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Top Tips for the Graduate Job Application Process

March 02, 2020 - Posted to Resume Tips

Content graduate job application process

So, you’re fresh out of uni and are raring to get into the world of work, but do you know how to get a job? With job competitiveness on the rise, the application process for many jobs can be gruelling and tough to get through. But with the following tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to being a perfect candidate, making it even more likely for you to get your dream graduate job.

Research Graduate Jobs!

Researching is probably the most vital step of the entire process. Firstly, if you don’t already know what you want to do, you will have to get looking for jobs - as you can’t start the application process without having anything to apply for! When considering where to look for jobs, online job boards, such as StudentJob, are your best bet. You can search for jobs in specific areas and based upon your skillset, so you are bound to find something you want!

Once you have found the job for you, you will want to research it to the ends of the earth. This means that although the graduate job scene can be competitive, you don’t want to be applying straight away. There are a lot of simple things that you can do to increase your chances of getting the job massively.

Firstly, you will want to find out the skills required for this job so that you can show them off on your CV and cover letter. There’s a much higher chance of the employer carrying on reading your CV if they see the required skills straight away.

Finding out about the job role itself and the company are your next steps. It may seem silly, but you don’t want to apply to a role that you know you won’t enjoy, or a company whose culture doesn’t quite suit you - so make sure the job is right for you! Also, find out about the interview process. Do they do group interviews, tests or phone interviews? Don’t go into it blind! If you can’t seem to find out relevant information, make a list of questions to ask during the interview, this will make you look incredibly proactive, and you can never be too prepared!

Perfecting your Graduate CV

Your CV is the first thing that an employer will see about you, and if you don’t nail it, it will probably be the last.

First things first, you should always make sure to tailor your CV and cover letter to the specific role, as an employee will instantly be able to tell if you use a standard template. Try to add skills and work experience that are relevant to the position to make yourself stand out - be creative, yet remain professional.

Of course, when creating your CV, you will want to show yourself off, but that doesn’t mean listing every little thing you’ve done, especially that finger painting you did in year 1. Try to focus on how you have developed yourself by overcoming different challenges. Have you had great success in your life? How did you bounce back from a failure? Remember, the aim is to sell yourself so that you get asked back for an interview.

Another little tip is to add a little something about yourself. Although the main aspect of your CV should be about your work experience, show your personality by giving some of your hobbies and interests. This will allow the recruiter to see if you fit into the company culture. Also, don’t forget to send a cover letter along with your CV!

Finally, get someone to proof-read your CV to get a second opinion. If an employer sees one spelling or grammar mistake, they will most likely chuck it in the bin!

Social Media - it can be Useful!

In today’s day and age, people will say that social media is an unhealthy addiction, but they are most likely talking about  ‘Epic Fail Videos’ and memes. If used in the right way, social media can be an excellent tool in not only helping you find a job, but also helping you in the application process.

For starters, it is important to clear out your social media of any unwanted pictures or statuses; you can also set your profiles to ‘friends only’. This is a crucial thing to do as if your employer sees one thing they don’t like; they will most likely stop your application process there and then. So make sure to have a good balance of your personal and professional life - you’re not a robot after all!

But it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to social media! LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter are great places to start if you can’t seem to find any jobs for you. For example, LinkedIn is employers most popular medium for recruitment as it has over 500 million users!

LinkedIn is a medium where recruiters can easily find you. You can connect with past colleagues who can vouch for your work experience and show off your skills to anyone who views your profile. But remember, LinkedIn is a two-way street - so reach out to others and don’t expect recruiters to find you.

To showcase its importance, 9/10 companies use LinkedIn when looking for employees. This means that when they see your name on your CV, they can do a quick search and find you. Displayed in front of them will be all your skills, work experience and qualifications, so you must have a LinkedIn profile and keep it up to date.

Graduate Job Process

Some graduate jobs may ask you to fill out forms before even adding your CV or cover letter. Ensure that you take your time over these forms as they may ask you challenging questions. Our top tip is also to save your answers somewhere else, just in case your form doesn’t send!

The Interview

If you have reached the interview stage of your application process, then congratulations! Although you are nearing the end of the process, you still need to put in the work as this is what matters to recruiters the most.

Practice is the most important thing to do when preparing for an interview. Ask your friends and family to help you practice by responding to potential questions. They may even have some valuable advice, so don’t be afraid to ask around!

Linking back to the research stage of your application process, make sure to find out about the company so you can easily answer any questions that are thrown at you. Also think of some questions beforehand, as you don’t want to be stuck on the spot thinking of a question and accidentally ask them what they had for breakfast!

Another important thing for you to do is to check over your CV to make sure you know what you said. If you know what’s on your CV, you can develop upon the points you made which will impress your interviewer. You should also do the same thing for your cover letter.

Whether it is a group interview or one-on-one, as long as you are prepared and speak with confidence, you will be sure to pass the interview with flying colours.

So, if you follow these tips, you will be sure to land yourself your dream graduate job in no time. Although if you do get rejected at any stage, don’t be disheartened - it happens to everyone! Make sure to ask what went wrong so you can improve upon it for next time. Good luck!

Written by Rebecca Hart, an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. If you are starting your job search but not sure where to start, then check out StudentJob. Our application tips will help you create an effective CV, cover letter and help you smash interviews!