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6 Top recruitment tips for graduates

Tuesday 08 June 2021 by

1.    Searching for roles – As the saying goes, ‘finding a full-time job, is a full-time job’.  It can take time before you actually find a role that’s right for you or sometimes even secure yourself an interview.  Try to remain patient when undertaking your job search and understand that this is a normal process. There are many avenues that can be used to help you secure your first role, be sure to try different methods.  If you are in sixth form or in your GCSE year, your school will likely have resources to do with employment, perhaps a designated careers councillor or organised talks on finding work after school. Use all the available sites where local jobs are posted to keep an eye on the market, this will give you a good idea about what is available and if there are a lot of opportunities. Professional help / advice is also available through the services of a reputable recruitment agency.  Recruiters hold valuable knowledge on which areas of the market have the most openings and what might be best suited to you. At AP Personnel we have a strong network of diverse clients that we are in regular communications with, constantly receiving updates and learning about new career avenues. Do not be afraid to ask our professional advice - we will always be here to help.

2.    Your CV – There are a few things you should look to include in your CV and certainly avoid also. If you are just coming out of education, you should be able to have a CV that is one or two pages. Try to include some duties in your previous roles/positions of responsibility and also be specific with the dates, to include the month as well as the year you started. It can also be a great idea to include a ‘profile’ at the top of your CV where you can write a short description of yourself, talk about what you are looking for in terms of your career, what competencies/skills you have and your character also! This is a great way to give potential hirers an understanding of who you are as a person and what you can offer. A great way to stand out is to compile a covering letter to include with your CV, although this can be considered as standard procedure, more often than not people will use the same if not similar ones to send to various employers. Make sure that you make the best possible effort to personalise each one and make it specific to the company you are sending it to.   Do not forget to add in your cv any academic or recreational achievements.  New employers always like new recruits to have active interests outside of the workplace particularly sports.  They are also a good starting point for discussion in an interview.

3.    Interviewing- In terms of interviewing, you will find a lot of great information on the internet about how to interview well, what you should look to do and what to avoid. Typically, the advice is not bad and you can certainly take a lot of value from researching this yourself. One tip I would give for this, do your research! More often than not it is the best prepared candidate who is hired for the role, this encompasses from how you present yourself, the questions you prepare, what you know about the role/company and what questions you have anticipated will be asked. The more prepared you are, the better you will feel going into the interview and that will really reflect in your confidence once you are there.   Calm any nerves and remember to remain composed and to look at the interviewer when you are responding to questions.

4.    Not knowing what you want to do – Like thousands of school leavers/graduates across the UK, I understand that there is a certain degree of pressure in figuring out what you want to do in terms of career and life in general. Do not worry about this if you haven’t got it all figured out, I can guarantee that there are people from all walks of life at all different ages that still have some uncertainty in what they want to be doing in their careers and this is totally normal. It’s important to try different things and explore what opportunities are in front of you so that you may figure out what works best for you. Take things one step at a time and absolutely trust in the process.

5.    What do I do when I’m unemployed and looking for work? – Make sure you are using your time wisely and demonstrating effort in making yourself more employable. I assume the last thing you want to hear is you should be studying after thinking you’ve left your school books behind once and for all. Although this is the case, once you reach interview you will likely be asked what you have been doing with your time since looking for work, ideally, we want to be able to impress at this point and show we are serious about developing as a professional or have been productive in some form whilst searching. As examples, you want to be able to say something similar to the following, “I’ve been taking an online course in Excel, whilst also researching the financial services industry in Guernsey. For example, I have learnt that…”, “Since I’ve been looking for work, I’ve read the following books as well as used the time to take up a new hobby in..”, “After I left school I’ve been doing some volunteering in my local community and have also created a portfolio of some previous work I have done and experience I have gained”.

6.    Adjusting to full-time employment – One thing that can either come as a shock or a bit of a worry is starting your first full-time role. There are some big differences between full-time education and employment, but these are all things that the majority of the planet get used to and it becomes the norm. If you feel like it is too much of a change or you are struggling with any work pressures or the shift in environment, you may want to arrange a talk with your new employers Human Resources department or your immediate line manager. The people in these roles will have dealt with similar scenarios on many occasions, they understand the change as well as the difficulties that can surface when embarking on a new career.  I’d also allow time for you to adjust and acclimatise to your new routine, I have spoken with many candidates who have said they have regretted leaving jobs early and wish they had given it a little longer. Don’t feel you need to rush any major decisions and ensure you are making the best-informed choices.  Happy job hunting! 


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