With only a limited number of graduate positions to fill and hundreds of thousands of university students competing for them, the temptation is to apply for every half decent job you come across. No! We understand that finding your first ‘proper’ job can be an extremely daunting and stressful experience, but if you’re not interested in a particular position area, you simply shouldn’t apply for it.
Your first job after university can play an important part in the trajectory your career takes, so it’s well worth taking some time to make the right choice. A recent study has suggested that 1 in 4 gradautes will quit their first job after less than a year, but with almost all sectors recruiting for graduate positions, there is no need to make this mistake.
Precious few graduates finish university with any sort of savings, so there will usually be some pressure to find a job as quickly as you can. In many cases, the best plan of attack is to find a job locally, not necessarily on a graduate scheme, which bides you the time you need to be selective.
Some of the more conscientious students will spend time in their final year finding and applying for positions that look suitable. But if you’re one of the many graduates that leave university without a job lined up, please don’t panic.
Take the time to think about where you want to apply. A platform like 10 Minutes With is a new addition to the graduate employment market that helps students get a clear understanding of the true nature of different graduate positions before they apply.
By applying for every second job you come across, not only will you increase your chances of ending up with a job you really don’t want; you’ll also reduce the chances of securing that role you do want, as employers will not give rushed, generic applications the time of day.
What do you Like?
Having a natural affinity for the work you do has a huge impact on the overall level of job satisfaction you can expect from a position. Carefully consider your likes and dislikes. Think about the university modules you particularly enjoyed and reflect on your past experiences in employment or while in placements. Then, make a mental note of the skills you have and the tasks you enjoy and compare those to the descriptions of the positions you’re considering applying for.
What are you Good at?
It’s extremely important to gauge where your strengths lie, because you’re much more likely to enjoy a role that incorporates your talents. If you’re considering applying for a data analyst role simply because the salary and prospects are good, but in reality you know this is not the position for you, consider how you’ll fair on a day-to-day basis. You’ll struggle to impress your employer, fail to hit targets and progress will be slow, all of which is a recipe for low job satisfaction.
Your likes and strengths will typically overlap. If you find a role that you think you’ll be good at, and enjoy, take plenty of time over the application to give yourself the very best chance of landing the job.