Trying to take on the world of work can be a daunting task when you first leave University. Up until now course applications have been pretty straight forward and you have had the support of your lecturers and fellow students to help you along the way. Fear not! It’s really not that scary but to help here are 8 words of advice for new grads looking to take their first career step!
- First impressions count
If you want to fight off the competition in your interview then it is vital you make a good first impression. In short you need to be punctual, presentable and confident so you have the attention of your interviewer. Read our blog 10 ways to make a great first impression for advice on how to nail this!
- Your career is not degree specific
OK there are SOME exceptions to the rule – if you want to be a Doctor a Bachelor’s Degree in Drama won’t help you get there. There are lots of industries however that are looking to take on people at graduate level but don’t need a specific degree. I personally did a degree in Dance but now work in marketing so I am proof that you shouldn’t pigeon hole yourself!
- Don’t rely on your degree to be considered over other candidates
Now you have your degree it does not mean you can sit back and wait for the jobs to roll in. The market is at its most competitive so you need to go the extra mile to stand out from your competitors. That may mean getting creative with your application, hours of company research and interview prep and even putting together presentations or other materials to help you shine in your interview.
- Be prepared to start at the bottom
As lovely as it would be to jump straight into the bosses chair that is not how it works I’m afraid. Manage your expectations when applying for roles that you will probably start from the bottom BUT if you select an employer with excellent training programmes and opportunities to progress then you needn’t worry! Industry is completely different to University so you need to build up your experience in your graduate role.
- Be nice
This applies to the interview and the job itself. You want to be the type of employee people want to be around, so be polite, be friendly and be positive! Nobody wants to be referred to as the moody employee after all!
- It’s not (all) about the money £££
You may think that the higher salary the better when choosing your graduate job, however don’t forget to factor the following in to your decision: working hours, location, company culture, training schemes, benefits, holiday allowance, travel or parking costs, job description and employees.
- You’ve got to be organised
And organised worker is a successful worker so invest in a diary, make plenty of notes and make sure you file paperwork and emails away properly. A clear desk = a clear mind so now is the time to get tidying!
- Don’t forget your office etiquette
The office can be a minefield for social blunders so here are the main rules: Never microwave fish for your lunch, don’t even dream of using someone else’s mug and if in doubt always bring in biscuits for your colleagues.
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)