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How to Kick Start your Career: Job Hunting Tips for Students by Lauren Knowles

Are you keen to land a job before or soon after graduation?

Read our top tips on how to lay strong foundations for your career while finishing your final year.

How to lay strong foundations for your career right now

Job hunting for a full-time role after university can seem quite daunting to final year students. But there is no reason to worry. By remaining proactive and dedicated throughout the search, making full use of the methods available to you, standing out from the crowd and getting your foot on the career ladder is completely within your capabilities.

This handy guide outlines the steps we recommend that you take in order to give yourself the best opportunity of ensuring a smooth transition from university to employment.

Do your homework

Before you do anything else, take the time to think about your future and what you want from your career.

Carry out research into the industries, organisations and roles you would like to work in, to determine whether the skills and knowledge gained from your education coincide with your future aspirations. Be practical in your choices and realistic about your future, but don’t worry if your career goals and degree don’t perfectly match. Many employers offer training as part of graduate level positions, as they expect you to grow and develop in these roles.

Also look into the different graduate positions available, their average starting salaries and whether you need any additional skills to break into particular industries. This can help you to gain a full understanding of what to expect from your job search, while also giving you the opportunity to pinpoint areas you need improve on.

Boost your contacts

Building up a strong bank of professional contacts and getting your foot in the door at businesses can also be highly advantageous

Attend events or talks organised through the university, and look out for any workshops or conferences put on by organisations you would like to work for. When networking with attendees, try to discuss your current situation and career goals as you may find out about opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

Ongoing interaction through social media, email or face-to-face meetings with anyone you meet is then recommended, as this can help you to develop trusted relationships and also find out about opportunities that become available in the future

Work experience and internships

Building relationships with a bank of contacts can provide you with a chance to enquire  about work experience or internships.

These roles can be a great addition to your CV, as they allow you to gain first-hand experience and further your industry knowledge. You also have a chance to demonstrate your commitment, work ethic and passion to the organisation you are interning at, which can give you up an upper hand should they go onto advertise any graduate roles.

Securing a place on a relevant graduate scheme can also strengthen your CV. While these programmes are competitive, they offer training and development opportunities, a good level of support and a chance to gain qualifications, so it is well worth making every effort to get on a scheme. Completing work experience beforehand can help to set you apart from the thousands of other candidates who apply for these training schemes every year.

Getting the right support as you job hunt

When job hunting, make full use of the support that is available to you. The university careers service can offer valuable information on vacancies, work experience and internships, while providing one-to-one sessions for specific advice and support

Getting in contact with a recruitment firm specialising in your chosen industry can also prove beneficial. With a strong network of contacts, an understanding of graduate vacancies and insider knowledge of employer expectations, they can inform you of upcoming job openings, offer CV support and use their understanding of clients to help you present your skills, experience and knowledge well to prospective employers

While the graduate jobs market is known for being competitive, by being proactive and using these methods to improve your opportunities, you can really start to stand out from all other competition and put yourself in a strong position for landing your first full-time role after university

Author Bio: Lauren Knowles is a digital content writer with Portfolio Credit control http://www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com/, a recruitment firm specialising in selecting quality candidates for credit control vacancies at reputable firms throughout the UK.

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