GUEST BLOG: 5 Ways to Boost Your Employability as a Graduate

UoY Careers Balloon illy Guest blog written by Mark Bradford, STEM Graduates

48% of York graduates find work in Scientific, Engineering and Computing-orientated careers, so with graduation fast approaching it’s probably as good a time as any to introduce ourselves.

STEM Graduates provide careers advice and graduate job opportunities for students and graduates from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths degree subjects. Those from a non-STEM degree discipline fret not however, our 5 step guide will be applicable to your job search too:

  1. Know what’s out there

There might be an aspect of your degree that you’re particularly interested in pursuing further as you launch your career, though it’s important to be aware of what skills are currently most sought after by graduate employers.

The AGR’s surveys and independently published information from resources such as ourselves are good places to start. If you forgive the plug, a good example of what to look out for is our recent infographic outlining the recruitment trends within the IT industry in 2015. Though, you’ll also get a sense of what’s out there when you’re searching for jobs yourself.

Recognise what aspects of your strengths and preferences match with what type of skills are most sought after and tailor your applications to reflect this. The key is to be adaptable, chase your dream job by all means but don’t narrow the opportunities available to you as a consequence.

  1. Research your chosen industry

You’ve decided what the focus of your graduate job search will be, now you need to know your sector inside out.

Make sure you keep up to date with current affairs in the industries you’re looking to work in, this will make future interviews less daunting as you’ll feel comfortable to take on non-company specific industry questions interviewers might try to catch you off-guard with.

  1. Utilise social media

LinkedIn is the obvious place to start in this respect, ensure that your profile can be found by recruiters by listing key skills and terms relevant to your industry on your profile (do this also with your CV if your register on job boards). Recruiters will initially perform keyword searches on LinkedIn, so the jobs will have more of a chance of finding you.

It’s important not to neglect the power of networking within social media, join relevant LinkedIn groups and get involved in any discussion and utilise Twitter and Facebook to interact with potential employers’ content. Blogs are also a good way of great way of getting your name out there with prospective employers and you can use this platform to establish yourself as an authority on your chosen sector during an application process.

  1. Make the most of internship and voluntary opportunities

Any internship or voluntary opportunity is an important chance to prove your work-ethic and dependability to potential employers. To them you’re something of a mystery, so take on a voluntary job and do yourself proud – the reference you’ll get is invaluable.

It’s all the better if the experience you gain is related to your chosen industry and the volunteering opportunities at York are avenues to consider.

  1. Perfect your interview technique

You’ve followed steps 1-4 and you’re suddenly being inundated with interview requests. So much so that it’s tempting to neglect some of your lower priority applications and although you’ve been invited for an interview, you’re tempted to cancel. Don’t. With interviews it’s the case that practice will make perfect.

When a prospective employer wants to meet you it means they recognise you have the skills to perform the job, so it’s handling the jitters and putting yourself across right that will be your main obstacle. So why not hone your interview technique in a less intense environment?

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