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Graduating this year? We reveal the 5 things you should be doing to get ready for the world of work

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

It is said that the years spent at university are among the best you will ever have. This is certainly true, but things really begin to get exciting the moment you graduate.

That’s when a whole new world of opportunity opens up, and you take your first tentative steps into the world of work.

So, what are the best ways to boost your chances of landing that dream first job?

Going to university was arguably one of the best decisions I’ve made to date, , both from a personal and career perspective. Luckily for me, my mother has worked in Recruitment for as long as I can remember (not that I’m trying to age her, of course!). That meant I was given advice on how best to prepare for life after university. Not all of my fellow graduates were as fortunate.

Understanding what Employers look for in a newly qualified graduate is essential to raising your profile as a Candidate of choice. This is especially true in today’s increasingly competitive jobs market.

So, if you’re ready to embark on the start of your new graduate career journey, take a look at our five top tips, to give you the head start you need.

Check what Google says about you

Have you ever entered your name into Google to see what results are generated? Try it. This is one of the first things a potential Employer will do. They want to see what online presence you have, and if you could be someone that could ‘fit’ with the culture of the business. If you run a blog, that will come up. Equally, if you’re on social media, each of your accounts will be shown, too – will any of your posts shock a would-be hiring manager?

Tailor your applications

Your CV has just one role to perform – to get you an interview. It is a sales document that should whet the appetite of a recruiter or hiring manager. But these people see dozens of CVs each day, which means you need to work hard to ‘sell’ yourself as an Employee of choice. With Employers taking less than 20 seconds on average to review an application, you need a strong opening paragraph (a positioning statement) that addresses all the W’s – who, what, when, where and crucially, why you would make a great hire.

Understand what Employers are looking for

As a recent Graduate, employers understand you have limited work experience, so they are not expecting you to have a glittering CV that will WOW them. Instead, the most successful Candidates are those who can sell their potential to be great in a role. For example, suppose you’re looking to enter the world of marketing – think of the tasks you performed at university or the part-time jobs you held that have a marketing element to them.

Register with the right agencies

Did you know that there are three times as many Recruitment agencies today than there were just five years ago? Each agency will be competing with one another to register the best talent that’s out there, but a word of caution – be choosey. I know a lot of people who signed up to pretty much every Recruitment agency they could when they left university, but that scattergun approach rarely – if ever – works. Too many of them found they were being put forward for positions they had little or no interest in. Be selective in which Recruitment agencies you entrust and only register with those who recruit the specific types of jobs you really want to be doing.

Finally, do your homework

Just because you have graduated doesn’t mean an end to doing homework! Employers are looking to invest in a great Candidate and they will only do so if that person has shown they are equally invested in their career. Go through the websites of the companies you are applying to, check them out on social media and see what other people or the media have said about them via a simple search on Google. Knowledge is power and the more you know about your next Employer, the stronger your chances of career success. Remember, they’ll be doing their homework on you.

Are you graduating this year? Get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you.

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