Due to the financial turbulence created by the COVID-19 pandemic, many university graduates in the UK struggle to find work. A report from the Department of Education revealed that unemployment rates for recent university graduates aged 21 to 30 had reached 6.3%, nearly surpassing the 2012’s record high of 6.5%. Faced with a competitive employment market, many graduates struggled to meet their scheduled student loan repayments, thus allowing interest to grow on their debts.
Today’s graduates need to make a greater effort to stand out in the job market and impress employers. To help, we’ve listed a few tips that can help you land a job straight after graduation.
Work on Building Your Skills
Your upskilling should not be confined to the four walls of your classroom. It’s important that you don’t limit your educational opportunities, considering that there are numerous soft and hard skills that employers are looking for. Don’t forget that recruiters usually perform online background checks with providers like uCheck on shortlisted candidates so make sure you don’t hide or lie about our experience/ qualifications!
Even short online programs can help you build an impressive resume and give you a leg up when it comes to your employment prospects. Online degrees enhance your skillset by providing you with different resources for your professional development. As an added bonus, online degrees are often very flexible and accessible, so you can enhance your capabilities at a manageable pace.
Build a Professional Network
Your professional network can be your key to finding job openings in different companies. A post on utilising network connections when job hunting by LHH states that 70% of job openings are not listed on job search platforms, which means they get filled via recommendations and referrals. So if you want to tap into this hidden job market, establish yourself in a professional network. Start by strengthening your relationships with the people you know, such as professors, university friends, and former internship colleagues. These individuals can help you with job searches, referrals, and even upskilling.
Boost Your Online Presence
Apart from building a professional network, you can also make an impression within your industry by boosting your online presence. During this digital age, hiring professionals are making the most out of apps and websites to find the best talent. So if you want to build a professional online presence, Johnny Jet founder John Discala suggests separating your personal and professional social media accounts to avoid any conflict between the two. Then, you can use these social media accounts to share your projects, achievements, and even your industry insights. You can even set up a blog as a portfolio for all your industry-related works.
Maximise University Career Services
The best universities in the United Kingdom offer career services that students can maximise to get ahead of the competition. Students from Loughborough University, for instance, can connect with the Loughborough University Careers Network to receive guidance on professional development. The University of Sheffield hosts career fairs and networking events that can help students connect with quality employers. If you’re lucky enough to study at a university that offers services such as work placements, one-to-one career guidance, or job application help, make sure to maximise all opportunities available to you.
Though a previous article on careers published here at Oxfordshire Guardian noted that you don’t need to be a top student to have a successful career, graduating from university can still give you an edge, especially in the competitive post-pandemic job market. However, to increase your chances of getting hired straight out of school, you need to build your skills, expand your professional networks, boost your online presence, and maximise career placement programs.