Date Published: 25-05-2018

You’ve done it. You are officially a graduate. After three years (or more in some cases) hard work, you’ve got your degree, learnt how to feed yourself for a week on less than a fiver, and posed for pictures in the inaugural cap and gown surrounded by friends and family.

When you started life as an undergraduate, it probably felt like you had forever to think about which career path you would take following countless lectures, seminars and assignments. But your time as a student is now rapidly coming to an end I’m afraid – it’s time to take your first steps into the world of the full-time career, starting now.

Your dream is to secure the best role, with the highest salary and be the envy of all of your fellow graduate friends. But where do you start in making this dream a reality?

Many of our talented team here at Cooper Lomaz Recruitment have been in the exact same graduate boat, so, we felt it was timely to share some of our top tips in securing that all important first job out of university.

Tip 1 – Give your ‘Digital Self’ a makeover – You don’t get a second chance at a first impression

We live in a digital world, fact. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… I’m sure you have an online presence in some shape or form. Like it or not, it creates an anonymous opportunity for any future employer to take a sneaky peak into your world so, I’m afraid, it’s time for a digital makeover.

As a graduate, LinkedIn will become your professional social channel of choice. Over 500 million people use this online platform as a networking tool, 28 million in the UK alone.  This is the window to sharing your professional self-online. Think about the first impression you want to make here and ultimately get heard in a very noisy market.

Tip 2 – Your CV – Much debated, but it’s reality, CV’s matter

Now is the time for you to showcase your education and achievements and anything else that demonstrates leadership, problem solving and teamwork, combined with qualities that reflect your chosen industry sector. Ideally, this information shouldn’t go beyond 2 pages so ensure you are concise.  Be hard and scrutinise what is on there and take off things that are not stand out sellers of how great you are.

We actively encourage you to adapt your CV, depending on the role and business you are applying to, because every role and employer is different and you need to acknowledge that.  Think about the commercial value of your degree and the understanding of how you potentially contribute to a business. Add depth to your education details with an “academic highlights” subsection focusing on dissertations, projects or awards that spotlight research or critical thinking abilities.

Yes, this will take time but I promise you it will be worth it and give you an undeniable competitive edge.

Tip 3 – Think outside the box – Channel your inner creative – Do something different

You are now in possession of a shiny new LinkedIn profile, your CV reads like a captivating best seller – what do I do now? Simple. Be proactive and do something different.

You have to put yourself out there and start to build a network of contacts, cue LinkedIn, a great place to start. Be sure to follow the movers and shakers in your chosen industry. Read sector-specific news and take an interest. And don’t forget to apply for the jobs you genuinely have the skills for, whether it’s via an agency, job board or direct with the employer.

Our Managing Director, Simon Brown told us he once received a CV that was submitted on a tray of cupcakes; memorable – yes, creative – yes, bribery – quite possibly!
We’re not saying that you should go home and become Mary Berry on your quest to land your dream job, but anything that you can do to get the attention of a future employer that’s different, will help.

Still unsure?

As mentioned, many of the Cooper Lomaz Recruitment team have stood exactly where you are now, about to climb onto the first rung of their own career ladder.

By registering with us, we will gladly review your CV or LinkedIn profile and talk through any concerns you may have about entering the job market.

Good luck and congratulations to the Class of 2018!