Tips for recent grads: How to improve your chances of getting a job
You’ve just graduated from university. A nice grad cap sits lonely in the corner of your bedroom. Now the pressure is to land a job. That feels more like writing a dissertation, blindfolded.
The good news? You’re about to learn some battle-tested strategies that’ll catapult you to dream-job land.
So read these tips for recent graduates and improve your chances of getting a job.
Set up a Linkedin profile
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should create one! Otherwise, It’ll lightsaber your application success rate. Why? Because 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to check candidates. If they can’t find you online, they might not invite you for an interview.
But be wary. A blank LinkedIn profile won’t cut it. If you want to wow recruiters, you need to take it to the max.
Get a vanity URL
By default, your LinkedIn profile URL will resemble a nauseating mix of characters that don’t roll off the tongue. The good news is that you can get a custom profile URL (e.g. linkedin.com/in/max-woolf/).
It will not only look so much better on your CV, but it will also help you get more exposure in LinkedIn search.
Make your profile hulk-level strong
With a custom profile URL in place, it’s time for some heavy-duty optimisation.
Start by filling out all the sections of your profile. Write your summary, list volunteer experience, add certifications, etc. This will 40x your chances of getting a job offer.
Write a lip-smacking CV
Recruiters and hiring managers sift through hundreds of CVs every day. So, that’s going to make you stand out from other grads. Let me walk you through three key sections that will help you shine:
There are a plethora of ways you can format your CV. It all depends on your professional situation.
But chances are, you don’t have much experience under your belt. That’s why it’s best to go with the reverse-chronological CV format.
It’s the most popular option for someone who’s about to enter the workforce.
You need to impress the recruiter so they waltz to the telephone and invite you for an interview.
Best way to do it? Write a CV objective. It’s a snappy introduction that talks about how you can help the company reach its goals.
Enthusiastic PR and Media Marketing graduate seeking to leverage excellent written skills to succeed as Content Marketing Specialist at XYZ. Obtained highest grades in Advanced Writing for Marketing and Content Strategy modules. Seeking to jumpstart my career by growing with XYZ.
Most university grads don’t care much about the education section of a CV. They simply duct tape their degree and move on.
But not you. Because a well-written education section can win you extra points and trigger the recruiter to call you.
BA in PR and Media Marketing, University of Edinburgh
Pro tip: Always tailor your CV to a job description. Recruiters use ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems) to pre-screen candidates. The system looks for specific words in a CV to decide if you’re a good fit. If you fail to customise it, the end recruiter might never even see your CV.
Provide a cover letter
You might’ve heard that cover letters are dead in 2019. Is it true? Well, a whopping 49% of recruiters think a covering letter is the second best thing to increase your success rate (customszing your CV is the first one.)
So, for recent grads with little to no professional experience, writing a cover letter is a must. Be sure to highlight any of your key skills and why you’re interested in the job. And, don’t forget to tailor it to the job description too.
Send just enough applications
Think of job hunting as a lottery. The more tickets you have, the more likely you’re to win. This means you need to make your application target at least 10-15 a week.
Want some more pro tips? Apply on Mondays and skip Fridays and Saturdays.
Don’t let things fall through the cracks
So far so good. You’ve set up a LinkedIn profile, made a mouth-watering CV and written a strong cover letter. You even applied for a job ad that seemed promising.
But, there’s nothing in your inbox. Zilch. So what’s the solution?
Make sure you follow-up with the recruiter in one-two weeks. It’s likely they’re snowed under with applications and need a nudge.
Key takeaway for recent grads
Landing your first job as a recent grad is everything but easy. You’ll have to compete with a lot of candidates and prove you have what it takes to succeed.
But if you follow the battle-tested tips above, it will propel your chances of getting your first job.
Until next time.
By Max Woolf