GUEST BLOG: Job Hunting Tips for Students and Upcoming Graduates

UoY Careers Balloon illy Guest blog written by Lauren Knowles, digital content writer, Portfolio Payroll.

Read our top tips on how to prepare yourself for your job search so that you can ensure a smooth transition from university education to full-time employment.

Top tips on how to kick-start your job search while at university

There are many different paths students can journey down after graduation, from travelling and charity work to further education and employment.

If your goal is to start out on your chosen career path, there is plenty you can do now to prepare for your job search. This handy guide outlines the methods you can use to stand out from all other competition in the graduate jobs market and successfully land your first full-time role after you finish studying.

Build up your contacts list

Networking and developing a strong list of contacts is valuable to any job search. Developing relationships with people in your chosen industry as well as university alumni and course mates can allow you to build connections and discover job opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have. You can do this through a number of methods, including:

  • Attending events and talks put on by the university
  • Signing up for events, workshops or activities put on by businesses you would like to work for
  • Making everyone aware of your chosen career path and aspirations.

Ongoing interaction with any professional contacts you do make is essential, as it can help you to get your foot in the door at organisations. If an employer knows about you as well as your skills, experience and dedication, this can give you the upper hand over other applicants should a job vacancy arise.

Gain work experience and training

Developing trusted relationships with contacts can also provide you with opportunities to gain work experience or internships within businesses. These can be a good addition for your CV, as they will highlight to a prospective employer that you have first-hand experience, basic knowledge of the industry as well as good initiative.

Along with networking, there are a number of other steps that you can take to gain work experience in your chosen industry, including:

  • Careers service – the university career staff will be able to inform you of any internships, training schemes and work experience they are currently advertising. They can also offer careers advice and any CV support you need prior to or during your job search.
  • Graduate training schemes – while very competitive, it is worth applying for relevant programmes. They offer on-the-job training, development and networking opportunities and a chance to gain professional qualifications. Organisations have also been known to keep on those who excel in their trainee positions.
  • Get involved in industry clubs and societies – if you have time left at university, join an industry club or society related to your chosen industry. This can help you to develop both general work-related skills and improve your industry knowledge. You will also be presented with the chance to speak with other people interested in the same field as you, who can share any ideas and opportunities they know of.

Get support as you start to job hunt

As you begin your job search, speak to a recruiter specialising in your chosen industry. They will be able to provide you with information on graduate vacancies as well as insight into application processes. As recruiters build strong relationships with their client base, they can also relay the expectations of prospective employers to you, giving you an opportunity to present your skills, experience and knowledge effectively in your CV and interview.

The graduate jobs market is a competitive one. But, by thinking carefully and taking action to prepare for your job hunt, there is plenty you can do now to stand out from all other competition. Remain proactive, use tried-and-tested methods to make opportunities and grab hold of any that do come your way, and you can put yourself in the strongest possible position for landing your first full-time job after university.

Portfolio Payroll is a recruitment firm specialising in selecting quality candidates for credit control vacancies at reputable firms throughout the UK.

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