5 Tips to Help Future University Grads Land Their First Job

September 25, 2019

How to stand out from the competition in a crowded employment field

I recently had the chance to meet a number of new hires when I presented to the group during their orientation. Since that initial meeting, I have had a number of wonderful follow-up meetings with these young professionals as we shared coffee and tea and discussed life in general. One of my new friends, Demir, agreed to guest blog.  Below, Demir shares what it takes to stand out from the crowd as you pursue your first job and launch your career.  I love his advice and would add one more thought….attitude is important.  Emotions are contagious, so do your best to display a positive and energetic attitude.

"To land your first job after graduation, you need to stand out from the crowd." -- Demir Sezer

Good news graduates, the unemployment rate for UK students six months after leaving university fell to 5.1 percent in 2018, which is the lowest rate since 19791. Unfortunately, that still means that almost 13,000 graduates will leave university with no job and an average debt of £50,0002. The harsh reality is that there aren’t enough roles to go round, especially in London where you aren’t just competing with other UK graduates but with those from across the world.

To land your first job after graduation, you need to stand out from the crowd. Try my five tips to help you get noticed and get hired:

  1. RESEARCH – Do your research before any interview. Look at the company’s most recent financial statements and read their recent press releases. Find out where your interviewers worked previously. Ask them how they came to be in their current role and why. Ask questions about their current projects, too. All of these actions indicate sincere interest in the company and that you have gone above and beyond to educate yourself.
  2. LEAD – Consider starting a society or community action group at university that doesn’t yet exist. Demonstrating leadership while you’re a student shows you have the ability to organise people efficiently from the beginning of your career, a skill future employers will value.
  3. VOLUNTEER – Volunteer internationally over summer breaks if you can, and if you can’t go abroad, volunteer locally. I took part in a 2.5 month-long sustainable farming project in India during which we built a community hall and worked with local charities to vaccinate livestock. Volunteering helps you learn valuable life skills that will translate to your first job.
  4. CONNECT – Use LinkedIn to connect with recruiters in your chosen industry, and let those connections know you’re looking for work. Recruiters often advertise new roles on the platform. Make connections to expand your network even if you already have a graduate job lined up, you never know what other roles you might learn about.
  5. GROW – You will face rejection from some roles but don’t let it get you down. What matters most is that you hold your head high and keep trying. Remember, you only need one offer. Ask for feedback after interviews and think of every experience as practice for landing the right job.

1 Prospects, October 2018

2 BBC.com, 5 July 2017

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Al Chiaradonna