New Graduate Careers

As new graduates get ready to develop their careers, they transition from a world where they've attained a level of comfort and success into an entirely unfamiliar one. Many of them think their hard work in university will automatically entitle them to recognition and desirability as a new hire.

But just as gaining acceptance into university requires an understanding of what academia looks for in a prospective student, graduate careers also require careful study and preparation. Here's what to keep in mind as you go about researching and planning your graduate career.

What are these?

Do What You Love

Before deciding on a career path, it's important to research the job market and analyse your own strengths and interests to find out what kind of career might suit you best. As a wise counselor once said, 'Do what you love, the money will follow.' This is good advice when pursuing your graduate career since the likelihood of success and happiness always improves when you're doing something you feel passionate about.

To help you figure out your preferences and steer your graduate career in the right direction, many university career centres offer free aptitude and personality tests. These may help you zero in on the kind of graduate career that fits you best.

Start Your Job Searching Early

Start researching careers early, before you graduate. Keep a tight focus on the work you enjoy and then apply that focus to relevant academic coursework, an internship and/or volunteer work experience that can give you a "foot in the door" to your chosen graduate career.

During the final year of study, set aside some time to work on developing your future career options, and make sure you have the financial resources to cover calls, trips and business clothes for interviews. Take advantage of graduate career counseling at your university career centre. Schedule mock interviews to polish your presentation and speaking skills. Attend graduate career fairs and on-campus recruitment events. Keep your academics in good order, and learn to manage time effectively between studying and exploring options for your future career.

Anticipate Hurdles

Be alert to potential challenges early on, before they become roadblocks in your graduate career search:

  • Don't like speaking to groups? Take a public speaking class or join a debating club.
  • Is your wardrobe fit for campus only? Invest some time and money on updating your clothes.
  • Not much job experience? Experience counts, whether it's paid or not. Use time off to volunteer or do part-time work in the field you've targeted for your graduate career.
  • Not well-rounded in extra-curriculars? Make sure you have the requisite computer skills, driving license or other practical qualifications that might help in your career and job search.

See Yourself As the Employer Does

Remember, you're just starting out on your new career path. As thrilled as you probably are to have attained your degree, you are not entitled to have grandiose expectations at the very beginning of your graduate career. Potential employers are far more interested in what you can do for the company than in what they can do for you. Know your customer (the employer); learn what they need, and then market the product (yourself) as intelligently as possible.

Register Your CV with Recruitment Agencies

Many graduates are not aware of this fact, but over 75% of jobs are advertised and filled recruitment agencies. Remember to register your CV with reputable recruitment agencies, and let them help you find your dream job.

Start Selling!

Once you've applied the time, money and effort to prepare yourself thoroughly for your preferred job sector, it's time to get yourself out onto the market. One of the most effective ways is to create a free iProfile as soon as possible and update it frequently.

Writing the Perfect iProfile CV

Thousands of UK recruiters and employers rely on iProfile (online CV) to access and screen qualified candidates. You can also target your iProfile CV to employers who advertise specific job openings, as well as to employers you have identified through networking, career fairs, etc.

Stay Positive

When you're competing with other graduates for a position, often the person with better graduate career search skills will win the job over candidates with superior qualifications simply because they know how to sell themselves. Keeping a positive, friendly and professional attitude can compensate for a lack of experience.

So as you embark on the searching for a job, make it clear to recruiters that you're an easy person to work with and are always willing to learn. It can go a long way toward getting your graduate career off to a running start.

Visit iProfile for more information about graduate careers and job seeking.