The Graduate’s Guide to Job Hunting

If you’ve recently graduated or are just about to, chances are that the next step for you is to bag yourself a job. Easier said that done, right?

I’m not going to lie, landing yourself your dream graduate job after University is never going to be a breeze, but that doesn’t mean that the right position for you isn’t waiting just around the corner.

There is a huge level of competition in the job market, with 1.6 million students graduating with a Bachelor Degree in 2014 alone; so it’s important that you dedicate yourself fully to your job search and really strive to stand out from the crowd.

Lucky for you, our friends at Adecco have come up with a handy guide that will set all your graduates well on your way to landing yourself a job. Follow these simple tips and you’ll instantly boost your chances of finding employment in no time.

1) Don’t skimp on the prep work:


It’s worth putting the time in to create a completely polished, well written resume, as 54% of hiring managers will not offer an interview to applicants with a weak resume. Tailoring it for specific jobs is often beneficial, as you can emphasise your skills and experience that are relevant to that vacancy and it will demonstrate your genuine interest in the job and industry.

Try not to waffle, keep your resume to the point and only include the necessary information. Also be sure to proofread it for spelling and grammar errors. Get a family member or friend to read it through as well, to be 100% sure there are no mistakes and it reads well.

Keep learning:

Gaps on your resume sometimes create doubt in an employers mind about the applicant’s dedication, so try to use your free time wisely. Volunteering is great for gaining experience or alternatively you may want to enrol in a short course or evening classes to develop your skills further.

If neither of these appeal to you, you can keep your brain active by taking up a new hobby or reading on a regular basis.

Behave professionally online:

51% of employers have rejected a candidate based on what they have found on their social media pages, so it’s probably best to hold back on the drunken selfies for the time being. If you’ve accumulated a three year long collection of photos of crazy nights out at University, you may want to check that your privacy settings are set so that only your friends can see your profile.

Platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter are great for job searching, so make best use of them to discover relevant opportunities, create new contacts and build a professional personal brand.

2) Search, find & connect:


You’ve heard it before, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

This couldn’t be more true, as 64% of employers rate referrals as the highest quality source of candidates; so it’s important to create a network of professional contacts who can assist you with your job hunt. You can do this by attending events, through social media sites such as LinkedIn or asking existing contacts to introduce you to new people.

Seek out roles:

As much as it’s important to keep a positive attitude towards your job hunt, you need to be realistic. If you are yet to build on your experience, you may want to apply for something that is appropriate to the level of experience you have rather than being dead set on getting your dream job straight away.

Be proactive in your job hunt. Sure job boards are a good place to start your job search, but there are lots of other sources that you can look for vacancies, where there will be less competition. You’ll open your job search if you look beyond your desired city or region. You never know what could be lying beyond your comfort zone!

3) Sealing the deal:

You’ve landed an interview, great! Now’s the hard bit. You’ve got to convince your interviewer that you are the perfect candidate for the job.

Dress appropriately:

Be sure to present yourself smartly and professionally for your interview. 50% of hiring managers say the biggest interview mistake is dressing inappropriately, so find out the company’s dress code and dress accordingly.

Be engaged:

Your sole focus should be on your interviewer, so try not to get distracted by anything else going on around you. Maintaining eye contact will make you appear focused and confident and 33% of employers will reportedly reject a candidate based on a lack of eye contact.

Other things that can ruin your chances are being unable to answer questions, fidgeting and bad posture. 

Be prepared:

Do your research ahead of the  interview so you are familiar with the company and the role you are interviewing for. You want to be prepared for anything they may ask you, so come up with some appropriate answers to questions you are likely to be asked, that link your experience to the role.  Rehearsing ahead of the day is also recommended.

RELATED: Graduates: Top 4 Tips for Making Yourself More Employable