One thing that seems to have become increasingly apparent since many graduates have seen me as the go-to guy, is that a lot of them are scared to reach out PROPERLY to employers. My message to most in the easiest way to go above and beyond what other graduates are doing when applying for jobs is simply picking up the phone and calling the employer. It was the same advice I was given. I got a little further in the application process and then I took it to the next level.
Employers aren’t as scary as you might think!
Something all graduates need to remember is that we are all human, employers used to be graduates once or at least unemployed at one point and most likely did more than what we are doing to secure our first role out of university.
Chances are that they couldn’t hide behind a computer screen, phone or tablet and send out 50 job applications a day, like we are able to nowadays. Instead, they had to pick up the house phone and dial, or even walk into corporate buildings and hand deliver written CV’s accompanied by a tailored cover letter detailing why they are the person for the job.
If you want it, prove it!
This is still the real world with real jobs, so decided what you want and then go and get it. Standing out means standing up.
If you believe you are the best person for the role, you need to show the employer that before they even consider calling you in for an interview. Now, you may also be thinking “why isn’t my degree enough to secure a role for at least £22,000 a year?” or even questioning what degree you should be taking to propel yourself into the sector of your choice. Easy enough for doctors and architects, but a 2.1 BA Honours in business management, how many students have that?
You dreamt of being a part of major advertising campaigns, instead you are a marketing student stuck selling vending machines to gyms or coffee machines to offices with the prospect of managing two new graduates after three years. That’s all that seems to be available to graduates these days. Or maybe they’re just looking in the wrong place?
A gateway to the industry…
To avoid finding yourself in that cycle, what I tell those who seek my advice is to join one of the many start-up companies. These businesses want graduates, but struggle to advise their roles to them, because they are crowded out by the bigger sexier companies and their ‘false’ advertisements to make it seem as if they have an attractive and rewarding graduate scheme in place. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great graduate schemes around, but I do speak with a lot of graduates who don’t secure a full time role after, which makes me question the motives behind the scheme. Is it just another CSR activity? Something to look good to their clients, or something the government said they had to do?
Remember, start-up companies are continuously growing and joining in the early stages can be very beneficial to your career path and professional development. If the company does not yet have the role for you; tell them why they need you, show that company what they are missing without you, providing that new business function. Show them how you will be a valued asset to the company, with fresh ideas. Create a new arm to the business
Do what others aren’t. Don’t rely on WiFi.