Unemployed after uni? Here’s what to do

Sep 6, 2019

The idea of being unemployed after uni is every graduate’s worst fear.

After all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money into getting a degree with the intention of getting a graduate job afterwards. 

If you have been sending out applications but not getting invited to many interviews or if you have been continually failing interviews, read this blog post.

We will explain what you can do if you find yourself being unemployed after uni.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Stop “Panic applying” for jobs. Get strategic with your job search

We see this all too often, graduates ‘panic apply’ for multiple jobs and get discouraged when their applications are unsuccessful.

In a state of panic, we make rash decisions.

Finding a graduate job needs to be an informed decision.

Ultimately you want to find the right graduate job for you.

If you’ve been ‘panic applying’ for jobs and just hoping that you’ll get lucky, stop.

It may feel stressful being an unemployed graduate. Your friends may have started great graduate jobs and perhaps you are living at home and your parents are on your case about getting a job. However, try not to let this get to you too much.

There is a much more strategic approach you can take to boost your chances of getting more interviews and more job offers.

The following steps will explain how you can be more strategic when it comes to applying for jobs.

Discover your career path

Lots of graduates don’t have a clue when it comes to knowing what to do after university.

So if you are unsure of what career is right for you, don’t worry. This is very normal.

However, you will have a set of skills and a range of interests that can help you to determine what career path might be the right fit for you.

Also, remember if you don’t find your dream job early on in your career, that is absolutely fine. Sometimes you need to gain a variety of experiences in the workplace and work out what you don’t like before you can work out what you love doing.

Here’s our tried and tested method to help you to discover what career path might be right for you:

turn your degree into a graduate career

Identify your skills

First of all, it is a great idea to write down all of the skills that you have developed since you started university.

You may have gained these skills from:

  • Employment (full-time or part-time)
  • Work experience, placements, internships or shadowing
  • Volunteering
  • Extracurricular activities

For each of the skills you identify, use the STAR method to demonstrate how you have demonstrated that skill.

Regardless of the graduate job you end up getting, the recruiter will be looking for evidence of communication skills, problem-solving skills, teamwork skills, the ability to use your initiative, organisational skills and professionalism.

Work out your career typology

Not many people are aware of this, but all grad jobs can be categorised into 3 main categories:

  • Communicators
  • Knowledge architects
  • Specialists

To find out more about these career typologies and how you can work out what your career typology is, check out this post that we wrote for CV-Library on how to discover your career path after university.

Create a shortlist of suitable graduate jobs

Once you have assessed your skills and you have identified your career typology, the next thing to do is to come up with a list of suitable graduate jobs roles. Be sure to read the job descriptions carefully.

Work on your graduate CV

If you have followed our advice so far, you’ll be in a much better position to start preparing to apply for graduate jobs.

The next step is to brush up your graduate CV.

The aim of your CV is to convince the recruiter to invite you for an interview. Think of it as a sales pitch.

We’ve put together 4 of the best tips for writing a graduate CV.

Also, get yourself a copy of The Student Book. It has several examples of some excellent graduate CVs, plus tips on how to write an achievement-based CV.

You MUST tailor your CV to every application.

Make it your full-time job to find a graduate job

Many graduates who are unemployed after uni become discouraged.

Every day from 9am-5pm, work on boosting your employability.

Fill every day with activities that will help you to secure a graduate job.

This might involve activities such as taking online courses, attending networking events, finding work experience, interview preparation and sending off applications.

Doing these activities will help you to stay motivated and pro-active during your job search.

Unemployed after uni

Brush up on your interview skills

If you have been continually failing your interviews, have a read of our guest post on CV-Library called 4 reasons why you are failing your interviews.

The ability to outperform other candidates in interviews is a lifelong skill.

That’s why many of the candidates we have offered interview coaching to have gone on to state that they saw it as a short term investment for long term success.

We also offer an online interview course called Nail that Interview

Our interview coaching is designed to help you to restore your confidence and master the art of performing highly in interviews so that you can stop missing out on amazing job opportunities.

Get some help

Our careers services here at Graduate Coach are designed to help students and graduates to turn their degrees into careers.

We have helped several unemployed graduates to get their dream job, even if they graduated several years ago.

After helping graduates to get jobs we also equip them with everything they need to thrive in the real world of work so that they can start their early careers off to a great start.

Unemployed after uni: Summary

No graduate wants to be unemployed after uni but if you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry.

Whilst being unemployed after uni can be uncomfortable, if you are strategic about your job search, this stage of your journey can help you to make more informed career choices.

Good luck with your applications!

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