How To Get A Foot On The Job Ladder As A Recent Graduate
More and more people are entering into the world of work with university degrees than ever before. This means that, when it comes to choosing a candidate, most companies are spoilt for choice with very qualified individuals. However, because many individuals can’t find that first job after graduating, they lack the experience of employment to be put ahead of older, more experienced individuals. So here are some ways that any graduate out there seeking employment can make themselves stand out and improve their chances of getting their foot on the first rung of the job ladder.
First and foremost, recent graduates tend to be overlooked because of a lack of experience – even though they may be qualified for the industry they wish to enter, they lack that all important on-the-job wisdom that makes them suitable for the job. It may be costly, especially for someone with little savings and student debt, but offering your services for free or a very low wage can help you gain that experience that is required to be suitable for a higher-paid job. Seeking out internships and positions lower down the job ladder than the one you are reaching for can help bolster your application and allow you to earn your stripes in the business. Equally, bulk out your CV with as many workshops and talks about your chosen career – the more you have done will reflect a person who is driven, knowledgeable and interested in the job they are applying for.
If this isn’t an option, try to find jobs and internships in other industries until you have a greater amount of experience working in general. Sometimes it will be easier getting any job as a graduate, then changing careers into the job of your desires. Simply working will give you transferrable skills that you’ll need to take steps on the job ladder. Maybe working in admin teaches you how to write the perfect report, so you can make the perfect high-stakes investment pitch.
But for many recent graduates, that experience just isn’t there, and gaining it does involve finding jobs, whatever they may be. If you need to make that very first step out of university without the advantage of any practical wisdom on your side, sell yourself as an educated person as well as you can and put yourself out there as much as possible. Use the skills you have gained through your educational career to put yourself forward as a model employee, even without first-hand knowledge of the industry. Many graduates have the advantage of their degree, and can use the skills of higher education to put themselves ahead. Working at university level can give you abilities such as critical thinking, time management skills and an independent work ethic under pressure, all of which are attributes that prospective employers look for.
To make yourself more visible to prospective employers, as well as give them the best first impression of you as a young professional, harness the power of the internet. Rather than looking in the classifieds in your local paper, upload your CV to jobs sites, work on a LinkedIn page that shines, or even a personal website. Tidy up your other social media profiles so that your online presence is one of an interesting, useful person. Equally, use your social circle and the connections you have made during your time at university to see if you know someone already working in the field, and get them to recommend you to employers.
Another thing the graduates of now have on their side is that this generation of ex-students will be the millennial generation. With this comes skills and understanding, of social media and modern technology, that older generations lack. If you are a graduate trying to find employment, try to emphasise your presence as one that will help that company access modern media and younger markets; use your youth to your advantage.
So, if you are a recent graduate or a student who is looking towards work after graduation, remember to find as many opportunities to gain experience as possible. Look for jobs that may help you towards getting that dream career and use your education and your age to your advantage in order take those first steps on the job ladder.