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5 Ways To Prepare For Work Before Graduation

Published: Wednesday 3rd June 2015

Graduates throwing hats up in the air

Leaving full time education is both an exciting and daunting prospect. But as you line up in your cap and gown to receive your degree or prepare to leave university, have you prepared for what comes next? Making the move from being a full-time student to the world of employment can be a difficult transition and many graduates, school and college leavers often feel unprepared for the wider world.

Completing your studies is just one part of opening the doors to your dream job. The other part is having also been focused on what you do outside the classroom to prepare to enter the world of full-time work. 

Zoek are here to help prepare you for this transition and make starting your career a fulfilling and rewarding time. Here’s what you can do before you graduate to get a head start in your first job search. 

1. Self reflection and evaluation 

School, college and university can be heady places where you often feel your feet aren’t touching the ground. Before running headlong into preparing for the world of work take some time out to reflect on yourself, consider your strengths and weaknesses and really evaluate where your passions lie. Be honest with yourself. Think about any challenges you might face post-graduation and ways to address these early on. If you aren’t good at interviews get some practice in early to avoid becoming too nervous during the real thing. Above all prepare yourself for the coming transition. 

2. Plan your job search

Start by identifying either the role or the industry you want to work in. Set out a plan for how you will go about your job search. Keep track of applications sent in a spreadsheet so you can see when you applied, any response from the company and which applications you need to follow up on. Set yourself a weekly plan as well as goals (such as attending networking events) along the way to achieving your main goal of securing a job. 

3. Prepare your CV

After evaluating your skills and weaknesses you should have a good idea of what skills and experience you can sell on your CV. There’s no such thing as a perfect CV but there are plenty of CV pitfalls to avoid – such as not tailoring your CV to each application. Try to make yours stand out from the crowd as there will be a glut of fellow graduates entering the market place at the same time as you. Get your draft CV reviewed by your university careers service and professionals working in the field you want to work in. 

4. Start networking

Meet with as many people who can help you as possible. Start by organising a meeting with your careers service. They can review your CV, dispense career advice and may be able to put you in contact with professionals in your industry. Start researching and attending industry events, join forums on professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, and begin making connections. Let family and friends know what you are looking for as they can be an extra pair of eyes and ears. If you know a particular company you want to work for, try reaching out to them early, make a connection and begin to get your foot in the door. 

5. Workshops and skills development

There are certain skills you need to get into the workplace. From being able to craft a winning CV and cover letter to interview skills and effective networking. Workshops can help you fully develop these skills before you have to put them into practice. Conduct mock interviews and practice writing applications as well as writing and delivering your ‘elevator pitch’. 

For more job search tips and careers advice, as well as hundreds of jobs in your local area why not download Zoek. For faster, smarter recruiting Zoek is the new job search app that lets the jobs come to you. Available to download for free on iPhone and Android.  


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