work experience before entering the workforce

Your son or daughter can increase their chances of successfully securing a graduate-level job after university by working on their employability whilst they study.

Action points:

-Encourage your son or daughter to get work experience and/or internships and a part-time job.

-Purchase a copy of The Student Book for them. It outlines everything you need to know to get the job you really want.
A degree alone is no longer enough to secure a graduate-level job.

Graduate recruiters expect graduates to leave university with the following 6 skills:

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

Gaining work experience will help your son or daughter, to be able to clearly demonstrate and articulate that they have skills useful for the workplace. This will boost their employability.

For more information, visit our page dedicated to parents.

We’ve put this as the first tip for parents of university students because employability is often overlooked.

2: Understand the academic support available to them

Most graduate schemes have a minimum entry requirement of a 2:1 degree.

Employers still do value academic achievement however, it is important to also gain experience as explained above.

Many students say that “first year doesn’t count” as the grades achieved in the first year doesn’t contribute to the final degree classification.

However, working hard in first year will help them to build a strong foundation for their second and final year at university.

First year is a good opportunity for students to develop the academic skills required for higher education such as researching and referencing.

If your son or daughter is having trouble adapting to their university studies remind them that they can:

Tips for parents of university students

-Visit their academic support centre.

Most universities have an academic support centre as well as a section on their website dedicated to academic support.

They will provide help with research skills, writing skills, study skills etc.

-Speak with the staff at their university’s library

The library staff can help students to locate books and resources related to their course.

If your son or daughter requires assistive technology, the library staff may also be able to help your son or daughter with that too.

-Attend office hours

Office hours will give your son or daughter the opportunity to speak with their lecturers face to face. If they are struggling with a particular area of their course attending office hours can be beneficial.

-Get the right support if they have or think they have learning difficulties

The disability services centre at your son or daughter’s university can help them to get the support they need.

3: Encourage them to be all-rounders

As well as a strong academic record and work experience, employers will be interested in your son or daughter’s extracurricular activities.

Encourage them to take up leadership positions for societies that they are interested in.

Other activities such as taking part in a sport, volunteering, learning a language or playing a musical instrument will help your son or daughter to stand out when it comes to applying for graduate jobs.

Furthermore, taking part in these additional activities will help them to get the most out of their time at university.

Whilst they may find the academic element of their university overwhelming at times, it is important that they manage their time effectively and pursue various other activities as employers will look for evidence of this.

4: What to do if your child wants to change course

If it is still early on in the term it may be easy to switch to another course. Advise them to book an appointment with their programme leader to see if they can switch to another course.

Unless your son or daughter wants to go into a vocational profession such as nursing, changing their degree subject shouldn’t have a major impact on their employability as many graduate programmes do not require a specific degree subject.

If your son or daughter is studying something that they enjoy, they may feel more motivated to work harder, increasing their chances of achieving higher grades.

5: Give them the space to settle into university life

Your son or daughter might be leaving home for the first time. This can be quite nerve-wracking for both parents and students.

Give them some space for the first few weeks to settle into their new lifestyle.

If you do want to check in, remind them to do important tasks that they might overlook such as registering to the local GP.

Tips for parents of university students: summary

We hope that these tips for parents of university students are useful.

The key takeaway from this post is to ensure that your son or daughter actively works on improving their employability whilst they are at university.

Before you go, here are 5 tips for parents of university students from a parents perspective by Leicester university.

Benefits of online career counselling for graduates

Are you unsure of what career is right for you? Do you want to progress rapidly in your career? If the answer to one of those questions is yes, you’ll definitely benefit from some online career counselling

What is online career counselling? 

Online career counselling involves consuming online resources that are designed to help you to secure and thrive in the right job that is tailored to your skills and interests. 

The beauty of online career counselling is that it allows you to digest content at your own pace and reflect upon how you’ll implement what you have learnt. 

What online career counselling resources do you offer at Graduate Coach? 

Here at Graduate Coach, we offer a wide variety of online career counselling resources designed for students, graduates and career changers.

Here’s a list of our online career counselling resources:

The Graduate Coach blog:

We have a wide range of blog posts covering topics relating to interview tips, job applications, career advice and more.

You can check out our blog here

Graduate Coach YouTube channel:

Our YouTube channel has a vast range of videos created by the founder of Graduate Coach, Chris Davies.

Check out our YouTube channel here and don’t forget to subscribe! 


We have two ebooks: The Student Book and The Graduate Book

The Student Book contains everything you need to know to get the job you really want. The Graduate Book outlines everything you need to know to do really well at work. 

Both of these books are available in Kindle and hardback formats. 

Online courses:

We take a two-pronged approach to our career coaching programmes.

Most of our coaching includes an element of online career counselling combined with a face-to-face element. 

The Nail that interview course brings together all the learnings we have gained over the past decade into 8 hours of content.

Find out more about our online interview course here.

Here are some of the benefits of online career counselling.

1: Helps you to discover your career path

Many graduates struggle to find a job after university

One of the reasons why many graduates struggle is because they don’t know what to do after university. 

There are several different graduate job titles on the market and it can become quite confusing if you are not sure of what career path to embark on.

Online counselling sessions can help students, graduates and career changers to discover what career is right for them and help them to make an informed career choice. 

We have an online course called: Discover your career path. The course helps candidates to identify their skills, interests and ambitions and to understand their career typology. 

Here’s a post on how to discover your career path after university that is published on CV-Library.

2: Gain lifelong skills 


-The art of performing highly in interviews is a skill that many people neglect.

-How to identify your skills 

Write an achievement-based CV 

Are all lifelong skills that will be beneficial throughout your entire career and working life.

Many of the candidates who have benefitted from our career counselling online have told us that was a short term investment for long term success.

3: Increases the chance of getting a graduate job

It’s a distressing fact, but 48% of graduates never secure a graduate-level job and remain underemployed.

We conducted some research to identify why graduates struggle to get graduate-level jobs. Here’s what our research uncovered:

-Determining what job they should do

-Writing an effective CV

-Being successful in an interview 

Career counselling is designed to address all of the struggles outlined above and more.

4: Helps you to thrive in the workplace

For many graduates starting their first job after university can be very daunting.

We equip graduates with everything they need to know to perform highly in their career.

If you want to learn how to do really well in the workplace, get yourself a copy of The Graduate Book.

online career counselling

Benefits of online career counselling for graduates: summary

Many students progress through their time in formal education without ever seeing career counsellors. 

Without any guidance, it can be really difficult for grads to navigate different career options.

Through counselling and coaching graduates for the past decade, we have shown how beneficial it can be in helping candidates to thrive in their early careers. 

Find out more about how we have successfully helped 500+ students and graduates over the past decade. 

Speak to a career consultant today!
Book an appointment with the Founder of Graduate Coach, Chris Davies.

How to coach yourself into the right career

With so many different graduate career choices on offer how can you reduce the chances of choosing badly? Our blog on how to coach yourself into the right career can help. 

Many graduates invest great energy into the process of finding a job without giving due attention to the most important step in choosing the right career, which is to get to know yourself.

Of course, you have an idea of what you like and dislike and, perhaps, your strengths and weaknesses, but there are different levels of self-awareness which, once achieved, can help you to make the right career choice.

Why is this key?

Your career choice determines your future, that’s why we place so much emphasis on it. Your lifestyle, and economic and social status all rest on this decision. Most importantly, it also has a huge impact on your emotional well-being and happiness. Springing out of bed in the mornings is a lot easier when you enjoy what you do.

Ninety-per cent of the graduates who come to me for career coaching will end up changing their minds about the kind of work they want to do. After a bit of probing and discussion they begin to see that, actually, they are best suited to something else. Getting to know yourself can clarify the career steps you should take.

So, how can you coach yourself to choose the right career? It is important that you start by placing your own skills, interests, experiences, strengths and even weaknesses at the centre of making the right choice.

Step One: Audit your skills

The first step we take our graduates through is to audit their skills. A skills audit is a stocktake of the skills you have.

When auditing your skills, you should include both paid and unpaid work as it all counts towards your experience. Remember to include your hobbies and interests, as these also count.

Step Two: Check your skills against those employers look for

Once you’ve listed your skills, check them against what potential employers are looking for. There are at least nine employability skills that all employers say they look for in a new hire.

These are:

  1. Business awareness – you have strong awareness of how the company makes money, how they compete with other brands and how they can reduce costs
  2. Communication – you can get your point across clearly, verbally and in writing
  3. Analytical – you can interpret data into practical, easy-to-use information
  4. Resilience – you keep going in the face of what may seem like a failure or lack of result
  5. Problem-solving – you automatically look for the best solution to overcome an obstacle
  6. Self-management – you know how to use your own initiative and manage your own behaviour and well-being
  7. Organisation – you can organise your own workload, time and priorities
  8. Teamwork – you can work well with others to achieve a shared objective
  9. Entrepreneurial – you have good innovative ideas and leadership skills
employability skills include business awareness, communication, entrepreneurship, IT skills, numeracy, problem solving, resilience, self-management, teamwork

Once you’ve audited your skills and checked them against the nine employability skills employers look for it’s time to think about your ideal career.

Step Three: What career are you best suited to?

Choosing your ideal career begins with looking at what you have particularly enjoyed and been good at. We find that a graduate will usually fit into one of three types of careers:

  • Specialist – doctor, vet, coder
  • Analyst – planner, logistics, advisor
  • Communicator – hospitality, sales, advertising

The majority of those we work with will fit into one of the latter two because a specialist is more likely to have obtained a degree with a clear career path.

Many find it hard to uncover the relevant skills they have. Again, the clue is in what you have done well and enjoyed.

Finding relevant but buried skills

I once worked with a young man who had achieved his rowing blue at university. What was interesting about him was that he didn’t think he had much to offer an employer. He only mentioned this award after a series of questions about what he’d done in his spare time while at university.

Now, let’s think about what achieving an award of this kind really says about a person. The blue award is given in recognition of outstanding performance so, immediately, it marks you out as someone who possesses a set of valuable attributes. You are a person that has consistently outperformed others around you, who makes significant contributions to your team.

If you have worked in a coffee shop, you can list skills such as customer service, communication, problem-solving, organisation and resilience. Remember the time you had to think on your feet to help those diners calculate the percentage each should pay for their meal? Or the time you had to help that lactose-intolerant customer choose the best options on the menu?

Breaking down the tasks you carried out to their minutest detail will help you zoom in on tasks you did well and which can be transferred to other jobs. This is work you have to do for yourself: employers won’t do it for you. All it takes is a little out-of-the-box thinking.

What’s naturally outstanding about you?

According to Forbes, outstanding employees are:

  • Clued up on their job and the environment they are working in.
  • Able to apply what they learn to the job – so they continuously improve.
  • Great with people and in their place as part of a team.
  • Able to anticipate problems and address them before they do harm.
  • The type to speak up about sticky topics like workload and ineffective procedures and to suggest how to fix them.
  • Likely to have a career plan in mind and don’t rely on others to manage it.
  • Respectful of others without being people-pleasers.
  • The type to seek out and ask for help when they need it.
  • Likely to share their ideas and embrace the ideas of others.
  • Consistent and get results.

You need to extract these accomplishments and own them. Expressing them on your CV and during your job interview will mark you out for the right career.

Step Four: Boost your confidence

Our final step in coaching an individual is to help them believe themselves. You must do the same. Why is self-belief so essential for getting the job you want? Because the art of getting a job is to convince an employer that you are the best person for the position advertised – if you don’t believe that yourself how are you going to convince anyone else?

There are four main components to cultivating a strong sense of inner belief without coming across as a pompous know-it-all (which no-one likes). These are:

Past accomplishments. Make a list of the things you’ve accomplished in the past. Think about the time you won that race, met that deadline, solved that difficult problem or wrote that great essay or article. Regularly remind yourself of your triumphs.

Talk about your passions. Focus on specific things around your work or hobbies that really interest you and get you fired up. This will help you to get in touch with your personal values and engender a sense of confidence in yourself as an individual.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Whether we like it or not other people’s opinions of us do affect us, especially those of the people we value or are close to. You want people around you who reaffirm and build you up.

Cultivate a growth mindset. Remember, mistakes are inevitable, and no-one becomes skilled at anything without having to learn, so you must be willing to fail forward. One of the top reasons why people struggle to believe they can achieve a goal is because of past failures that leave them believing they will fail again in the future. If you are willing and determined to pick yourself up, learn and move on after every set-back you will eventually land the right career.

At Graduate Coach we offer plenty of support to help you coach yourself into the right career.


A degree is no longer enough – Aspect County

Young people graduate into a different world from that of twenty or thirty years ago when their parents went to university. The student population has doubled since 1992 and last year UCAS reported that a record number, almost half, were accepted into university. The problem is what happens when they leave. With 78% of students now achieving a 1st or 2:1, competition for graduate-level employment is rife. Which is why, according to official data by the Office of National Statistics, almost half (47%) of graduates were in non-graduate jobs two years later.
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One-to-One Coaching: Stage 1 and Stage 2

If you’re a student or graduate our one-to-one coaching can help. Stage one: Learning about yourself – Find your ideal career will help you learn about yourself, give you a better understanding of your preferences, strengths and skills and help you find your ideal career. Stage two: Career plan develops your career plan – what skills do you have and what do you need, establishes your current level on the 9 employability skills, create your career plan, discussions about what career options will suit you best, Internships and work experience needed.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire them, ways to develop them, how to prove you have these skills and how to create a CV that highlights your achievements.

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Six keys to becoming an innovative employee

You were not employed for your pretty face – though this may have helped – but to help your employer solve a problem. To succeed at this you must become an innovative employee.

There isn’t a business or organisation on the planet that doesn’t exist to solve a problem, whether that problem is critical, man-made or seemingly trivial. Because of this, employers look to take on innovative employees who understand this and have the skills to help them meet their objectives.

As a fresh graduate who is either looking for a job or perhaps still early in your employment career, it is absolutely crucial for you to understand your role as an innovative or entrepreneurial minded employee in a company. Innovation solves problems.

Being innovative at your workplace will make you outstanding and stay ahead of the pack. But what exactly can you do to be an innovative employee?

1.  Be as resourceful and independent as you can

Do all you can to master processes and improve upon them whenever new learning is introduced. Innovative employees help their employers improve their businesses. Even if you’re in a start up without any training program in place, learn as much as you can and share your knowledge with others.

2.  Be confident in your problem solving abilities

In almost every business, new problems and challenges pop up almost every day and they require creative and cost effective solutions. But in almost every facet of work, there are tons of things that work and that doesn’t. In order to be an innovative employee, you should display a vibrant sense of logic, confidence and awareness in solving problems at work. You should be able to decipher the difference between what works and what doesn’t. If you mistake one for the other, don’t be too shy to admit your mistake and retrace your steps.

3.  Promise only what you can deliver

Innovative employees understand the value of keeping their word. So they promise only what they can deliver and then strive to deliver more than what they promised. Going above and beyond to deliver more than anyone expects will make you an outstanding employee that is respected for being innovative.

4.  Concentrate on activities that maximize business impact

There are dozens of things you can do on your work desk. Innovative employees can easily decipher what to focus on based on the significant effect they will have on the overall business. So stay organised, make task lists, and set priorities as you have more details about what you’re targeting.

5.  Engage, commit and be ready to contribute

While it is absolutely normal for you to maintain a personal life outside of your workplace, be ready to commit to your work with full engagement. Don’t go to work with divided emotions and thoughts about your private life. So sort out your thoughts and emotions before resuming for work. Be ready to engage, commit and contribute significantly to whatever task you’re assigned.

6.  Know your limit and be willing to learn new things

Don’t pretend that you know everything – including what you don’t. Rather, identify what you know and what you don’t. Be open to learning valuable things that you don’t know that can help you improve your career. The more you’re willing to learn, the more skills you’ll acquire to become a versatile problem-solver.

Bottom line  

While innovation is often considered as the outcome of a stroke of genius, sometimes, innovation is triggered by considering a creative solution to a problem. So pay close attention to every facet of your work and consider what you can do to improve how you work and the outcome of your efforts. Be an innovative employee.

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One-to-One Coaching

If you’re a student or graduate our one-to-one coaching can help kick-start your career. Our coaching follows a six-stage process. Our professional coaches provide career advice and coaching to help you to achieve your full potential. We are experts in full career and interview coaching.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student book introduces the 9 Employability Skills, how and where to acquire, develop and prove you have these skills, how to create a CV that highlights your achievements and things to consider before and during an interview. The Graduate Book informs graduates of the steps they should take, and the techniques they should apply, to make a success of their first job.

Nail That Interview Course with Chris Davies

Nail That Interview Online Course will teach you everything you need for interview success! We have condensed our learning from over 20,000 hours of one-to-one coaching over 8 years to bring you this course. It is the next best thing to being personally coached by us.

8 steps to surviving office politics in your first graduate job

People often say they hate office politics and try to avoid it. This is silly, because they can’t. Here’s 8 things you can do to survive office politics in your first graduate job.

Surviving office politics

They can’t avoid it because politics exist wherever there are hierarchical structures, power, influences and people. To be fair, politics is really just another word for relationships but it describes the complex nature of the way we interact with each other at work much better than the word ‘relationships’.

At work we are keen to do a good job and to make a good impression in the eyes of those around us. If we didn’t we probably wouldn’t be in the job for very long. So politics is inevitable. The best we can do is to learn how to handle it the right way.

Number 1: Understand that politics doesn’t have to be dirty

The common face of politics is one characterised by backstabbing and self-serving people. That isn’t the only view. The other side is of people who have the best interests of the company at heart, even if they don’t agree with the next person.

Number 2: Be observant

If you want to progress at work – that is, want your ideas accepted, want support from your colleagues, to be recognised and accepted by your boss, and to rise up the career ladder – then you are going to have to learn how to understand the politics of your workplace.

So start by doing a bit of noticing of your own. When you join the company be observant so you can understand what gets people promoted, who makes the real decisions, who the opinion leaders and ideas people really are, and who the fence sitters and killjoys are.

Once you do this you will know who to learn from, who to avoid, who to help and who to ask for advice.

Number 3: Build good hierarchical relationships

The first person you need to please is your direct superior. You may not like the way your boss does things but it is unwise to criticise him or her and to behave as though you can do better, even if you believe you can. Your priorities should be your boss’s priorities. Ask what needs to be done and do it. Try not to disagree with him or her or if you do, frame your concerns or questions tactfully and never do it in public. Don’t go over people’s heads or say things that will make them look bad. Try to remain loyal to those who can help you most.

Number 4: Build good horizontal relationships

You need people on your side so you need to make good alliances. The best way to do this is to help other people. Be genuine in learning about who your colleagues are. What they like and don’t like, what they need and don’t need, then help them to get it. Understand their jobs and do whatever you can to help them to look good as they do it. Don’t steal their ideas and always give them the limelight that is due to them.

Number 5: Be subtle

Trying to win a promotion for yourself or support for your projects by stepping all over other people or by bullying or bludgeoning your ideas through a meeting is the wrong way to go about developing a helpful reputation for yourself. It is much better to be subtle, to present your ideas openly and to ask people for their support.

Number 6: Know how to negotiate

You can’t always have everything your way so you need to learn how to negotiate. Negotiating includes knowing when to compromise and when to hold out. You need to look for an outcome where both sides win.

Number 7: Say only good things, or shut up!

Rumours and gossip are inevitable. And research says that much of it is true! In essence rumours and gossiping are really the presence of a company’s informal communication channel. It’s their grapevine, and there is often much that is useful that you can learn from it. Turn gossip into something positive by turning the conversation around to something good. Speak only for yourself, not for other people. Resist repeating rumours and if you do disseminate facts try to avoid references to the sources. Be very careful with details that can destroy the credibility or career of a colleague.

Number 8: Work hard

Working hard brings results and results speak for themselves. Making a good impression is important when it comes to building strong and secure relationships at work and to getting ahead. The best way to do this is still to work hard at your job and to get your work done. If not, you will eventually get found out to be nothing but a nice sounding but empty clanging cymbal.

Together, these steps can help you survive office politics in your first graduate job. Good luck!

How we help

One-to-One Coaching: Stage 6

If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, stage six of our one-to-one coaching: Job coaching and Mentoring includes mentoring to ensure excellent job performance, handling the office environment and how to build your network.

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Graduate Book informs graduates of the steps they should take, and the techniques they should apply, to make a success of their first job, see Chapter 6: The Sixth Key: Learn to be Resilient and Chapter 7: The Seventh Key: Build Networks and Make Friends.