5 ways to boost your chances of getting a graduate job

Businessman Overwhelmed with Paperwork

For a lot of our students graduating this year, finding a graduate job will be top of their to-do list, but how can you ensure that you are going about the process in the best way possible?

Here are the top five ways to make sure that your application will make it to the top of the recruiter’s pile – then all you have to think about is the interview – but don’t worry, we can help with that too!!

Do your research on the job and the company

It is vital that you can show you understand the place of the company within the sector and the local economy. What impact does the company have on the local environment? Is it a leader in the sector? Show that you understand the job you are applying for, and how it fits into the wider organisation.

Target your applications and tailor them to the role

The scattergun approach may have worked for a friend of a friend, but you’ll be more likely to get to the next recruitment stage if you demonstrate that you understand both the job role and the company. Tailor your application to the specific job and company – send out a generic CV and cover letter and it’s likely to end up being filed under B1N.

Back up your experience with evidence

Making a list of your experience and skills won’t get you very far if you can’t back it up with real-life experiences. They don’t have to be from education, or from a previous job – use everything that you have been involved with to demonstrate how you meet the criteria. You can use the STAR technique (blog post here) when writing your examples to really get the point across.

Highlight an outstanding achievement

You will really impress the recruiter if you can demonstrate a real achievement that shows you have the skills they are looking for. Competing the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award (for example) can indicate drive, determination and perseverance, as well as team work and organisational skills – all things that employers value highly.

Get involved with anything and everything

Adopt the mantra ‘Say YES to everything’ and who knows where it will lead? Don’t just join a society or club – get involved and make a difference. Taking an active interest in the group by organising an event or mentoring new recruits, for example, demonstrates to recruiters that you are the sort of person who gets stuck in and can take a leading role. Again, these are qualities that are greatly valued in the world of work.

For help with applications, CVs and cover letters, you can make an appointment with a careers coordinator or adviser – just email careers@cumbria.ac.uk or ask at the LiSS desk in the library.