Beginner’s guide to finding a job after graduation
Kshitij Bhoumik is Lecturer in Marketing at Leeds University Business School. He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and has five years of work experience in the sales and marketing of dairy products. In this blog Kshitij shares his best tips for finding your first job after graduating.
Looking for a job while finishing your studies could be challenging for various reasons. Depending on your personal circumstances and skill levels, finding a job could take a few months, so it is always better to start early. In this blog, I will talk about the different factors that you should take into account while searching and interviewing for a job.
1. Update your CV.
For most jobs, CV is perhaps the only document that you can prepare in advance to serve as the first point of contact with employers. Your CV should not only have an attractive design but should also be tailored to match the capabilities required for the job. It is a good practice to customise your CV as you apply for different jobs. Also, get feedback on your CV from your mentors. These can be people from industry or academia. You can also use a CV checker available in the resources section on MyCareer. Make sure you connect to the alumni network and if you hear from them, make sure to send your CV for consideration.
2. Apply for multiple jobs.
We all have a list of preferred jobs based on the company, job profiles, expected salaries, and geographical areas. These factors, although important, also limit the number of jobs one can apply for. It is important to apply for multiple jobs to get perspective on the intensity of competition in the job market. It is very common to keep switching jobs till you find one that matches your skills and preferences.
3. Learn from your job interviews.
Job interviews provide an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in front of professionals. It is important to be at the top of your game during the interviews. Interview etiquette such as dressing formally, being a bit early, and knowing a bit of background about your interviewees (if that information is available) can prepare you mentally for the big day. For more advice on preparing for job interviews read Careers Service guidance. You can also book a mock interview appointment or practice video interviews using Shortlist.Me platform available in the resources section on MyCareers.
While we strive to give our best during the interviews, there is always a chance that things do not go the way you expect them to. Maybe there were a few tricky questions that you couldn’t answer, or you were not happy with the way you answered them. It is also quite possible that you did very well and still did not receive the offer.
Think of interviews as a learning process. After the interview write down the questions you were asked and focus on those you believe you didn’t tackle well. Work on those questions and polish your responses for the next interview. As you do this exercise, you will see that you get better and start to gain more confidence. Remember, the purpose of the interview is not just to test your skills and knowledge, but to assess whether you are a good fit for the company. Showing how you can fit into the job role naturally is also very important.
4. Consider your circumstances!
Many jobs ask for a relevant work experience. This can make things tricky if you don’t have any. If this applies to you, there are a couple of things that you can do to increase your chances of getting interviews.
Firstly, it is important to connect with other people in the same profession, including the people in middle and upper management (senior managers, CEO, etc.) and HR positions. They will be likely the decision makers for job positions. You can reach out to these people through taking part in conferences and using networking platforms such as LinkedIn.
Secondly, look for internship positions. Internships can provide you with real corporate experience and an opportunity to connect with people in the field. Internship experience is a valuable addition to your CV as it may turn out to be a good topic of discussion in interviews. In some cases, an internship may translate into a permanent job in the same organization.
If you are an international student and need a visa to stay in the country where you want to work, you need to be very active in the job market and committed to developing knowledge, skills, and experience. It is important to get a head start so you have sufficient time to find a job before your visa runs out. This could only be achieved when you have enough clarity toward your long-term professional goals.
I hope that these tips will come useful and good luck in your job search!