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Grads – your career starts now
Congratulations to the recent graduates of 2016. While I am sure you will be enjoying the summer sun over the next month or two (and rightfully so), it’s a good idea to start the ground work into securing your first job.
Where to start?
It’s all about first impressions and this step is critical – it’s time to update your resume. You only have a few moments to capture the attention of the hiring manager so it is important to use that time wisely.
Under your personal details (name, location, mobile, email address, and LinkedIn hyperlink), include a brief summary your experience to date and what you’re looking for in your career. Use an easy to read font (Calibri, size 11 is a safe option) and ensure the spacing on your resume is even.
Now it’s time to showcase your work experience, education, academic achievements and extracurricular activities. You might feel that these experiences aren’t relevant to the role you are applying to, but what you’re presenting is your work ethic, ability to prioritise tasks and manage your time effectively.
Use our resume template if you need help with the layout.
Do you have an online presence?
You may be interested to learn that 97% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to find potential recruits. If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile!
Your LinkedIn profile should mirror your resume – it’s like a resume that never sleeps, so you need to add your education, work experience, accomplishments and any volunteering/extra-curricular activities. By doing this, you give potential employers an insight into who you are and what you’re about even before an initial conversation. Not only will it assist with the job search, but as you move through your career it’s a great way to stay connected with your professional network.
Another tip is to look into your social media presence. A simple Google search of your name will bring up any Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest accounts. Rather than risk it, it’s suggested that you set all social media accounts to private.
Don’t know what you want to do?
As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to submit applications for every single position advertised. Think carefully about the work and internship experience you gained throughout your studies. What did you enjoy? Where did you excel? What didn’t you like? Go through a process of elimination to determine what an appropriate career might look like. When you have a solid idea of what you’re looking for, then you can start applying for positions.
While graduate programs are an excellent start for your career, only a small percentage of applicants will get these roles. Broaden your search as there are many entry level positions suitable for ambitious graduates.
Remember to track the applications you submit so when you receive a call from the hiring manager you have an idea of the role. It may also be helpful to note down a few points on why you applied to the position and general information about the company. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for an initial phone interview.
Prepare for an interview
You’ve secured an interview, now it’s time to start researching. Conducting research on the company you are about to interview with allows you to decide whether the company is right for you by looking into their purpose and vision. You should also be researching recent awards, achievements and press releases. Based on your research and what you’re most interested in, prepare 2-3 questions to ask the hiring manager in your interview. Remember, you want to secure the right role for you so this part of the process is critical.
For more interview advice, watch our video on the five things you should never do in an interview.
There are five key stages to starting your career after graduation:
1. First impressions - this includes your resume and cover letter
2. Online presence - ensure your social media profiles are up to scratch
3. Decide what you want to do - this isn't always easy, so think about what you're really good at
4. Start applying - it's a big step, but you won't get anywhere until you start actually applying for roles
5. Prepare for interviews - you might not get invited to an interview for every job you apply for, but make sure you're prepared for when you are