Graduates: how employable are you?

17th December 2018

If you are a graduate looking for a job you need to consider your employability. Having a strong degree is a great start in getting a role in the industry you are interested in, but it doesn’t make any guarantees. With many graduates all entering the jobs market at the same time it is important for you to find ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Here we take a look at some of the ways you can improve your employability and land the job that you are looking for.

Getting more from LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an extremely important tool for graduates looking to find positions, so if you aren’t using it properly, you can be reducing your employability. Firstly, it is important that your LinkedIn profile should match your CV. If you apply to a job with a traditional CV, it is very likely that an employer will take a look at your LinkedIn profile. In this situation, you don’t want the employer to be confused by conflicting details in your profile.

It’s also worth thinking about the keywords you use within your profile, as these can help employers to find you when they search. For example, having a profile that contains the words that are relevant to the role you are looking for makes it much easier for you to be found – these could be words like: graduate, FMCG, food and drink, sales, marketing, health, sports, etc. In many cases you can accomplish fitting many of your keywords in a single sentence, such as “I am a graduate looking for a sales role in health food and drink”.

A simple but sometimes overlooked technique is making yourself ‘Open to New Opportunities’ which helps to notify anyone recruiting that you are interested in roles and also makes you pop out in searches.

Make it easy for employers and recruiters

Just like anyone looking for a new role, it is important for graduates to make themselves available through CV banks and have a profile with major recruiting sites such as LinkedIn, Reed and Graduate Jobs. If you are looking for a role in a specific industry it is a good idea to get in contact with an industry-specific recruiter which will naturally have a better understanding of the kinds of roles that you will be best suited to and stand a better chance of matching you with the role that you are looking for.

Also remember that in the middle of a job hunt you need to make yourself available for calls and interviews as often as possible. The more availability that you give, the more interested you will look to a potential employer. And on the other side, if you take a long time to reply to emails or don’t get back to a recruiter who you are working with, this can make them hesitant to put you forward for roles. Clear communication is key as things can move fast in Graduate recruitment and it can be easy to miss out on roles by delaying your response. Excellent communication is one of the cornerstones of getting the graduate position you are looking for.

Increase your chances of landing the role

Remember that the first step that you need to get through is the initial CV application – your interview skills won’t make any difference if your application is rejected at the CV stage. That’s why it is so important to put time into the creation of your CV and ensuring it is clear and concise. The CV should be laid out:

  • Personal profile
  • Education
  • Roles and responsibilities in reverse chronological order
  • Your interests and skills

Of course it is also the case that you want to have impressive things to put on your CV – yes, being a graduate is nice, but you can really impress employers and recruiters with industry experience. Take part time and entry level roles in the industry that you want to work in – get relevant experience any way that you can.

Be yourself

Some candidates for graduate roles believe that there is something that they need to pretend to be in order to get a role. The truth is that you should never try to be anything – it is much more important to let your natural personality come through. For example when recruiters ask to know about your motivations and hobbies they aren’t trying to trick you – they just want to know about you to understand how you would fit into a team.

Of course it is also important to be proactive in your job search and do your research into the company that you are interviewing for.

If you are a recent graduate looking to kick start your career in the food and drink industry, please contact us today on 0207 042 3800.