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Job Search Tips For Graduates

Published: Monday 6th July 2015

Woman searching for a job on her laptop

So you’re about to graduate and the world of work is beckoning. If you don’t have a firm offer in place – and many students graduating with general degrees don’t – you may be worried about how to kick off your job search.

Where do you start? How should your CV look? Are internships the way forward? Which job boards should you look at? You may have learned all about your degree subject at uni but now you have to learn the job search ropes.

Here are Zoek’s tips to help any new graduate:

1. Your CV – Keep It Simple

It’s easy to believe that an all-singing, all dancing curriculum vitae complete with pictures, video and links to your own YouTube channel and blog is the way forward but simple and straightforward is generally preferable to employers. Don’t worry about standing out, a good recruiter can spot stand-out applicants from a regular CV and may be put off by anyone who tries too hard. Of course, if you’re applying for creative jobs, restrained evidence of your creativity on your CV is desirable.

2. Online contacts

Networking sites such as LinkedIn are fast becoming an invaluable way to find a job and millennials are generally pretty adept at all types of social media. Remember, though, that prospective employers will check out your online presence so Google yourself and check there’s nothing too embarrassing up there. If there is, remove it! Alongside social media there are online job boards to use and also traditional avenues such as graduate recruitment agencies and job adverts in newspapers and magazines.

3. Internships

Sometimes internships lead to paid employment, sometimes they don’t. And they vary in the duties you’ll be asked to perform and the future usefulness of those duties. Short periods of unpaid work experience is a necessary part of most people’s education but long-term unpaid internships are actually illegal if you are working set hours and have set responsibilities and the work you do is of value to the employer (unless it’s a charity). Under employment legislation you should be paid the minimum wage. Use any internships to gain experience and contacts.

4. Size Isn’t Everything

Missing out on a place on a graduate training scheme with a big organisation isn’t the end of the world, even if that’s the direction most of your fellow graduates are taking. Often, there is more chance to grow and stand out in a smaller company.

5. If Nothing’s Happening..

Change your strategy. The economy is on the up, there are jobs out there and people are hiring so if you’ve submitted 100 job applications with no joy, sit down and start again. Seek advice about your CV. Practise your interview style with family or friends. Look at what experience you can gain while job hunting. Volunteering always looks good and even regular part time jobs such as bar work or shelf stacking can bring added value to a CV.

If you’re graduating soon download the new Zoek app to let your new job find you? The app for faster, smarter recruitment can be downloaded on iOS or Android.

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