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If you’re a final year student, you have more than likely experienced the overwhelming feeling of trying to wrap your head around what the do's and don'ts are for beginning your job search once you graduate.
With students these days having so much information thrown at them from a wide variety of sources, it can often be difficult to prioritise what’s important. This is not only confusing, but as exams and deadlines approach and pressure builds, it can cause massive stress at a time when you definitely don’t need it.
In this blog, I’ll be discussing the importance of starting your job search early and highlighting some simple steps you can take to ensure you have a clear idea of what to expect, how to get ahead of the mayhem and avoid the lows that come with any job search.
1. Start Early
May is right around the corner and that means, so is your graduation. After that? Yep, you guessed it, it’s time to get a job. Beginning your job search might seem like something you can put off until a later date, but in-fact, it’s crucial that you start the process now to ensure that you’re not left stranded when you finish your exams wondering what else you could have done.
Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to graduate, apply to jobs and land yourself a role without much hassle along the way. But that would put you in a very small percentage of people. Typically, students who are proactive and begin their job search earlier in the year often find themselves with a job lined-up before even finishing their studies. Great, one less thing to worry about during your exams ehh?
While it’s true that recruiters hire all-year-round, by making yourself known to companies and expressing an interest in working for them in advance, you will greatly increase your chances of being successful when it comes to the interview process.
2. Do your Research
While it may seem like there’s plenty of time for you to start the process of applying for jobs, you must remember that your workload is about to increase for your final assessments, with many deadlines in April, followed closely by the May exam season.
It’s crucial to start the process of researching companies before finishing your studies. The reason being not only so that you are ready to answer interview questions on why you want to work for that specific company, it’s also so you can understand whether the company is the right fit for you.
Some key factors that employees are choosing to focus on when exploring their next potential employer include; work culture, remote work flexibility, personal development opportunities and a healthy work-life balance, just to name a few.
So while a nice salary is great to have, it shouldn’t be at the forefront of your decision making. Trust us, this isn’t what will make you happy and enjoy your work in the long-run. Your twenties are for learning and your thirties are for earning!
3. Follow A Process
It can be time consuming and draining trying to identify the right process to follow but it’s better to get it done now when you have the time, headspace, and fewer exam worries.
Taking the time to set some goals is one way which may prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Once you have that done, you can follow the five steps below to give you a headstart:
1. Update your CV
4. Research companies.
5. Apply to roles.
4. Stay Patient
If you do happen to find yourself without a job after graduating, don’t worry. Many of us have been there and it’s something that will, unfortunately, continue to happen due to how competitive the market is.
Sometimes you’ll have weeks where you’re extremely productive and some weeks, you’ll have quite the opposite. It’s about finding a healthy balance and not putting too much stress on yourself throughout the process. If you feel yourself beginning to burn-out, take a break, whether it’s a day or three, and come back ready for more.
So yes, it might not be all sunshine and rainbows for many and that’s okay. It will be extremely testing at times and it can no-doubt cause a lot of unwelcome stress. However, the key to success is patience and consistency. Stick to your process and take every failed application and interview as a learning experience. Ask for feedback from peers, mentors and recruiters you speak to, identify where improvements could be made and focus on trying to address them for the next opportunity that comes around.
The best time to start is now. If you set a goal of when you want to have a job and put a system in place where you dedicate time to work on each of the points listed above, you will be thankful for it when you graduate. After all, you can never be too prepared!
To help you along your way, we can provide you with the tools to make achieving your goals that bit easier. When you sign up to Gradguide, you get access to our platform where you can check out our upcoming employer events, request hands-on 1:1 mentorship, be a part of a community where you can get advice on from our 250+ mentorship network, chat to peers who are in a similar position to you and apply to roles at some of the most exciting companies across Europe. All for free. Not bad eh?