Where do I start?!
So, you’ve completed your studies, got the results (for better or worse) and now people are starting to ask you the dreaded question: ‘What next?’ If you’ve not yet got an answer to that particular question and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the task of finding a job, then using the links and tips below could be a good place for you to start.
Trawling through the usual suspects (eg, Monster, Indeed, Reed etc) can be time-consuming and a bit hit-and-miss. You can give your search a bit more focus by looking at the different sections on the graduate jobs page of the careers website.
If you are thinking of staying in Hull, it might be worth having a look at the overview of local jobs and internships. More details can be found on the main jobs board which has information on both local and national jobs. You will need to register for a careers account and you can adjust your settings so you receive alerts when jobs which meet your specified criteria are posted.
If you’ve got an idea of where in the country you would like to be based, have a look at regional graduate jobs sites. These tend to be used less than the more well-known graduate jobs sites so there may be less competition for these jobs. Local newspaper websites tend to be a good source of jobs as these tend to be used by smaller organisations who may not be able to afford to promote their vacancies on the bigger jobs boards.
If you know the sector where you would like to be, have a look at the resources by job type for further information on job roles and where to find them. Many occupations have professional associations (eg, British Computer Society) which advertise specific jobs vacancies.
Network your way to a job
Many areas of work in the UK have professional associations with regional branches. Find out if you can attend a branch meeting as a visitor or guest and be prepared to talk about your skills and experience. Don’t under-estimate the power of contacts: tell everyone – your departments, careers advisers, network contacts, even social contacts – what you are looking for. You never know – you might be connected to someone who could put you in touch with a relevant opportunity.
Use Social Media
Develop your profile on the professional networking site Linked In. Join groups which relate to the type of work you want to do and see who else is there and where they come from. Similarly, you can use Twitter to follow employers and job sites for the latest information on jobs and events. Take a look at our blog posts on using LinkedIn and Twitter for jobs for more tips.
Access the ‘hidden jobs market’
Don’t just restrict your job search to the larger employers – there are many graduate jobs with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Since these companies tend not to have the budget to advertise extensively or the resources to handle hundreds of applications, you will need to take the initiative. Find out which smaller employers are in your area using sites such as www.yell.com, look at their websites and get in touch with them. Show an interest in what they do and find out how they go about recruiting graduates. Even if they are not currently recruiting, they may be able to keep you in mind for the future; offer some short-term work experience or tell you about opportunities elsewhere.
Some vacancies are simply not advertised as they are filled by graduates already known to the employer, either through part-time work or an internship with the company. Think about whether you are able to take on short-term work experience and networking to help you gain access these opportunities.
You may also want to consider making speculative approaches to different companies. It’s best to contact prospective employers by phone first to establish whether they are willing to look at speculative applications. This gives you the chance to make a good first impression on the company and get an answer straightaway. Make sure you research the company carefully though – you don’t want to be ringing up with a question which has already been answered on the company’s website.