From Student to Graduate – Now What?
Many of you student folk are about to make that transition from student to graduate. Emulative of our University emblem, you’ve risen; a Phoenix from the ashes of library revision marathons and unsociable-hour coursework stints. In an ideal world, all of you superbly qualified Coventry University graduates will be able to stroll into the job of your dreams only weeks after, or even before, you’ve graced the stage in that cap and gown. However, we know that this isn’t the case. We know that for every one advertised vacancy, there are many hopeful candidates applying. So while you’re on the job hunt, checking coventry.prospects.ac.uk and waiting on the outcomes of applications, what else can you do?
Coventry University Graduate Employability Match; Well let’s start with us of course. We know you guys are oozing with enthusiasm and we want to help you exhibit this, along with your skills and knowledge on your CVs and applications. However, we don’t stop at careers appointments. With the CU-GEM scheme, we actively assist the search; strenuously seeking out those exact roles you’re looking for in the locations that you want. We’ll also be putting on workshops for you to attend. If you’re currently in your final year, download the CU-GEM form here, fill it in and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Network; This point cannot be stressed enough. Forming professional relationships often is one of the best things you can do. Although it may feel great having a huge number of followers on Instagram, what is more beneficial to you, a fresh graduate, is having many connections on LinkedIn, (unless you’re an artist of course; carry on Instagramming!) These contacts, wherever they may originate, are immensely instrumental in your chances of securing a job. Furthermore, they also expose you to the hidden job market; the 80% jobs which go unadvertised. Make sure you’re attending industry relevant networking events and increasing your contacts list.
Volunteer/Freelancing; Volunteering increases your employability massively. One of the major disadvantages when you leave University is your lack of experience and so volunteering gives you direct knowledge and involvement in your preferred field of work. Not only does this give you a huge competitive edge against the other graduates you’re competing against, but it also serves as a taster and may allow you to learn what it is you like and dislike in the industry. As a graduate from almost any course, there are many voluntary posts you could fill to develop your skills. Also, depending on your field, you can also freelance. This will allow you to build your portfolio, boost your skills, branch to new contacts and generate some income!
Keep your skills current; If you know that there is something you are lacking for your desired role, develop it. You could choose to use online resources such as tutorials and e-books to further your knowledge. Better still, you could volunteer and develop new skills whilst enhancing those existing skills and preventing any skill atrophy. Finally, Post-Graduate courses could be the job-securing factor and there are plenty of them around (like the PG Certificate in Leadership and Career Development we offer; email us if you’re interested!)
Ultimately, instead of doing nothing whilst you’re waiting to hear back from prospective employers, you can be proactive in increasing the likelihood of you getting a job soon and any of the points listed above are likely to help. However, if choose a break, travel can prove hugely eye-opening and mind-broadening to you and again improves your employability greatly.