5 Steps For Creating An Effective Graduate Job Search Strategy

unemployed graduate

So, you’ve handed your dissertation in, you’re studying for those last exams and the end of university is finally in sight. Over the next few weeks you’ve got so many parties and events planned that you can’t actually name them all, and your first graduate job is the last thing on your mind…but be careful; graduation will come around sooner than you think and then you’ll need a job!

The trick to securing your first graduate job? Planning ahead. OK, so I know that doesn’t exactly sound like a tempting prospect right now and you’ve got a million and one other things on your mind but taking the time to actually come up with some kind of graduate job search strategy now can make all the difference.

Think about it: would you rather put in a little hard work and effort now and stand the best chance of success or wait and compete against tens of thousands of other graduates who have also left it to the last minute? I know which one I’d rather go for! Without further ado then, let’s take a look at the five steps you need to take to give yourself the best chance of success on your graduate job search.

  1. Narrow Down Your Options:It’s completely normal to finish university and not be 100% sure what you want to do or where you want to end up – but pretty soon you’re going to have to make some kind of a decision. It’s no good just applying for jobs here, there and everywhere. You need a focus; consider what area you want to go into and seriously consider which jobs you’d be willing to do before you make any applications.
  2. Research:  Once you’ve worked out what you want to do, it’s time to research the market. Work out who the main employers are in your area, who and when they’re hiring and what kind of candidates they’re looking for – oh, and don’t forget to check if they run a graduate scheme! If they do, find out when they recruit and make sure to schedule enough time in to create an effective application. Similarly, research the main recruiters and any job boards in your market to work out where the market is heading and which roles are going to be important in the future.
  3. Sign Up:  Applying for jobs can be a boring, lengthy process, so save yourself time later on by signing up for job boards now and registering with recruiters. When you create an account with a jobs board, remember to sign up for job alerts and be sure to discuss your career aspirations with the recruiters you register with to ensure they only ever send relevant vacancies your way.
  4. Clean Up: Before you apply for any jobs, it’s important to clean up not only your CV, but your online presence, too. Remember, employers really do look at your social media profiles when considering your application, so make sure there’s nothing terrible on there that might portray you in a negative light. If in doubt, delete!
  5. Schedule: It can be easy to put off applying for jobs because it’s time-consuming and boring but you need to take it seriously and schedule time in for your job search and applications each week. Remember, this is your first ‘real’ job – it counts! Don’t rush your application and don’t send out a rushed cover letter – cutting corners just isn’t an option! Similarly, it can be tempting to apply for every job you see (after all – the more, the merrier), but when it comes to graduate job applications, the focus should be on quality, not quantity!

Author Bio: Amy Edwards works as the SEO Manager for the digital media jobs board Bubble Jobs and regularly blogs about careers and jobs in addition to online marketing and SEO.