Many businesses are on the lookout for graduates, and naturally the salaries for these positions will be low compared to senior roles. This is something you have to accept early on, as you will not have experience required to come in at a mid-level or senior salary. During university, you may well be told by your lecturers that opportunities in your field are scarce, and this is usually motivational talk, because if you do come out with a good grade, there will be opportunities.
Most of the time, you’ll be speaking to recruitment agencies, and you do have to be careful with some of these agencies. They’re interested in filling positions fast, and they may not be taking your best interests into account. It’s best to make sure you stand firm and only accept a position you’re comfortable with, one that’s not too different from the industry you’re looking to break into.
Recruitment agencies are there to make money, and while some consultants will take the time to understand your needs, a lot of them won’t so only apply for roles that you’re entirely comfortable with.
Volunteering can often be an ideal starting point to a successful career, and it doesn’t usually matter what industry you’re looking to break into, you may have to do some work experience to gain that ‘essential’ initial experience.
Most job positions, including graduate roles, require a certain amount of experience, and you can get that from volunteering in your industry. Whether you’re looking to break into finance, journalism, teaching, marketing or midwifery, you can show you’re eager to ‘get your foot in the door’ if you have experience and qualifications on your CV.
Not many students can step out of school or university and break into a particular industry without any experience whatsoever, so show your passionate by volunteering and getting hands on experience that will stay with you forever.
The decision to take a gap year is a bold one, so you may want to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before you come to a decision. One of the biggest concerns is whether or not a gap year can have a negative effect on your CV, but that depends on what you do with your time while you’re away.
If you learn a new language, volunteer, teach English or develop your photography portfolio, you may be adding skills and experience, but if you don’t actively take part in anything while you’re away, potential employers may well be put-off when they see a big gap on your CV.
Every individual is different, and so too are their experiences on their gap year, so whatever you do, make sure you return home without any regrets. If you’re seriously contemplating a gap year, remember the option is always there to raise your cultural awareness, hone your existing skills and become more independent, so you could actually boost your job prospects when you return.
There are plenty of career opportunities abroad; you just have to know where to look. Teaching vacancies can be found in a diverse range of countries, and in particular, China, Japan and Thailand are crying out for English speaking professionals.
English speaking countries like USA, Canada and Australia can be easier countries to settle in to, and there are plenty of opportunities here, depending on the job role. Take Australia as an example, they release a skilled occupation list, and if your current skills match to an occupation on the list, you have a better chance of success when you’re over there.
If opportunities are hard to come by in the UK, then there’s no harm in looking for jobs further afield, but of course moving to a different country will change your life entirely, so you shouldn’t necessarily rush in when making this kind of decision.
Many students leave school for university, but you don’t really know what you’ve let yourself in for until the course begins. Often, university graduates will say the workload and the tasks became more difficult over time. So while first year may have been rather easy, the third year would have been rather difficult, and it’s the year where you put those skills you’ve learned to good use.
In year one, you may find there is a lot of reading and a reasonable number of essays, whilst workload increases once more in year two, while grades become more important too. Year three is obviously the big finale, but if you put in the effort and work hard throughout your period at university, you’ll do fine, and develop further in the future.
University can take a lot out of you, and it’s not just the workload, it’s the social life too. Many students have to balance social life with employment and the university course, but at the end of the day the degree takes top priority and you’ll certainly find that out in year 3.
When you’re writing out a cover letter to go alongside your CV in a job application, you need to make sure you consider the employer’s requirements. If you haven’t read the job brief in detail, then you need to, because this is essentially your guideline when it comes to applying for a position.
If you can tick all of the employer’s boxes then you’re going to be in with a good chance, and you should always avoid creating a template cover letter that you send out to multiple employers. Remember, no two jobs are the same, and neither are the job descriptions, so your cover letter should be tailored for specific positions.
A good cover letter will not just repeat the facts that you have included in your CV, it should give them an insight into your personality, your aims, your relevant skills and your ambition. The cover letter is often the first part of the application that a recruiter will look at, so it has to well-thought out if you really want a good chance of landing that dream job.