You’ve done the hard work, donned your cape and hat, and taken all the pictures. What’s next? Landing a job and starting your career straight after graduation might feel easier said than done, but with a bit of strategic planning you’ll be updating your LinkedIn profile in no time.
Expand your options
Sure, you might land the dream job at a dream company, but be open to other possibilities as well. Having multiple leads in play could open new career opportunities you have yet to even consider. In other words, don’t let your degree define you, and instead think through the transferable skills you do have that could make you a great fit for the right employer. Cast as wide a net in your chosen field as your imagination will allow you and explore several industries, companies, and even multiple roles. Ask anyone with a long and rewarding career, and you’ll discover few have followed a linear path and now is the time to explore all your options. Start with our jobs board where you’ll find a host of different roles from leading companies worldwide.
Treat the job search like your first job
If companies aren’t lining up to hire you, they are clearly missing out. But this is the reality for most graduates, bar a lucky few. For everyone else, a little legwork is needed to set you on the right path. It’s tempting to sit back and relax, particularly after all that studying, but use the momentum you’re on to fast-track the process as much as possible. Spend the hours you would have spent studying to work on your job search – researching your preferred role and specific companies, applying to job opportunities, networking with people, updating your CV, etc. This will keep you focused and informed when the offers finally do land.
Review salary trends
Knowledge is power. If you’ve invested in your education, you already know this, but now’s not the time to drop the ball. By exploring salary trends, you will not only refine your vision for the career ahead of you, but you’ll also set expectations for entry-level positions. Indeed has a specific tool to help you learn more about a job’s salary range and the average salary at popular companies. Take note of which entry-level job titles are on the up and up. You can also access national trends or select individual cities if you’re planning an exciting move.
Prep for the interview (before you have one)
Regardless of how long it takes to secure that first interview, if you persevere it will come, and you need to be ready. Prepare answers for general questions that can often catch inexperienced interviewees off guard. Why do you want this job? Why should I hire you? Why this company? Employers will want to know that you are qualified, enthusiastic about the role advertised, as well as excited to be working for them and that you will be a good addition to the team.
Embrace your network
How do you embrace a professional network when you have yet to land your first job? You’re more connected than you think. Professors, fellow classmates, friends, mentors and even former schoolteachers are already part of your network, you just need to tap into them. Connect on social media platforms and engage on their achievement posts. The more you invest in these relationships, the more likely they are to consider you for a role or opportunity that might arise. Remember, internships, part-time jobs and volunteer work make a difference too and can further serve to expand your network. Maximise introductions, referrals and references that you can get from people who already know, like and trust you. Remember to reciprocate as you hear of leads and especially when you land!
Clean up your social
Social media is great for oversharing, but if you’re serious about starting a professional career, consider the prospect of every post you’ve ever shared being monitored by your prospective boss. Daunting, right? Of course, you can make your accounts private, but the internet has a funny way of catching up with people. So, if there’s a post you’d rather not have to explain to a HR manager in the future, press delete now. While you’re at it, start developing your professional online presence. Think of it as personal branding and your profile as a virtual handshake. Summarise your background, interests and what you’re looking for and there’s no telling how many doors it could help you open.
Feeling inspired? Check out the open job opportunities here right now and put everything you’ve learned to good use.