Graduates, are you prepared for the world of work?
Spencer Ogden offers its view on how you can secure your first entry-level job and stand out amongst the crowd in a competitive jobs market.
As a new graduate, you often feel disheartened when searching for your first job. We understand that finding your first job can be tough but there is no reason to panic.
Your online presence acts as a great networking tool that can help you get ahead. Leverage all of your social channels and create a profile that will help you build your list of contacts and connections. LinkedIn is a powerful platform that allows you to network, create a professional brand for yourself and is often sought out by headhunters. We advise you to set up a profile on LinkedIn irrespective of how much experience you may have. As the saying goes, it’s not always about what you know, it’s who you know.
The Comparison Trap
Don’t make irrational decisions based on what others want you to do or compare yourself to others during your job search. No one has the same combination of experience, personality, and skills as you because you are unique, which is why you must use it to your advantage. Make the executive decision and take control of your own career.
Completing a university degree never has, and never will guarantee a job – it’s all about applying yourself. Your first job may not be your dream job or related to your degree, and there is no problem with that. Why not expand your search? There will be plenty of jobs out there that will help you gain transferable skills that support your pursuit in achieving your long-term career. Also, there is no harm in exploring different career opportunities until you find the job you love.
Your time at university may have ended but this shouldn’t be an excuse to stop learning. When applying for a trainee position, you need confirmation that your potential employer will provide you with plenty of support and training that can accelerate your career development.
We recognize that finding a full-time job may take a while. However, if you are given an opportunity to intern, consider it. Doing an internship after completing a bachelor’s degree allows you to gain valuable experience and is a great chance to gain insight into the industry and workplace environment. Experience adds considerable value to your CV that rightly or wrongly may well rival your degree for importance to potential employers.
Passion vs. Perfection
When you secure your first interview, show up with a passion to learn and most importantly, ask questions. It’s crucial that you clearly demonstrate your personality and how your profile fits what the employer is looking for.
Graduates need to focus on their strengths and demonstrate their natural talent says Sasha Mason, EMEA Talent Manager at Spencer Ogden. “When we’re interviewing graduates we look for skills and other evidence that reveals a candidates competitiveness, ambition, communication, and energy. If the passion and the will is there, we want to hear from you.”
Throughout the interview process, ensure you sell yourself to the hiring manager by communicating your abilities in a confident and compelling manner. Bring your A-game and show them what you’ve got.
There will be setbacks, challenges and possibly moments where you will try to convince yourself to give up. Brian Acton, was a former engineering manager who applied for various roles at Twitter and Facebook. He was rejected from both companies before co-founding mobile messaging platform, Whats App, worth over 19 billion dollars. Don’t give up and remain focused, just like Brian.
Believe it or not, University has helped you prepare for the world of work, but now it’s up to you. By demonstrating your passion, improving your social profile, taking risks and building your network, you’ll find that life after university is full of opportunities.