How do I find a job after university?

02 June 2022 | University life

Should I continue studying or look for a job?

At the end of their time at university, one of the most important questions recent graduates ask themselves is: what should I do after university? Should I go on to complementary study or look for a job?

Deciding which of these options is best for your future depends on the sector you are planning to work in. It makes sense to find out what employers are looking for at the moment and what the people who choose new employees are looking for in candidates. It’s true that there are a growing number of universities which have agreements with companies which allow students who have finished their degree to do work placements and so get a foot on the career ladder. But, on many occasions these work placements are not a true reflection of the realities of working in a company and the demands placed on employees.

This is a problem because, although work placements are a terrific option for those starting out in their career, sometimes they are not what you expect or don’t give you the experience you need to help you in future employment. Consequently, the restrictions of the work placement system stop both students and companies from getting the most from this type of work experience. Even so, this situation is evolving over time and it’s important to have a positive attitude, show enthusiasm and press on with the decisions and objectives you have set yourself during your time at university, whether they involve continuing with your studies or starting to look for your first job, always taking into account that while you will face obstacles and rejection, you’ll also find solutions and get good news.

Tips for finding your first job

If you have decided to embark on the search for your first job, here are some tips that we think will steer you towards the best opportunities or at least help you to be as prepared as possible to take advantage of them when they arrive:

  • Tip 1: Curriculum Vitae
    The first step is to develop a good calling card. A good CV will make the product you want to sell, in this case your experience, skills and attitude, seem complete and present you as the perfect person for the job for which you will be competing against many other applicants. The aim of the CV is to get your foot in the door by getting you an interview, that’s why it has to grab the attention of the person in charge of the selection process. A CV doesn’t get you a job, but rather gets you closer to the job by helping you secure an interview. We recommend that your CV is one side of an A4 page.
  • Tip 2: Covering letter
    Your CV is essential, but when you don’t have all the experience required for the job you should accompany your CV with a covering letter. It’s important this letter isn’t generic; it should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. Make sure you talk about why you want the job, but also make it clear to the reader that you have taken the time to research the company and know about its values and the way they work.Make it clear that you’ve done your homework and know what you would do in the job and who you’d be working with, basically that you’ve invested time in looking into how to find a job after university.
  • Tip 3: University work placements
    We have already spoken about this option. We’ve mentioned the pros and cons of work placements and although these placements aren’t the same as working a job full time, you will always learn from them and develop both professionally and personally, which is why they are a good first step into the world of work.Follow the advice provided by your university to access companies with which the institution has agreements or talk to your fellow students in case they know of companies who offer work placements to students on your course.

    Increasingly, work placements are remunerated, but it can be hard to find paid work experience so we advise you not to only be motivated by financial concerns and always show yourself to be enthusiastic and keen to learn.

  • Tip 4: Trade fairs and events
    Fairs and events are another good way of accessing work placements. If you attend these events, remember that you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so it’s important that you put effort into your appearance, go in with a good attitude, and a polished CV and covering letter. Show you have initiative, a desire to continue learning, absorb all the experience they can offer you and capitalise on opportunities.
  • Tip 5: Curate your social media presence
    You must remember that your social media accounts are also your calling card. As well as studying applications and your documentation, many companies will take a look through your social media presence to see how you present yourself to the world. This is why you should always think about what you post, and even more so when you’re looking for a job. Think about what you let other people see so you create a good impression. Remember that you should keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Many people find jobs through this platform and it’s a place to position yourself as the ideal job candidate. Keep in touch with your contacts and interact with your network in such a way as to present the version of yourself you want others to see and that attracts offers which are relevant to you and your education.For some time, social networks have been a great place to learn about the culture of a company, find job opportunities and create and manage your personal brand.

We hope these tips have helped you to take the right direction when looking for a job after your time as a student or when pursuing further studies after university.

We wish you the best of luck in your search and hope you find what you want as soon as possible.
Congratulations in advance, because if you are on the right track, that is already an achievement.

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