The first six months after graduating can be incredibly tough. You will probably ask yourself ‘Have I prepared enough?’. Have you read the graduate job-hunting guide yet? If not, you should definitely check it out!
Graduate jobs are often incredibly competitive so it’s important to begin your search as early as possible. If you haven’t quite finished university or college then hopefully this will still give you some great advice about how to find a graduate job and ideas for what to include in your CV & cover letter.
If you’re thinking about applying for a graduate role but don’t know where to start – this article has got everything that’ll help!
I’ve put together an infographic lots of useful information on what you should do during your first six months as a graduate!
Graduate Job-Hunting Guide – Your CV & Cover Letter – Start Looking Early
What Is A Graduate Role?
Your first job after completing education. It’s a role where you will learn key skills and make valuable contacts to help kick start your career. It won’t be your dream job, but the offices will definitely be better than working in McDonalds. You might also have to work nights or weekends, which isn’t ideal when you want to go out partying with friends – but don’t worry it’ll all be worth it when you’re earning more money than those who chose ‘normal jobs’ over their dream job!
Most graduate schemes are either a mix of training and on the job experience, or just straight up training with no on the job experience. You might think that sounds like a load of bollocks; ‘Why would I want to do work experience when I don’t know what my career is yet?’ It’s not an excuse to slack off whilst you’re at university/college though! There are plenty of ways to find out about opportunities before you graduate – so make sure you read this guide for how to find a graduate role.
The truth is everybody wants to be earning money as soon as possible, which is why they started looking for graduate schemes in their first year at school. But if you took your time at university and dedicated it all towards building skills that will help with your career then you are likely to have a much better chance of being hired.
Every graduate scheme is different – so it’s important that you read the job description carefully before applying, don’t just see ‘graduate’ and think oh cool I could do that!
What To Include On Your CV & Cover Letter?
This may seem obvious but there are thousands of graduates who apply for jobs without taking the time to write up their CV or cover letter. Applicants who haven’t taken time to write theirs might as well not even apply because they’ve done nothing to stand out from the crowd. Read this guide now on how to create a perfect CV & cover letter and make your application unforgettable – maybe even get an interview!
If you’re worried about your CV & cover letter because you don’t know what to include – this guide has got all the information that’ll help!
How To Find A Graduate Scheme?
Most companies will ask for a copy of your CV and a covering letter when you apply, but it’s always good to be over prepared! The more job skills and experience you have before graduating, the better. It could even give a potential employer a reason to hire you instead of somebody who might just turn up on day one looking for their ‘dream job’. If there are specific graduate schemes, they’re interested in then chances are they will look online at which graduates have applied versus which graduates haven’t applied yet. This is why it can be so important to have a strong covering letter and CV if you start looking early.
An example of a letter is below – don’t forget that you should always tailor this for each job application as it’s the first thing they’ll see!
Addressing A Covering Letter To A Company
Envelope Example: If your name was James Smith and the company address was Wealth Management plc, Business Centre, 1 Park Lane, London W1K 1AA then on the envelope it would be written like this: James Smith c/o Wealth Management plc Business Centre 1 Park Lane London W1K 1AA If you had a friend called John Doe who worked at the same company but in another department, it would be written like this: John Doe c/o Wealth Management plc Business Centre 1 Park Lane London W1K 1AA
“Dear Hiring Manager, I read with interest your job advertisement for a Marketing Assistant at [insert company name] and was intrigued by the idea of working in an office environment outside of my university campus. I’m available to start work on [insert date] should you wish to interview me. My expected graduation date is [insert month and year]. As I’m sure you are aware, graduates are often desperate for paid employment upon leaving University/College which is why I am applying before even graduating! It might seem counterproductive but the skills that I have learned while studying will no doubt contribute towards my success Marketing Assistant, and ensure that I have a long-lasting career at [insert company]. This is why I believe that I would be an asset to your team. In my final year of University/College it is imperative that I make the most out of my time in order to prepare myself for work life after graduation. As such, I obtained the highly sought-after position of Marketing Executive on student magazine XYZ and was responsible for proactively marketing advertising space for our advertisers – which included liaising with clients and organizing events.
As you can see from my CV, which you might like to take a look at via the link below, that even during my time as a writer for this department’s blog (see attached) I made sure to write engaging content in order to boost views and attract an audience. I also held the position of Vice President for my University’s Marketing Society so it is evident that I possess both organizational and leadership skills – something which would be useful in ensuring successful marketing campaigns within your team, particularly when relaying information between colleagues. Thank you for taking the time to review my candidacy; I hope that we can move forward with arranging an interview at your convenience. If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Best Regards, [Signature]”
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