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Post graduation: What next?

by Martin Lewis
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Having spent so many years studying at University, its easy to forget that now you’ve graduated, its time to get out into the real world.

We’ve done a bit of research and compiled some good short-term and long-term ideas of what you should and shouldn’t do once you’re ceremony has finished. Here they are:

DO start researching and practicing interview skills. Those students who went straight to university from college will probably not have any real work experience. Apart from a possible placement year during their studies, they may not have experienced a proper interview. There will be many candidates being interviewed for a single job so its all the more important you make yourself stand out. A string of unsuccessful interviews could really knock your confidence.

DON’T put off job-hunting for too long. Of course, celebrate your achievement and perhaps take a vacation, but depending on your degree, the world of work can be very competitive, so don’t expect to get anything right away.

DO make sure you set yourself targets. Write down where you’d like to be career-wise in one, three and five year’s time. Not making goals can incur slow progression, and time will fly by.

DON’T do a Master’s degree without giving it some thought. We’ve read that students fear they’re not qualified enough in their field to go out and carve a career. They enjoy the student life too much and put off the inevitable. Master’s degrees don’t guarantee jobs, and should be considered in the first year of bachelors study or even before starting your degree. On the other hand some employers only consider those with a masters degree, so do your research. 

DO make sure you use your experiences at university when applying for work. You don’t have to focus on just previous work experiences when asked to give evidence of how you meet a certain employment ‘criteria’. University is a demanding obstacle in life and hones lots of key skills. For example, juggling lots of coursework at once could be interpreted as prioritising tasks and managing/working to deadlines effectively.  Skills can also be specific to the degree you earned. For example, a music student who majored in conducting could interpret that as having the ability to manage, lead and work within a team. 

Even though some of the above ideas may seem like common sense, many students will probably choose to ignore some, if not all of them. Don’t become an unemployed graduate statistic. You may need luck finding the right job, but following these tips you can improve your chances of getting it.

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