The graduate market is one of the most competitive job markets out there, and is full of likeminded people all with similar degrees and aspirations.
Learning how to stand apart in this crowded market is so important in order to get the job you’re dreaming of. So we’ve put our heads together to come up with our top five tips to help you stand out against the competition.
1 - Up your professional social media presence
We joke that step one for every graduate is open a LinkedIn profile - likely because you’re encouraged to by lecturers and peers. Whilst LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for networking and finding jobs, there’s more to it than asking for connections.
To stand out on LinkedIn it’s important to work on developing a personal brand through creating content which is natural and feels engaging. We’ve previously written a blog on how you can create a knockout LinkedIn profile and how you can use other LinkedIn tools to standout.
2- Tailor every job application to the role
Have you ever tailored your job application to the role? Or have you just sent a blanket CV and cover letter for all?
If it’s the latter, then stop.
Tailoring your CV and cover letter to the role you’re applying for shows the employer that you’ve done your research and have a genuine interest in the position.
So the next time you’re putting your CV and cover letter together, think about:
What skills of the job specification do I fit best?
How can I add value to this organisation?
What am I most interested in about this role?
3 - Draw on many experiences in your applications
You may not have 2+ years work experience in your desired field, but there’s a chance that you may have dabbled in certain skillsets through projects, voluntary work, internships and freelancing whilst at university. Don’t be afraid to include these within your application. Whilst you may not have direct experience, you may be able to evidence transferrable and valuable skills.
4 - Don’t be afraid of working with small companies or start-ups
Your friends and peers may be focussed on joining a graduate scheme or working within a large organisation, but having a big name behind your employment history doesn’t always mean you’ll be happy or get the level of exposure and experiences you’re looking for.
In short, never be afraid to apply to work with a start-up or SME. Whilst you won’t always get the fancy name behind you, you’ll often be exposed to more areas of the business and have the opportunity to make a greater impact in the long-term.
5 - Only apply and accept the right opportunity for you
You may feel that you have to apply for everything and anything or accept the first offer that comes through the door, but that’s not always the best thing for you.
Applying to companies which are of genuine interest to you and being selective can sometimes help your job searching journey more than hinder it. You also don’t need to accept the first offer that comes through the door if it isn’t the right fit for you culturally, developmentally or financially.
Header: Image adapted from Photo by Ekrulila: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-white-scroll-2292837/