The Next Step…
Enjoy that ‘oh so stressful’ dissertation because in a few months you will be unemployed and no longer able to hide behind the infamous student label. Say goodbye to student discounts, sleeping in till 11 and going out on a Wednesday, your life will soon revolve around online maths tests, cover letters and questioning parents.
First things first if you’re feeling a little bit lost and don’t know where to start, book a meeting with your university’s career advisors. They will be able to help you with CV/ cover letters, interviews, career paths/ decisions and how to network. Remember you are paying £9,000 a term, use all the resources available!
Next up, make sure your online profile and CV are up to date and looking sharp. You need to be aware employers will not only look at your CV but will most likely checking out your social media profiles as well so that means deleting everything wouldn’t want your Grandma to see! Tailor your CV depending on the job you apply for, employers will want to see that you are relevant and interested in the role from previous work experience.
To be honest by this point you should already have some work experience under your belt, but if you have been hardly working instead of working hard this is the time to act. Believe it or not placements and internships are very hard to come by. It is an incredibly competitive world out there filled with 100s of students competing for that same Heat magazine junior fashion assistant position- its time to get real. Apply to local businesses in your area, or in locations you have somewhere to stay, internships are usually unpaid. Relevant work experience on your CV will be what separates you from the other 200 applicants. Also in the world we live in sometimes its not what you know but who you know, use your connections wisely especially your lecturers, ask them if there is anyone they could put you in touch with.
Unfortunately, companies take their graduate recruitment very seriously so could often mean you attending two or more interviews. Not only do you have the worry/ stress of exams you now also have to make yourself available at the drop of a hat for interviews. This is not the time for so many reasons to go on holiday or disappear for a few weeks, graduate interview days can often be organised on very short notice. If this is your first ‘real world’ interview seek advice/ help with interviews this could be through your recruiter (if using one), a university advisor or lets face it how much would your parents love to help you out with this one! Oh and dress the part, if nothing else its fun to wear a suit for the day whilst humming the apprentice theme tune. However, not all companies like this corporate approach so find out the dress code before going to the interview.
At the end of the day it is all about being active and constantly looking for your next opportunity. The best place to look is often company websites, find out about their graduate recruitment and how to apply. Also get in touch with recruiters who specialise in entry level or graduate schemes they will be able to guide and consult you on different roles and companies. This is now a make or break time for you in so many ways, don’t fall at the last hurdle- although exams come first at the moment, don’t take your eyes off the prize and forget about the future!