I got a degree and can’t get a job! What should I do? [Ask Graduate Coach]

Oct 27, 2020

If you’ve got a degree and can’t find a job, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Graduate Coach, we help to turn degrees into careers.

I got a degree and can’t get a job: A Graduate’s story

Hi Graduate Coach,

I recently finished my degree in International Business and I have been looking for a job ever since.

I have been applying for a wide range of entry-level graduate jobs. However, I very rarely hear anything back. I have been to a handful of interviews but I never hear anything back.

Lately, I have begun feeling overwhelmed with my job search and it is becoming frustrating never hearing back.

What should I do?

thanks, Jess.

How to turn your degree into a career

Thanks for getting in touch with us Jess. First of all, you are not alone in how you are feeling and secondly help is available.

Here’s a rough outline of what steps you need to take in order to get a job with your degree (we can help you with each of these steps with our coaching programmes):

1- Reflect on your skills and interests

You must be able to demonstrate your employability skills.

Reflect on your time spent at university. Did you take part in any extracurricular activities? Did you gain any work experience?

Employers will be very keen to see evidence of what skills you have and how you developed them.

Being sure of what skills and attributes you have will help you to stand out during every stage of the job application process.

2- Discover your career path

Recruiters are trained to spot genuine interest in candidates.

They won’t get the right impression if you are just applying to a job just to get employed.

You need to be confident in the roles you are applying for in order to convince recruiters and hiring managers that you really want the job.

You must then show this genuine passion and enthusiasm for the role at every stage of the application process.

Identify the roles that are suitable for you. This will drastically narrow down your job search.

We have a tried and tested method here at Graduate Coach that helps students and graduates to identify which roles are right for them in less than an hour.

3 – Get some more work experience

Work experience is a must.

Employers will use your career history to date to determine your potential. Without any experience, it is very difficult to do so.

If you have experience already, write down the skills that you gained and your achievements.

Doing so will really help you when it comes to writing your CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and when you prepare for interviews.

I got a degree and can't get a job!
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

4 – Revamp your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile

If you have completed the previous steps, you will find it much easier to write your CV.

The key is to show off your skills and experience. Where you can, add in statistics and numbers to quantify your achievements. For example, if you managed a team, state how many members were in the team.

LinkedIn is very important. Having a fully optimised LinkedIn profile will boost the number of recruiters that approach you with job opportunities. Spend a few hours updating your LinkedIn profile.

5 – Strategically search and apply for jobs

Many graduates start panicking and applying to any jobs they can find. This tends to not be an effective strategy.

If you have followed the prior steps well, you will have been able to significantly narrow down your job search and be able to apply for the roles that you will be a good fit for.

6 – Develop your interview technique

Very few people adequately prepare for interviews. This means if you invest time into developing your interview technique, you will stand out in the competitive market.

We can help you to develop the lifelong skill of being able to nail any interview, through our course and/or our one-to-one interview coaching sessions.

7 – Learn how to craft good follow-up emails

After every interview that you attend, you must send a follow-up email, regardless of how you think it went.

In the email, you should thank the interviewers again for their time and reinstate why you feel the role is right for you and what the job would mean to you.

If you do not hear back, you may also like to send an additional follow-up email to get an update on the status of your application.

8 – Don’t get discouraged

Due to the competitive nature of the graduate job market, you may need to apply for several roles before landing an opportunity.

Just remember, that no experience is wasted. This is a journey, and what you learn along the way from setbacks and feedback will aid your growth and ultimately help you to secure your graduate job.

9 – Accept job offers

Some graduates become ‘picky’. They want to find the ‘perfect’ job. We always encourage graduates to accept their job offers. The first job out of university will always be the hardest to get.

So accept any offers, gain more work experience, then you will find it much easier to get a second job that will be more in line with your career aspirations.

If you are a university graduate who has recently got their degree, contact us if you are unable to find a graduate job.

We can help you with your CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, working out what graduate job is right for you, interviews and more.

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