The recent case of history graduate James Harris handing out CVs to passers by at Birmingham’s New Street train station has fortified claims that university is no longer the ticket to career success it once was.
Fortunately, James’ unconventional approach managed to get him an interview. However this doesn’t change the fact that many other graduates are still struggling to find relevant work after university.
Does this means all graduates should go to such extreme measures to get their foot on the ladder? We spoke to Kevin Brady, Director of job search aggregator AdView, who are used to helping graduates search for a job, who said:
“If you’re a recent graduate you won’t need me to tell you that it’s harder than ever to find a decent-paying role. However there are several things that you can do to enhance your chances that, surprisingly, many people ignore or are unaware of.”
“This is why we’ve come up with a list of the five major points you should consider as a recent graduate looking for work. If you still come up short after following these points then it may be worth taking a leaf out of James’ book.”
AdView’s top 5 ways to make yourself employable as a graduate
Google yourself – “Most employers will look you up online before inviting you to an interview. This is why your online presence must be spot on. If you’ve any embarrassing posts on social media then set your account to private and if you’re not on LinkedIn, set up a profile immediately. If you have no online presence then this will also work against you.”
Sign up for job alerts – Signing up to job alerts on large job search sites will bring the latest jobs straight to your email inbox. This will greatly reduce the amount of time spent scrolling through endless job search sites.
Talk to the Careers Service – You may as well get the most of it while you’ve got it. Many universities’ careers services are still open to recent graduates so you’ve got little to lose by asking them for advice about finding a job.
Consider your skills – Last year the CIPD revealed that 60% of graduates were working in jobs which didn’t even require a degree. If you study a degree such as medicine or engineering it’s likely you’ll know the career path you’re heading down. This is less the case for arts and humanities graduates, who may be better off thinking about what transferable skills they’ve developed in their degree and in the workplace before firing off job applications.
Experience – If you’ve been struggling to find work since graduating, this is likely to be your biggest single obstacle. Compile a list all the skills you have developed that employers might be looking for. If this seems to fall short of what’s required for your choice of career path, make the most out of your extracurricular activities on your CV and consider volunteering. Taking a direct approach by networking online on LinkedIn or other social networks may seem like it requires plenty of bravery but could reap huge benefits if done correctly.
AdView is a UK-wide Job search aggregator with hundreds of thousands of new jobs added weekly.