With all the competition, it’s easy to feel disheartened when looking for your first professional position. Getting your first job out of uni has been identified as one of the most difficult career transitions across a person’s working life. Your prospective employer has very little to go off to assist them when making a decision. Not to mention the competition is fierce, you could be literally one of the hundreds applying for this role and there is very little to differentiate you from the others.
But let’s face it, you’ve picked up quite a hefty a student loan in your years of study, and tuna and rice is beginning to get a little bland. You need to get into the real world, earning some real money and using your professional skills. Graduation will come around before you know it, so give yourself that edge by following these strategies to land your first job after uni.
Use multiple job search techniques
Your job search starts and ends on Seek – does this sound like you? Unfortunately, just applying online isn’t going to cut it! You need to use as many channels and as many techniques as possible to get that position. Statistics tell us that approximately 80% of graduates apply for jobs by only using direct application methods, such as Seek. If you want to put yourself ahead of the 4 out of 5 people who only rely solely on this application method, then take charge of your job search and be prepared to think outside of the box. Yes, apply online! But don’t rely on it alone. Use all the resources available to you, whether it’s networking, LinkedIn, career expos and asking your career officer for advice.
All roads will eventually lead to Rome
You may not want to hear this, but you might not get the role you want straight away, and that’s ok. Know what you want in your career but hold it loosely. And by this, I mean, be open to applying for other positions that may lead you down the road to the job you actually want. If you are focussed on working in Marketing, then don’t be put off by not taking that role immediately. Whether that means taking a job in Administration to start working more closely with a Marketing team – be open to these opportunities. Don’t think of your first job as the one that defines your career, it is a stepping stone in the continuous process of developing your career.
Meet people who make the decisions
A few years ago now, I knew of a student who dreamed of working in the finance industry on Wall Street, New York. Although he had an education in finance, he had no working experience in the sector. He decided to start driving an Uber in New York city equipped with his business cards but only in the finance district. Sure enough, he had a prospective employer in his car for 30 minutes and got himself his first job on Wall Street. This story is a creative example of how putting yourself in front of decisions makers will help you in your career.
Get experience in your sector
Put simply, do whatever it takes. Volunteer, get an internship, do unpaid work. Keep putting those feathers in your hat. You will not only get experience and an introduction to the professional world, but you can also find out what area of the industry you are actually interested in. Plenty of organisations rely on unpaid work in exchange for experience in order to function. And who knows, you might pick up more along the way than you expect, you could even be offered a more permanent role at the end of it.
Show yourself in your best light
When looking for that first job, you need to be able to present yourself both on paper and in person. In a way that says to the employer you can do this job and you are professional enough (even without professional experience) to deliver. You are going to need a resume and may benefit from getting a Resugraphic to capture the attention of your potential employer and get that edge.
If you are not experienced in writing a Resume and don’t know where to start, Resugraphic is a great introduction to the professional world. Tell your story with Infographics and stand out from the sea of resumes flooding inboxes of prospective employers. Best of luck on your first job out of uni!