How to get a Graduate Job
10 tips on how to get a graduate job in the tech industry!
The graduate job market is well known for being competitive. Despite tech being the fastest growing industry in the UK, the top jobs are still incredibly competitive to get onto. So make sure that you’re well prepared. We’ve prepared 10 pieces of advice to help you on your way to your first job in tech.
1. Be proactive
Clicking on the job boards is not enough!
Even in an era of competitive graduate schemes with several rounds, the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is more valid than ever. Networking, attending events and directly contacting recruiters to help in your job search is all part of job hunting in 2019.
After all, it’s easy to ignore a message and much more impactful to greet someone with a handshake and a smile than it is a ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.
So get out there, attend meetups, hackathons and career events – you won’t get to know awesome people by waiting for people to find you in your living room.
2. Make a Linkedin profile.
Following on from the last point about networking, one of the best ways to do this is through having an up to date LinkedIn page. You can meet some incredibly influential people through just a few taps, likes and swipes.
Your LinkedIn page is your way of marketing yourself; it is essentially your personal website. Fill it in with your up to date details and get active. Connect and let other people know that you’re job hunting and that you are ready to rock your career.
3. Get your CV right.
Make it interesting and insightful. The hiring manager will likely have to go through hundreds of CVs so make sure yours stands out. Your CV needs to pass the 10-second test (i.e. can it grab a recruiter/employer’s attention at this time, is it clear, well written, detailed and personal).
Make sure your intro/profile is interesting and PERSONAL! (Talking in the third person is so last century!). Never had a full-time job before? Get creative and don’t underestimate your non-paid experiences. So if you like making spreadsheets for your gran’s knitting business in your spare time, get it on your CV!
4. Research, research, research.
The world of tech is increasingly diversifying so be sure to explore all the options out there. Even if you want to be a developer, what type of developer do you want to be? What technologies do you want to specialise in? What paths have others in this field followed? (Linkedin is your best friend for this).
Although a career in tech leads to some great transferable skills, once you start down one path you’ll have built your network and specialised in this area, so it’s well worth putting some thought into where you want to be long term.
5. Know yourself.
Similarly to researching the career path that attracts you, it’s also important to reflect on what you enjoy and how you want to build your career.
Are you more code-oriented or solutions-oriented? Do you enjoy just doing the techy stuff, or do you want to interact with users? Are you someone who aspires to lead teams in the future?
Being a graduate you may not know this about yourself completely, but use your best judgement to make sure you appear focused and self-aware at interviews.
6. Invest time in your development
Self-learning doesn’t stop at Uni!
If you find you’re lacking the experience and skills many employers are looking for, then you need to upskill in your own time. There are lots of free/low-cost resources and open source tools you can use to build new skills and show your commitment to your development.
A graduate already learning a language or tool in his/her own time will always be preferred to the one who writes a covering letter saying they are “willing to undertake training” that’s paid for by the employer! (Who isn’t?!)
7. Be flexible.
You may have ideas and have heard stories about graduates that leave university and get into a super high paying and ‘amazing’ job. The reality is that these opportunities are few and far between (if they exist at all).
Sometimes a lower paid job with broader responsibility in a smaller company is way better than a higher paying, narrowly focused one in a bigger one. At this point in your career, the opportunity is king…. money will follow.
A high number of interview questions are predictable. Get your mum, dad, best mate to grill you and then do it again, and again, and again…
On the subject of practice, it’s also important to note that the more interviews you do, the better your performance will be. The same goes for assessment centres and psychometric tests. So don’t beat yourself up after your first couple of interviews. Prepare, practice and stay positive!
9. Keep working.
Even if you can’t find the perfect tech role to start with, keep learning and tinkering away in your own time or get a temporary non-tech job. Working is always better than not working.
Career breaks can look unattractive to hiring managers if you don’t have a good reason for them, not to mention that having a routine and purpose in your life is crucial so you don’t feel lost and get even more frustrated than necessary in your job hunt.
10. Don’t lose hope.
Getting your first job is a process. There will be knockbacks, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and how you deal with difficult situations. You might not end up where you thought you might but in tech, there are opportunities everywhere for those ready to push themselves. Getting your first job in tech is often the hardest, so keep going, stay proactive and once you’re in you shouldn’t really look back!
If you’ve recently graduated and are looking for your first role in the tech industry, or just want someone knowledgeable to help you cut through the jargon of getting your first job in tech, then feel free to contact us at Rebel.