So you’ve done your degree and all those years of studying have finally come to an end, but then along comes the tricky part – finding a job.
But before you go into any kind of career-induced fear, check out these six top tips to help you land a job after university…
Think carefully before doing a Master’s degree
When you finish your degree course there can be a great temptation to throw yourself headlong into a new one – after all, anything that can give you an advantage over your peers has to be a good idea.
The thing is, unless the Masters degree is a vocational one, there’s a good chance having that extra qualification on your CV won’t actually make you a more attractive applicant. In fact, the only way it will make you more employable is if it improves your skill set more than a year in the job would.
If you’re looking at joining a law firm, then legal qualifications tend to mix both academic study and on the job training, so if you’re thinking of doing a Masters it could be worthwhile to follow this model and choose one that has a clear vocational benefit.
Masters degrees can leave you over-qualified and without enough experience for entry-level jobs. So do your research before signing up for one. Get the qualifications you need, and that get us much experience as possible. Even if this means doing a ‘menial’ job, and setting up a small business yourself to gain experience. If you have a degree in web design for example, build a portfolio of great websites that you have created for clients; even if you have to do them for free.
Decide what you want to do
It might sound obvious, but deciding what you want out of your career when you finish your studies will help speed up the whole process of getting a job – not least because employers aren’t keen on vague applications.
So before you apply, pick a career that complements not only your qualifications, but also your interests, experience and skills – if you can demonstrate a natural passion alongside academic knowledge this will go a long way with a prospective employer.
It’ll also give you a greater chance of building a long-term career.
Don’t worry your first job will pigeonhole you
While it’s a good idea to apply for a job you’d like to make a career out of, don’t get so hung up on your first job being the defining one that you put off making any applications.
So if you find yourself getting bogged down in this way, instead consider what you’d like to be doing in one or two years’ time and take it from there – there’s a chance that not only will you change during that period but the world of work will do the same.
Make the most of social media
Landing the ideal job is about more than firing off your CV and you now need to make the most of social media, with Twitter and LinkedIn being two of the best channels for job seekers.
So show your interest in a particular career early by following some influencers in a particular field and joining in conversations on relevant subjects.
If you’re looking to get headhunted, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to scratch with all of your latest and most relevant experiences logged.
And make sure you’ve a good, clean social media profile as employers will check in on you before offering an interview.
Keep searching for the ideal job
The graduate job landscape is a very competitive one, and any postgraduate courses should be seen as a continuous process and not a one-off job hunt. So when looking for a job, work out how you can best take control of your career development, considering not only skills but associated values and interests.
And no matter how competitive the market is, never give up on your dream job. Instead, make working towards it your number one priority.