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5 top tips to secure your dream graduate role

12th March 2015
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If you’re approaching graduation this summer, you may not realise how lucky you are.

Graduate job huntIf you were one of the unlucky students to leave university during the global recession you would have found a job market in a considerably more perilous state than it is today. 

However, the markets, on the whole, have picked up and firms are once again investing in future growth. But with a record number of graduates in the market, how can you stand out from the crowd and secure your dream role? 

1 . Open your mind and see what’s out there!

Yes, the major players are hiring in their droves – but there are so many options for graduates to consider that it’s almost a waste to only consider the larger firms. An increasingly popular option is working internationally. We live in a time where the talent market is truly global and there are numerous opportunities to experience life in a foreign country. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you consider all of your options first. 

2. What motivates you?

While you may have preconceived ideas of the industry you want to move into or the types of roles you may be suited to, it’s crucial to analyse what you really want. If you’re motivated by money – go for a sales role that gives you the chance to earn commission on top of a base salary. If you want to rapidly improve your skill sets – choose an organisation that offers an in-depth development programme to its employees. If you’re looking for fast career progression, then look at companies which seem to have a proven record of developing their staff. There’s really no point in joining a firm that you’re not suited to, so take the time to really think about what you really want from your career. 

3. Perfect the art of application

Once you’ve selected the organisations you’re going to apply to, the next step is to get your entire application in order. Tailor your CV to the specific company and job, as an experienced hiring manager will always be able to spot an application that’s been fired out to numerous employers. Your cover letter gives you the chance to elaborate and give more detail about your application; however it’s also a chance to slip up. Make sure you’ve thoroughly proofread all documents before submitting them as there’s nothing worse than basic spelling and grammar mistakes.

4. Manage your personal brand

This would barely have been a consideration if you were graduating a decade ago but now, as you’ll likely know, social media can have a significant impact on the success of your application. We’re all guilty of the odd bit of Facebook stalking and only the most naïve graduates would think a potential employer isn’t doing it as well. Consequently, you should ensure your various channels look as professional as possible and hide any photos and posts that could potentially affect your success.

5. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail 

The final stage of the application process will vary from company to company. Some will offer assessment days while some will want you to take part in a more traditional interview, most likely with a senior figure in the business. Regardless of the method, it’s absolutely crucial to research the company and prepare thoroughly for any scenario. The best way of doing this is to run through interview questions or potential role play activities with your friends and family, that way you’re likely to feel more confident when the big day arrives and you’ll feel like you know the company inside out. 

Paul Myers is Internal Recruitment Manager at NonStop Recruitment

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