7 Secrets to Securing your First Graduate Tech Job

Despite the perceived “skill shortage” within the world of IT and tech, there is still a high level of competition amongst graduates looking to land their first tech career after University. For many students and graduates this will be the first time they have ever had to formally apply for a job role, so everything can seem totally new from writing a CV to attending an interview. Some of the resources you’ll find online to help are outdated and frankly not that helpful for actually helping you secure a graduate job, so we decided to cut through the noise and give you 7 genuinely useful tips to help you along the way!

Here are 7 tips that can help you get a graduate tech job!

Repeat tech skill keywords in your CV

While you do not want to come across as overly repetitive on your job application, a lot of companies will use applicant tracking systems or recruitment agencies that will only consider really looking at an application if the submitted CV clearly matches the skills required on the job advert. For example if you are applying for a graduate tech job that requires C# you may reference this skill in your CV summary, your top tech skills, your degree experience, your placement year experience and even a side project you worked on whilst at University. Yes, it is all demonstrating the same knowledge and skill-set, but it means that the skill will show up at least 5 times when your CV is scanned quickly and you’ll have a better chance of being considered for the role.

Give an honest insight if you are going to relocate

This is one that comes up a lot of the time for Graduates. You finish University and you might consider looking for roles in a number of locations (e.g. your University City, your home town, a City where your friends live etc.). It’s all good and well being happy to relocate, but a lot of companies / recruiters won’t even consider a CV from someone who has to relocate because it can often lead to people dropping out of the process later down the line. If you have a genuine reason to relocate, make reference to it in your cover letter and you’ll have a better chance of being considered. But before making such an essential decision, you can first read articles such as Philadelphia vs Chicago.

Change your LinkedIn settings

If you haven’t already got a LinkedIn profile set up then you should get on this straight away. LinkedIn is one of the most popular platforms that companies use to source talent for their vacancies, so by simply populating your profile on here (in a similar way to how you will have populated your CV) you can become discoverable without even lifting a finger to search for a job. One key setting you should change is within the LinkedIn settings to show that you are “Open to new opportunities”. It will increase your chances of receiving more relevant opportunities so give it a try!

Demonstrate your tech ability outside of your CV

The CV for any technical candidate only acts as a verification tool for companies / recruiters reviewing job applications. If you are applying for a role as a Graduate Software Developer then a CV with the skill PHP listed 5-10 times is a great start, but it does nothing to really show how well versed you are with the technology. Instead why not showcase your code work via Stack Overflow or offer to complete a technical test? If you are applying for a role as a Graduate UX Designer why not link to a portfolio site like Dribbble or Behance.

Be available at the drop of a hat

While many formal graduate schemes involve a lengthy application and interview process, a lot of companies that look to hire graduates want to do so quickly to help them plug their current vacancies. For that reason it is often the most responsive and available candidates that are considered for job roles. Be ready to flex your schedule to make yourself available for phone / Skype / Face to Face interviews.

Network to get in first for new roles

Keeping a close eye on the job boards to see potential vacancies can help you get to the top of the CV pile in many instances, but an even better way to boost your chances of securing a graduate job is to be put forward for it before the vacancy has even been listed. Start networking now (on LinkedIn or through local tech events) with organisations you are interested in working with and technical recruiters in the area, and discuss what you would be looking for. A well-timed discussion with people in your network could put you at the forefront of someone’s mind when they go to recruit, and it could mean you’re up against less competition for the job too!

Start your search today

While some companies want to move quickly to hire technical graduates, others still favour the more formal “Graduate Scheme” approach, and that means applying months before you Graduate if you want to be in the running for a Summer or September start! Get searching and applying as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

If you are due to graduate this Summer, or are a recent graduate looking for something new then get in touch with Searchability at [email protected] / 01244 567 567. Searchability have opportunities within IT Support / Infrastructure, Software Development, Software Testing, Big Data & Analytics, Digital Marketing, Design and Creative and eCommerce!