How To Land Your First Graduate Job: All You Need To Know

You’ve finally completed your degree and are keen to get the best possible start on your new career… the only problem is, so are all the other new graduates across the country. In today’s competitive job market, how do you ensure that you stand out in a sea of new graduates and give yourself the best chance of landing your dream job?

chemistry students graduating

There’s one thing that has the biggest impact when it comes to making an impression and standing out from the crowd and that is attention to detail. Here are some of our top tips to help you stand out from the crowd…

Attention to Detail

Whether you are dealing with a hiring manager of a big organisation or a recruiter, first impressions count. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager and think about what would make a candidate stand out from the crowd.

Double check your CV

Make sure the layout of your CV is easy to follow and that you have checked it over for spelling and grammar mistakes. If possible, ask someone to proof read it for you to make sure it all makes sense to an outsider who doesn’t know your history.

Do your research

Research the company you are applying for so that you can impress the hiring manager with your attention to detail and knowledge of the company. Take a look at the company’s website and do a search for any recent news articles. You can also see if the company has any social media presence to help you better understand their culture and values. Make sure you have read the job specification and that you reference the key points in your application.

Write a cover letter

This is your chance to demonstrate to a hiring manager or recruiter that you have done your research. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to explain how any work experience or life skills you have gained from your hobbies and interests are transferable  and relevant to the role you are applying for.

Social Media Presence

Be aware that most recruiters and hiring managers will do a quick search for you on social media to get a better idea of who you are as a person. Make sure you have a professional looking photograph or head-shot on LinkedIn. If a company hires you, you will be representing that company going forward so it is important you make a good first impression in the online space as well as in real life.

If you have other social media accounts, be mindful that a potential employer may be checking them out. Take the time to see what posts show up as public on your profile and remove any posts or photographs that don’t fit with the professional image you want to portray. After all, you probably don’t want a potential employer looking through photos of your wild uni parties.

Follow up

After you’ve made a good first impression, make sure you stay on the hiring manager’s radar by following up with a phone call, a thank you email or LinkedIn request. This will show that you are enthusiastic, meticulous, value good manners and will also put you in good stead for the next step…

Ask for feedback

If you aren’t successful in getting the job the first time, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Embrace rejection as a learning curve and an opportunity to gather more information on what you can do better next time.

You may also like to read:

How to plan your job search

The 30 second CV test

Create the perfect job seekers LinkedIn profile

Advice centre

Free resources

Job profiles

Research and knowledge