So you’ve finished your time at university, but it is taking longer than you’d have hoped to bag yourself a graduate-level job.
We’ve put together this actionable blog post to help graduates who are struggling to find a job after university.
We’ll first cover why some graduates struggle, before providing a step-by-step list of actions to take in order to help you to land your dream job.
Why graduates are struggling to find a job after university
If you’ve been struggling to find work in a graduate position or have been applying to several graduate schemes without success, the first thing to note is that you are not alone.
Whilst it is a distressing fact, 48% of graduates never land a graduate-level job and remain underemployed.
That’s why it is our mission here at Graduate Coach to help students and graduates to turn their degrees into careers – and so far we have helped over 500 people to do so.
Over the past decade of offering career coaching to hundreds of graduates around the world, we have been able to pinpoint the main reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.
Here are the top 3 reasons:
1. They don’t know what graduate jobs are right for them
Many people start their job hunt by applying for jobs that they think will be right for them or they ‘panic apply’ for jobs.
The problem here is that there are around 1200 different graduate job titles out there so if you are unsure of what you want to do, it can be very overwhelming.
Here at Graduate Coach, we highly recommend that before you even send out a single application that you take some time to identify your transferable skills and career typology.
We help our candidates on our coaching program to do this with the help of our online course called “discover your career path”.
By the end of this course, candidates will be able to:
- Confidently list their skills
- Identify the experiences that have given them transferable skills
- Explain the graduate job market and the key attributes all grad recruiters look for in candidates
- Understand their career typology and know what jobs are suitable for them
By the end of this process, you’ll be able to pinpoint the graduate job titles/roles that are aligned to your skillset, interests and ambitions.
2. They haven’t put together an achievement-based CV
Writing your graduate CV can be quite tricky, especially if you haven’t yet gained much or any work experience.
Regardless of how much work experience you have, it is vital that you highlight the skills you have gained from the experiences you have had – even if this is from your academics, unpaid work experience or extracurricular activities.
The aim is to create a CV that ticks enough boxes so that the graduate recruiter simply must interview you.
We have put together a really useful document on how to create an achievement-based CV. It is available to download as a PDF from our website on the recourses page. We highly recommend that you read it! For even more guidance on how to write an achievement-based CV and to see several examples of excellent graduate CVs, read chapter 6 (page 69) of The Student Book.
As part of our full graduate career coaching program, we not only help candidates to create an excellent CV and cover letter, but we also teach them the art and science of doing so, as we recognise that knowing how to do so is a life-long skill.
3. They are not preparing for interviews adequately
Did you know that people only spend on average 36 minutes preparing for their interviews?
This is not enough.
We find that most of the graduates we coach are not confident about interviews unless they have done activities like drama or have been to theatre school.
The reason why most people are so unconfident about interviews is that they have never been taught the science and art of interviewing and have never refined their interview technique.
Most graduate positions require you to take one or more different types of interview as part of the application process:
- Telephone interview
- Video interview – check out our guide on how to prepare for video interviews
- face-to-face interviews
What We Offer Here At Graduate Coach
Unfortunately, many of the candidates who come to us after failing several interviews have started to lose confidence in themselves. This has a negative impact on their interview performance because being able to convey confidence to the interviewer is a must. Think of it this way – if you aren’t confident in yourself, why should the interviewer be?
Like being able to write excellent CVs and cover letters, being able to perform well in interviews is a very important lifelong skill.
Being able to clearly articulate that you have the skills employers are looking for and confidently demonstrate your aptitude for the job is very important.
These are the main 3 reasons why graduates struggle to find a job after university.
If you are in this situation, the key is to try not to beat yourself up about it. We find that many of the graduates who come to us have never received proper careers advice or that the support they got from using a career service in the past was not enough.
Whilst it may be disappointing that you put so much time and money into pursuing a degree with the hopes that it would help you to get a graduate job there are still several actions you can take to get yourself on the career ladder.
What to do if you are struggling to find a job after university
The short answer is to get help. There’s no need to struggle alone. Here at Graduate Coach, we have help available regardless of what you studied, where you studied and what your budget is.
If you are struggling to find a job after university there’s no point continually sending out applications and hoping that you’ll eventually get lucky.
The right help can accelerate your job search and help you to get the right job for you.
Book a FREE career consultation with us here at Graduate Coach and we will put together a bespoke career coaching plan and outline exactly how we can help you to get a graduate-level job.