Leaving university and entering the “real world” can be daunting for any individual. Not only do you no longer have access to a number of student privileges (say goodbye to student discounts and waking up at midday), you are also expected to transition smoothly into adult, working life.
My colleague Sarah and I have both recently joined Passle straight from University and having been through this process ourselves, we discovered four key points we believe are worth following.
1. Focus your energy
Focus your time and energy specifically on roles at organisations which you are suited to. You might have an overwhelming feeling to apply to as many jobs as possible, you have heard how competitive grad jobs are, so you feel that applying to more gives you a greater chance of success, this is rarely the case. Applying to too many roles can force you to lose focus of what you really want, also leaving you with less time to prepare for the roles that you really desire.
2. Build an online professional profile
"A personal brand is important, but a professional brand is even more so". Highlighted in the quote below, 40% of employers screen candidates social media. This can be used to your advantage, regularly engaging with relevant content demonstrates a professional demeanour with an interest in the particular sector.
Be proactive. By no means am I suggesting you attend every networking event in your area, this can simply be connecting with friends and family on LinkedIn and starting to build a network of these individuals.
4. Don’t panic
Your close friends may have secured their dream jobs and you don't want to get left behind. The more you feel pressured into finding a job, the less likely you are to find a fulfilling role. A quarter of grads "expect to quit their first job within a year of starting it" according to Alan Tovey of the Guardian, don't rush into a role just to avoid having a hole in your CV.
Research suggests 40% of employers use social media to screen candidates, so it's important to keep your online profile clean. "Social media can be [either] a friend or foe," adds Annie Peate, who works in CIPD's campaigns team, specialising in youth employment. "Personal brand is important, but professional brand is even more so. Employers have been known to check up on a candidate before inviting them for interview, so it's important to ensure you keep all publicly accessible information employer-friendly."