How to get a Graduate Job

How to get a Graduate Job

With the UK unemployment level is at an all time high, this year graduates have to pull something special out of the bag to gain employment. Each year we see a rise in graduates leaving university to enter the world of employment, but as the amount of graduates that graduate from university increases the amount of graduate jobs have stayed at a similar level in most job sectors, creating a massive demand for all job positions.


The good news is, there are graduate positions available and if you can show the employer how you can add value to their organisation they will be more likely to recruit you over one of the other few other hundred job applicants that will apply for the same position.


The question every graduate should ask themselves before applying for work is “what can I offer employers that others can’t?”


Stand out from the graduate crowd


First you need to way up the competition. Students from universities across the UK will be your new competition, how do you stand up against them? Check what the average grade was from this years graduate levers in your course – 2:2? 2:1? And what grade you achieved – are you at the top or near the bottom of the leader board?


Were you or other students the student president, the outstanding achievement winner, the university fundraiser? What did you do that made you stand out in university?


Did you secure a work placement in a national recognised organisation? Is your reference outstanding? Were you offered any job positions from past work placements?


Have others from your university and course achieved any of the above?


You need to know your strength and weaknesses, as well as that of the competitions – from this you can create your plan of action for beating the competition. In the book Influencing the Interview the techniques go one step further and teach you how to annihilate the competition by turning them into nervous wrecks.


Top of the class


If you are at the top of the class, maybe in the top 10% of the UK’s highest grade for your particular course, as well as being the student president and having secured the best placements in your industry, then you will have a wide range of selling points. In this situation, don’t get to big headed – you still need to show the employer how you can add value! With each interview question, plan your answer by meeting one of the employer’s essential criteria by using examples from your placements, university course and task from being a student president.


When possible quote your past employers from your national recognised placements ensuring the quotes regarding your work ethic are positive. Remember you may have been at the top of your university but graduates from universities around the UK will be applying for the same position, which means your competition may also be in a similar situation to you.


Take it to the next level


To beat other more qualified, experienced or better candidates then yourself, can seem like an unlikely situation. But what people don’t always realise is that the interview is king! Graduates do gain job offers over other graduates who achieved a higher qualification, and they do this by offering the employer something different, something unique, something that others don’t possess and the one thing that the employer is looking for – is added value.


You need to first find your unique selling point. Employers are happy to invest in graduates through a salary, mentoring and training as they know long term this initial investment will payback dividends. You need to highlight your value throughout the job interview, making the employer see you as pure gold.


To do this you need to find something that will make you stand out. This could be the niche you have been specialising in, your knowledge of the industry, your understanding of how new government policies such as the “green” policy is shaping the future of UK job sectors.  You may have a skill that others don’t possess; you may be a natural manipulator, an innovative scientist, while studying you may have created and sold an online company, the question is “what value will you bring to the organisation?”


This is the key to graduate job interviews in 2012 – showing your worth! Showing how you will increase profits, meet targets and add real value to the organisation. Employers know that gaining the highest qualification does not make you the best employee and in the job interview the employer will be questioning you to uncover your personality traits, your industry knowledge and the value you will add to the team. Don’t shy away and undersell yourself, stand out, be confident and show the employer how by employing you the team will improve.


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