Keywords; graduate careers advice, graduate careers, graduate CV, graduate jobs, graduate recruitment, graduate interviews
As part of our Career Coaching service we provide careers advice and support to graduates. We provide services to Warwick University, The University of Buckingham as well as to individual graduates that come to us for help in getting the career and job that they want. Over the years we have helped literally hundreds of graduates to prepare for and successfully get the job they want.
It is apparent from the graduates that we work with that sometimes the careers advice they have received has been very limited. In this article we give you some of the key links and tips that have helped our graduate career coaching clients.
- Before starting out on any job search activity you need a strong graduate CV. You can prepare your CV at any time, you do not have to wait until you are finishing your degree (when you are fairly busy anyway!)
- A strong graduate CV should tell a potential employer why they should interview you in two pages. Well actually it needs to do this within two thirds of the way down page one. Graduate recruiters can be looking at 200 or more CVs at a sitting and yours needs to stand out from the crowd
- Your graduate CV needs to tell the employer who you are and what you offer in a punchy and concise fashion. Keep it to two pages – it’s designed to get you an interview and not tell your life story
- Our article on how to write a Graduate CV tells you how to create a powerful CV, it also contains an example graduate CV that you can use as a template for your own
- You may also want to consider a Graduate Skills Based CV This link tells you when this may be better and again includes an example skills based CV that you can use as a template that you can use for your own
- If you have created the right graduate CV you will get invited to attend an interview or graduate selection event
- You can beat your competition at interview and at selection centre through good preparation
- The majority of employers use a competency based interview approach to recruitment and selection. So it will come as no surprise that as your start point you need to work out the competencies they are likely to be looking for. You can do this by looking carefully at the job description or person specification. Some of the major employers will send you a copy of the competencies they use at graduate selection centres. A Competency is just another word for the behaviours and skills that an employer is looking for and most of employers have similar lists of competencies. Examples of typical competencies would include; interpersonal skills, curiosity, drive for results, communication skills and team working
- If you have a good idea of the competencies required you can anticipate and prepare answers in advance for around 80% of the questions
- This article on Competency Based Interviews tells you all you need to know to prepare for an interview. As a graduate you might choose examples of competencies based on your study, such as leading a project. You can also consider using examples from your sporting achievements or other interests. You can prepare in advance for Graduate Selection Events. The link provides you with all you need to know to be successful in these group selection situations
Graduate Job Search
- As you probably know the graduate job market is highly competitive. So you will help yourself considerably by doing more than looking at the normal internet jobs boards and using graduate recruitment agencies
- The key to accessing the best jobs in the graduate market is by networking. This will get you noticed and give you access to job opportunities and graduate schemes
- Networking is a skill and this link takes you to an article which explains what networking is all about and how to do it effectively
- Another source of opportunities is Graduate Job Fairs. It is important to plan your strategy for them in advance so that you can stand out from the crowd. Use the link to explain how to do this well
By following all the advice given here you will improve your opportunity of getting a job by more than 75%. If there are no spelling errors on your CV you are 26% more likely to get an interview, so it doesn’t take much to significantly enhance your chances of getting the right job for you.
If you want to know more about our career coaching for graduates please give us a call for a chat, or send an email to find out more about how we can help you. All our contact details are in the side bar.
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