Courses that make your CV stand out from the crowd

When it comes to your CV, you don’t have long to impress. In fact, studies show that recruiters spend an average of just 7 seconds looking at a CV. For that reason, you must create a CV that will captivate potential employers and keep them interested. 

There is an abundance of useful information available to help you improve your CV. For instance, many recruitment professionals suggest:

  • Limiting your CV to two pages
  • Using clear headings
  • Including your most valuable information at the top of your CV. 

Completing courses and additional qualifications is another highly recommended way to enhance your CV and gain a competitive edge over your peers. With this in mind, here are some top courses that will make your CV stand out from the crowd. 

Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Chloe Walker, a twenty-something freelance writer with a passion for writing articles relating to education and working life. 

Health and Safety

Courses from the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health are highly regarded throughout the world and teach the essential health and safety training required by many industries. 

There are several different NEBOSH courses available – from the NEBOSH Award in Health and Safety at Work, which teaches employees the basics of how to identify and effectively manage any risks in the workplace; to the NEBOSH International Diploma, which teaches an advanced range of health and safety skills required by health and safety professionals. Health and safety qualifications like NEBOSH, are often required in high-risk industries such as construction. 

However, they can be beneficial in any job sector as all working environments pose some safety hazards. Broadening your health and safety knowledge will help you stand out from your peers by demonstrating your commitment to workplace safety. 

It will also equip you with the skills needed to complete your work tasks safely and efficiently. Having a NEBOSH qualification may boost your chances of being offered a promotion with your current employer, or when seeking new opportunities with a new company. 

Social Media 

In the digital age, social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools used by modern businesses. 

In the UK, Facebook is the most popular social media platform with over 40 million users and over 60 million active business pages.

Companies can use social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to connect with their customers daily, reach a global audience, and increase sales and profits. For that reason, employees with social media skills are in massively high demand. 

Gaining a qualification in social media strategy is an excellent way to impress potential employers and make your CV stand out from the competition when applying for the best jobs. 

There are many different social media courses and qualifications available to complete online. For instance, the Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM) offers a Professional Certificate in Social Media that teaches you how to use data to create effective customer-focused social media strategies. The course is designed to teach advanced social media strategy, so it is aimed at professionals with at least two years of experience working within the social media or marketing fields. 

If you have no professional experience and just want to learn the basics, then a social media marketing training course offers a fantastic introduction to social media and planning effective marketing campaigns. 

Customer Service 

Customer service plays a key role in the growth and success of any business. Providing excellent customer service allows companies to improve their brand image, increase sales and profits, and boost revenue potential.

A customer service course will teach you how to communicate with both customers and colleagues more efficiently. Most employees appreciate the importance of quality customer service, so developing your skills in this area is a great way to enhance your CV and career prospects.

Fortunately, many customer service courses can be completed online from the comfort of your home. Most of these are fully flexible and extremely affordable – you can currently complete a Customer Service Certificate Level 1 for just £10! 


Keep in mind that your CV is often your only opportunity to convince a potential employer why you’re the best person for a particular job.

If your CV is poorly written or uninteresting, you’re unlikely to ever make it through to the interview stage. 

For that reason, you must find ways to make your CV stand out from the competition. Completing additional training courses and qualifications can be an excellent way to enhance your CV, impress recruiters, and secure your dream job. 

Above, are a few examples of popular courses, but there is an extensive variety of other qualifications and courses out there to enhance your CV!

If you need some help with your CV, and graduate job applications, get in touch with the team here at Graduate Coach

5 CV tips for graduates with no experience

Struggling to write a CV when you have no work experience? You’re not alone!

The job market can often feel like a battleground, especially when you don’t yet have work experience. After all, how are you supposed to write a CV when you don’t have anything to write about?

It’s important to keep in mind that the candidate with the most experience isn’t always the candidate the one who gets the job. Recruiters these days are looking for more than just experience.

Potential, passion for the sector and motivation to succeed are sure to spark graduate employer’s attention, so it’s important to use your CV to showcase both who you and why you are a great fit for their job.

With that said, here are 5 CV tips for graduates with no experience:

Base your CV on thorough research

You can’t write an effective CV without knowing what the employer is looking for — it’s impossible!

If you aren’t sure exactly what a prospective employer is looking for, then make sure to conduct as much research as possible before setting pen to paper. Re-read over the job description and make a note of what key skills, knowledge, qualifications and personal attributes your target employer is looking for. You could also take a look over the company’s website to get a feel for what they do and what their company culture is like.

Make the most of your transferable skills 

Once you have identified exactly what the employer is looking for in a candidate, you can then make sure the content of your CV matches up to the requirements. But what if you feel that you don’t actually have the skills the employer is looking for?

Well, the key thing to remember when writing your CV with little to no relevant work experience, is to recognise your transferable skills and highlight them on your CV.

Not all skills come from the work environment — experience can come from a whole host of other sources, such as your studies at university, volunteer work, supporting your local community, part-time jobs, side projects, hobbies and volunteering, as well as full-time jobs.

For example, if the employer is looking for someone with strong time management skills, you might discuss the part-time job you held up, despite being in your third year of University with numerous assignments and exams. Or perhaps the role you’re looking for requires strong written communication skills, and you’ve been writing a blog in your spare time — that’s a great portfolio!

You often have more skills and experience than you initially think.

Add impact with your education section 

It’s tempting to only list the qualifications you’ve gained with a title and grade achieved, but there’s an opportunity to add so much more value to your CV in this section.

For example, if you have completed a degree in Business and are applying for an entry-level finance role, you could mention your third-year business finance module, pinpointing the skills and knowledge you gained, and perhaps a stand out exam mark you achieved.

By doing this, you can better showcase how your degree has set you up as a great match for the specific graduate job you’re applying for.

Draw upon your hobbies and interests 

Hobbies and interests might seem irrelevant to your future career, but they’re actually a great way to showcase your potential and boost your graduate CV.

Firstly, extracurricular activities can be a great way of showing passion or interest in the sector you are applying to work in. For example, if you have written a blog or built a website in your spare time, your natural passion and motivation for the digital, marketing and media sectors will be clear.

Secondly, hobbies and interests are another valuable way to showcase your transferable skills. For example, if you are part of a sports team, it showcases the ability to work as part of a team, or even lead a team.

So, if you choose to include a hobbies and interests section on your CV, make sure to pinpoint the skills you’ve gained, along with any results or achievements you’ve gained whilst doing them.

personality and passion

Showcase personality and passion 

Graduate employers are looking for a good culture fit and someone who demonstrates an interest in the role, rather than someone who is just looking for any old job.

It can be hard to know how to stand out from the crowd, but remember that there is a whole lot more to you than dates on a piece of paper, so make sure you CV shows the employer that. Adding creative design to a CV or complementing an application with a video, online portfolio or LinkedIn profile is increasingly common and can help you to stick in employer’s minds. Remember that relevancy and professionalism are key, though; so whatever spin you add to your application, make sure it’s still spick and span.

If you’re applying for a more traditional or corporate role or sector and feel that a creative CV isn’t appropriate, use your cover letter to showcase your personality instead. Submitting a cover letter with your CV is a great way to showcase your personality and highlight the relevant skills you have that will help you succeed in the job. It’s also a great place to discuss why the particular role aligns with your interests, passions and long-term career goals.

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

8 Bad Habits in the Workplace That Could Be Hurting Your Career

Good office etiquette is crucial to making it in your place of work. Bad habits in the workplace can have a serious impact on your productivity, others concentration and also your relationship with your colleagues and clients. 

Think you don’t have any bad habits? Take a look through the list below to see if you identify with any of them. If you do, now is the time to tackle them head-on and change your ways for the better… before it’s too late. 

Editor’s note: we collaborated with HR professional and independent writer Dakota Murphey to put together this post.

1. Procrastination

Are you someone who puts off tasks? Do you have a long to-do list but never seem to work through tasks? Whether it is a presentation or article you need to have written by a certain date, the less time you leave for yourself could mean less quality produced. Even if you think you work well under pressure, it’s important to give yourself as much preparation time as possible to ensure you produce the highest quality work. 

Procrastinating at work can not only hurt your own projects, but also those you work on with others. 

When working in a team, it’s important to consider other peoples’ deadlines and not put off work. You need to pull your weight in a team, don’t put off tasks and think you will be able to complete them in a short space of time, as it could reflect badly on you and your capabilities. 

Leaving things until the last minute could also cause you unnecessary stress at work, which is not a good habit to keep. 

2. Too many breaks

Another form of procrastination is taking too many breaks from your desk. Think you can put off that task that’s taking too long by making a cup of tea? By taking too many breaks, you are actually disrupting your concentration and therefore making it even harder to get back into a productive mindset.

Try scheduling in regular breaks from your desk to encourage a concentrated mind.  

3. Lying

It is good practice to never lie at work. If you lie and say you have done a task when you know you haven’t, it will undoubtedly catch you out at some point. 

If you lie about being ill or having an illness, it can be costly for the business as they will likely have to pay you for the sick day. One of the biggest reasons for lying about a sick day is sport. 58% of employees reportedly call in sick because they either want to attend or watch a sporting event. 

For you as an individual, lying can be damaging to your character as it makes you appear dishonest. When your reputation in the business is key to your success, you do not want to do anything that could jeopardise that. 

If you are caught out for lying, it could hinder the chance of getting a good reference or it could mean you miss out on a potential promotion. 

Remember to think about the potential consequences of your lie first and ask yourself: is it really worth lying for? 

nail your next interview ad

4. Poor communication

Communication is key in any job. Ignoring emails or forgetting about replying can be one of the simplest mistakes to make, but if you continue to put off replying to your emails, it can develop into a bad habit.

As soon as an email comes in, if you have an answer to it, do it then and there – don’t put it off. If you don’t have an answer or don’t have the time to reply to it, make sure you flag the email to remind you to reply to it later on. Make it a habit to go through your emails in the morning or evening, whichever your schedule allows, to check for any missed emails. 

It’s important to also take the time with your reply; don’t reply with short phrases, as this will not reflect well on you. Your tone of voice cannot be detected in emails, so remember to take care with your words and how you use them.

5. Poor time management

If you are struggling with your time management, you should try and make a list at the start of each week and on Monday, prioritise the easy tasks that need completing first, before moving onto the tasks you know will take you longer to complete. 

If your task requires help or input from others, it is best to give them as much notice as possible. Never ask someone last minute for their help as they might not have the time to offer you. 

If you have a bad habit of forgetting things, write them down on a post-it note immediately and place on your desk or write on your to-do list before you can forget. 

6. Showing up late

Following on from time management, it’s also important to not show up late. If you show up late for your job or a meeting, it shows a lack of care and planning. You remember when someone is late and so will your boss. Remember, being on time also counts for meetings and appointments with clients too, as this can be a deal-breaker for many people if they are hiring you or making a deal. 

29% of workers have admitted that they are late for work at least once a month, yet 53% of employers expect their employees to show up on time for work every day. 

Being consistently late can also be ground for dismissal as 41% of employers have admitted to firing someone for being late. It isn’t just in the office that showing up late can be detrimental to your career either, as 53% of homeowners do not like it when tradespeople fail to turn up when agreed to. 

If you do show up late to work, even if it is by accident, try and make up the time by working late, like 69% of workers have confessed to doing, all the while apologising to either your employer or the client. 

7. Bad office etiquette

Good office etiquette starts with being kind to others and treating others with respect. 

Think about others in the office workspace, by not taking personal phone calls in the middle of the office, using speakerphone or talking loudly on the phone. 36% of people rated this as the worst offence you could make in the office. 

If you are very sick, then simply don’t go into work and infect the rest of the office, as this will only be worse for the business if more staff have to take time off. 

8. Messy desk

Is your desk unorganised and cluttered? Do you week in and week out seem to gather mess on your desk? If so, you may want to change that. 

People will make an automatic judgment on your capabilities when they see your desk. To many, a desk represents how you take care of your work and your life. 30% say a tidy desk is an important aspect to presenting a professional image at work and 1 in 10 bosses said that a messy desk would make them reconsider promoting an employee. 

It isn’t just you who can be impacted by your own messy desk, it is also your workmates, as 40% said that a messy desk meant their colleagues were disorganised and 20% have said the messy desk has caused a negative impact on their working day.  

Banishing bad habits in the workplace: summary 

If you have recognised that you have some bad habits in the workplace, it’s time for a change. These habits could be potentially halting your progression at work. Start by making an actionable plan to develop better workplace habits, that will aid in your career advancement. 

Love this post? Check out some other great posts by Dakota Murphey!  

From dead-end-job to living your dream 

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

Author Bio

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

We hope that you enjoyed this post outlining 8 bad habits in the workplace! Before you go, check out our one-to-one coaching page to find out more about how we help students, graduates and career changers to land their dream jobs! 

Top 3 Reasons why Graduates Fail Interviews

In order to land your dream graduate job, you must successfully progress through a rigorous, multi-stage application process. After passing the initial stages of having your CV and cover letter screened and taking online tests, you will need to complete a series of interviews. You may be required to complete telephone, video, group or face-to-face interviews. 

Unfortunately, many graduates pass the initial stages but fail their interviews and miss out on great career opportunities. 

In this post, we will share some of the top reasons why graduates fail interviews so that you don’t make the same mistakes. 

1: Interviews make graduates feel nervous 

Confidence is key when it comes to performing highly in interviews. After all, if you don’t come across as being confident in yourself, how can you expect the employer to be confident in you?

Nerves can really have a negative impact on your interviews, so it is really important that you conquer any interview nerves and anxiety. 

Many graduates feel nervous about interviews because they do not have lots of interview experience yet and feel intimidated by the idea of being asked a question that they do not know the answer to. 

Here are some top tips for beating interview nerves and anxiety: 

  • Learn and apply simple body language techniques that will make you appear more confident such as maintaining a good posture and eye contact. 
  • Prepare adequately for your interviews. Learn everything you can about the industry, company and role that you are applying for.
  • Develop and practise your interview technique. Invest in an interview coach to become the best you can be at interviewing. 

2: Graduates do not show enough empathy 

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is vital that you show empathy towards your interviewer by demonstrating that you truly care about the things that matter most to them and the company. 

Interviewers are trained to identify candidates who are: the right cultural fit for the company and competent to perform really well in the role. Selecting the wrong candidates for the role is a very costly mistake for the company. 

In your next interview, show empathy towards the interviewer by: 

  • Explaining why the company’s mission and values resonate with you. 
  • Demonstrating your skills and competencies clearly. Utilise the STAR technique to give your answer structure and context as well as ensuring that you highlight your achievements.
why graduates fail interviews
  • Having a well thought out answer ready for “why do you want the job?” Remember, as well as selecting candidates who can do the job really well, employers are looking for people who genuinely want the job. 

3: Unsure of what questions to ask the interviewer

It is easy to focus solely on how you will answer your interview questions and forget to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. 

Remember, an interview is a two-way process. As well as the interviewer assessing your suitability for the company and role, you will also need to make sure that the opportunity is right for you. 

At the end of every interview, you will have the chance to ask the interviewer questions. 

Here are some tips for asking questions at the end of your interview: 

  • Ask questions that show that you are determined to thrive in the role. For example: “What are the prospects in terms of growth and advancement?” 
  • Do not ask questions that you should already know the answer to such as “what does the company do?” 
  • Use the time at the very end of your interview to thanks the interviewer and sincerely state what getting the job means for you. This will make you memorable to the interview as many candidates will not do this. 

Written by Graduate Coach, the UK’s leading graduate coaching company. For more career’s advice from Graduate Coach, check out The Student Book & The Graduate Book and subscribe to their monthly newsletter

The Smart Internship Guide: Everything you need to know about completing an internship while at Uni

Getting stuck into your degree is a really exciting time. There’s a lot to take on board, decisions to be made, and a lot of freedom too. You might be thinking your career is a problem for the future you but as an undergraduate, you’re actually perfectly positioned to set yourself up for career success now.

How do you do this, we hear you cry! 

Well, one of the best ways is through a structured internship and it’s your lucky day as we’re taking a closer look at everything you need to know to get started.

➡️Editor’s comment: For this post, we collaborated with Sid Balachandran from Springpod.

First Things First: What is an Internship?

Internships are opportunities offered by employers that allow students and early career starters exposure, experience and understanding of specific roles and industries.

They tend to last anywhere between a week or 12 months, with many being offered for 3-6 months on average. Most internships are focused on one particular role, but some offer you the opportunity to work in a few different positions within a company.

There’s generally a lot of variety around internships. Some placements are offered as part of a degree course and embedded in the curriculum, allowing you to gain credit if you undertake one. Many universities also work with employer partners to offer internships during study breaks. Other internships allow you to attend one or two days a week to fit in with your studies.

Outside of university, companies offer their internship programs and placements directly to new graduates or current students during their summer and winter study breaks.

Internships have traditionally been unpaid, but this is changing as employers seek to be competitive and reward students for the work they contribute. Where they are unpaid, it’s not uncommon for employers to offer additional incentives such as travel and lunch reimbursements.

What is the Difference Between an Internship, Work Experience, and Volunteering?

There’s a lot of crossover between the three, with the terms ‘internships’ and ‘work experience’ often being used interchangeably. That said, there are a few core differences:

What Should You Consider When Looking for an Internship?

Once you’ve made a decision about the types of roles you want to get experience in, there are a few other things you might want to think about:

  1. Location Location Location – Make sure any internship you apply to is within a fair commutable distance. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to consider whether an internship abroad appeals to you.
  2. Time Commitments – How long is the internship for and how is it structured? Will you be expected to attend a certain amount of days a week? How will this impact your studies?

  3. Paid or Unpaid – Is undertaking an unpaid internship something you can commit to financially?

  4. Company Culture – When researching companies, have a think about where you see yourself, and what type of vibe you think you’d thrive in for work. Finding somewhere that’s a good cultural fit will lead to a great experience.

  5. The Practical Stuff – What types of tasks do you see yourself doing at work? What tasks do you really enjoy and not enjoy? These questions help you build a better picture of what you want to be doing, so you can target the right opportunities for you.

When Should You Apply For Internships?

This will come down to your own thoughts around how you want to complete your internship. As mentioned, some are already embedded as part of your course, whereas some you’ll have to proactively apply for. 

When thinking about when to apply consider:

  • Whether you want to gain credit or not. If an internship is offered as part of your course, you’ll need to apply for and be accepted into the unit. Make sure you know the deadlines for doing this. (Hint: It’s typically a semester or two before you do the unit).

  • If you’d rather focus on your studies during term time, utilising your breaks could be a great opportunity for an internship. These can get snapped up quickly, so whether you apply through your university or directly with a company, check out time-frames and application deadlines. (Hint: Put reminders in your phone so you don’t forget!)

  • Many internship opportunities are targeted at new graduates. Once again, these can get competitive so research the companies you’re interested in and sign up for alerts so you know when to apply. (Hint: It’ll usually be before you graduate, ready for you to start once you’re done!)

Where to Find Internships: Some Helpful Resources

There are HEAPS of resources and websites out there offering internship placements. Your university careers team is one of the best places to start, but additionally, you could:

  • Tap into your Personal Network (Parents, friends, relatives, etc)
  • Research the Top Employers in your industry and their program offerings
  • Review Springpod’s Company Profiles for their internship opportunities
  • Sign up to the Gov.UK Find an Internship Service

Where to Next?

We bet internships are starting to sound like a better idea by the second. If you’re keen to get started, you can create a Springpod Profile that allows you to track potential companies and their opportunities, as well as ask questions to Company Ambassadors. 

Graduate Coach Hosts a Workshop at Vita Student Edinburgh

Our founder and head graduate coach, Chris Davies was invited to Vita Student’s Edinburgh location to deliver a workshop to a group of students. 

Vita Student is a student community with a difference. Its mission is to deliver an inspirational community and fuel success as much as the university experience itself. Through business engagement events and online initiatives, Vita Student provides a platform for partner companies to connect with future talent and their students gain access to industry and opportunities to inspire them to succeed. Vita Student helps bright young people to BEGIN BIG. 

The Workshop

On the 20th of November, Chris Davies and René Mance travelled to Vita Student Edinburgh, Scotland via train from London. 

When they arrived, they were welcomed by Grace Thompson the Alumni & Partnerships Manager at Vita Student. They were impressed by the stunning student accommodation and facilities, such as the social spaces and gym equipment. 

Chris delivered the workshop in a communal living space with a big screen to share his presentation.  

During the workshop, Chris covered a wide variety of topics with a core focus on employability skills for graduates

The key takeaways from the workshop were:

  • Academic excellence is not enough 
  • Build employability skills now
  • Demonstrate employability skills at all stages of the recruitment process
  • Learn your career typology and the job titles that will suit you best
  • Do not wait until you graduate to start preparing for your job search

Our Feedback

“Graduate Coach shared expert insights to provide our students with real advice and a constructive action plan to start achieving their career goals, tailored according to course, year of study and future aspirations.” – Grace Thompson Alumni & Partnerships Manager at Vita Student 

Graduate Coach Workshops

We host career coaching workshops on a one-to-one and group basis. These workshops are designed to help students and graduates to discover their career path, gain a deeper understanding of the graduate job market and work out what types of careers will suit them best.

Click here to find out more about our workshops.

Chris Davies delivering a career coaching workshop at Vita Student in Edinburgh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1: Remove offensive material. 

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

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

Think about what you post. 

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

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

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

Utilise privacy settings. 

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

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

Emphasise how hireable you are. 

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

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

Think about who you follow.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Master’s degrees and employability 

Unemployed with a Master's Degree

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

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

However, this is not always the case. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The exceptions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Identify your career typology 

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

All graduate jobs can be classified into three categories:

  • Communicator
  • Knowledge architect 
  • Specialist 

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

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

Think about your employability skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brush up on your interview skills 

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

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

Get help 

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

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

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

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

Unemployed with a master’s degree: summary

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

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

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

Graduate Coach Prospectus 2020

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

Worried About Getting A Job After Graduation? Read this

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

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

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

Not knowing what career path to pursue 

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

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

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

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

Concerned about the application process 

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

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

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

Lack of work experience 

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

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

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

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

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

Fear of getting rejections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work out your career typology 

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

All graduate jobs can be divided into three typologies:

  • Specialists
  • Knowledge architects
  • Communicators 

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

Think about your employability skills 

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

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

These six skills include: 

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

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

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

Boost your CV with work experience

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

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

There are many ways that you can get work experience:

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

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