Lots of finger pointing and not a lot of action. The Graduate job hunt…

So grads say it’s employers who are to blame for their lack of job and employers say grads are to blame…?!?!

So I read this post the other day in which students discussed their theories about why they aren’t getting jobs.

In short students and other organisations blame employers and employers tend to blame the graduate themselves or the institution they came from.

 So what are you going to do about it?!

There are some blogs and other online sources that will tell you that there are a lot of economic and political reasons for why you are finding it hard to find a graduate job.  And they are legitimate and real. There are other career advisors who will also tell you that the only person standing in your way, is you! 

Being a graduate and saying the following:

– My uni let me down

– My uni career service let me down

-Employers are ignoring me – this is personal!

Is common but won’t get you very far in terms of finding a job or keeping yourself motivated

Just reading today BBC news stated that undergraduate students are now looking for jobs a lot earlier and I so wish that had been my approach. I don’t think I knew what opportunities were out there and you can definitely increase your chances of getting a job after graduating if you’re just a bit more organised. I do realise that some students decide to get their academic work out of the way before embarking on the job hunt and that’s OK to, if you can afford to do it.

My point is…

Finger pointing is not constructive

When you’re looking for a job and you get rejection after rejection it can be hard to not blame everyone but yourself. I avoided this by taking the first job I could after graduating and I’m just lucky it paid off or it was at least able to tide me over until I found something I was really interested in doing. It’s hard to keep motivated but set yourself targets and reward yourself when you get replies and results.

Articulate your skills!

Sometimes it can be hard to articulate just what skills you have or what use you would be to an employer. In the rush of multiple applications and in amongst the mix of applying for things you genuinely care about and some you don’t.  The application process and eventual interview seem so exhausting or painstaking that you get in front of an employer, head spinning with thoughts and have to be able to string a sentence together that doesn’t sound contrived or rehearsed. Lots of work is done by many universities trying to help students practice for interviews and “translate” their skills to employers.

It feels like there is a someone sat on your shoulder saying:

“Well?! Well?! Was it worth it, that degree of yours or have you just been messing around for the past few years?!” 

Generally it can be a challenge not to sound generic or broad in your statements to an employer. There is definitely a certain level or translation you have to do to an interviewer and they don’t want to have to debug what you’re saying to them. Much like when writing an essay it can feel really stupid quantifying or explaining what you mean to someone who should know what they’re doing, right?

Quite often it is the extra-curricular/ co-curricular activities you do that can make you stand out (yes, that old chestnut) Generally students I have come across tend to fall into two categories – the ones who have done more than just their academic work and the ones who, for whatever reason, haven’t.

Students who do lots outside the classroom

This doesn’t mean that you are better at “selling yourself” to an employer, it also doesn’t mean you are owed a job. I have often come across students who try to max out on societies and make sure they get the most important sounding committee position possible. Just because you’ve done it all doesn’t make it easier to talk to an employer. OK so it gives you some great sound bites but it can make you look indecisive. Doing a couple of things and getting them right can be more rewarding and can show that you are interested, focused and dedicated.

Students who don’t have the time/inclination to do lots outside the classroom

It could be suggested that it will be slightly harder for you to articulate your employability skills to an interview panel. HOWEVER some people think that their degree/assignments don’t count as topics to call on in an interview situation…

Assignment, exams, studying full stop ALL count. Working in a group for a module counts, presenting for a module counts! You get where I’m going with this…

This has been a bit of a mish-mash of two posts I was drafting – I hope I have managed to stitch it together OK.

 

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Author: eemaa27

Blogging and reflecting to keep my writing skills in tune

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