How to land a Well-Paid Graduate Job
After a few years surviving on a student loan and maybe part-time work, its time to kick-start your career with a well-paid job! Even if you’re just looking for experience within a certain industry, a good salary can be a welcome extra.
With autumn quickly approaching, many companies will soon be opening their graduate job applications. Are you ready?
Know where to look
There are so many websites out there with floods of information, it can be a bit of a puzzle where to start. If you know exactly which company you want to work for, of course, head straight for their website, but do have a look around and see what similar companies are out there.
Here's the thing: Don’t rule somewhere out just because you haven’t heard of them before. It’s always good to have a back up and, you never know, you might find something better suited to yourself.
There are also plenty of job boards online it can be hard to know which to look at. Most will have filters, which you can use to focus on graduate roles or a certain pay bracket:
GradJobs.co.uk publish a free yearly directory of graduate roles and advice, listing graduate employers alongside their starting salaries.
Alternatively, GlassDoor.co.uk list salary information for different companies, so even if it’s not on the job posting, you might be able to get more information this way.
Speak to a recruiter
They get paid for finding you a job, so it’s in their interest to help you go far. Many recruiters are industry specialists and may have some useful advice for you too.
If you know someone who already works in the type of role you’re interested in – talk to them. Even if they can’t get your foot in the door, they may have invaluable advice you may have never have known.
This isn’t limited to family and friends, your lecturers and tutors likely to have been through it all already and may have some great professional experience and wisdom to draw upon. LinkedIn can also be a handy tool to connect with other professionals, so make sure your profile is up-to-date.
A careers fair is a great way to meet recruiters from top companies face-to-face and make a great first impression. Often, there are invaluable free resources to take advantage of like CV and career advice, talks from professionals, and the chance to practice interview and application techniques.
There are even job fairs specifically designed for recent graduates, taking place in all the main UK cities every autumn. These are a great place to meet the UK’s top employers and find out more about their graduate offerings. Entry is normally free. Just don’t forget to dress presentably and research who will be there.
Perfect your applications
Even if you find your dream graduate job, you’re not gong to get it unless you have a cracking CV and cover letter.
Get advice from your family and friends or anyone you know who might have experience with recruiting or interviewing. Make sure to triple check and make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, as they will likely be noticed.
Tailoring each covering letter to the skills and experience they mention in the advert is important. Don’t send a generic cover letter with irrelevant info if you’re going up for one of the most competitive graduate jobs out there.
Do your research
Most companies with graduate roles explain their application processes online so there’s no need to be clueless about what the steps are. If you check this, you’ll know what to practice such as interview questions or assessment day scenarios.
Not to mention, its good to know more about what the role involves and what the company does for any interviews you may have.
If you’re well prepared for every part of the application, you’re much more likely to make a good impression.
Not going well so far? Find out why
If you keep getting rejections, send a polite email asking for feedback. Take it on board and try and learn from it.
Don’t harass or have a go at them if don’t reply or say something you don’t want to hear. You don’t want to be remembered for a negative reason!
If it’s a lack of experience that’s the issue, have a go applying for work experience too. Often, these can be arranged informally with no interview required. It’s a great way to network and prove your employability.
Something that you can do now:
Having a professional social media and online presence is also really useful. You don’t have to give up your personality online, but maybe be a little more active on LinkedIn or create a blog with posts relating to the career you’re looking to go into. It will make you look a bit more serious about working in the industry.