You have just graduated – what next?

It may have been a long hard slog, but you finally made it through your finals and have the prized degree or other qualification in your pocket.

But what next? The transition from the world of schools and learning that you are likely to have known from the age of five has come to an end and you are cast out into a competitive and, at times, cut-throat real world of job hunting, interviews and – hopefully – that long-awaited first appointment.

Where to start?

It is little wonder that you might need to ask, but the good news is that there are quite a number of potentially rich seams to tap:

  • if you need help in preparing a CV that might really knock them out, you might want to sign up with a company such as 10minuteswith.com, a free to join browse site that’s packed with all the insight and tips you could ever need for CV creation, they also provide a graduate job search function, together with first-hand accounts from the professionals who currently occupy positions similar to those you are after;
  • armed with such a knock-out CV, one of the first places to start hunting for jobs might be your own school, college or university careers service;
  • services like this might also be able to point you in the direction of workshops, open days and careers fairs likely to be promoting the kind of jobs you are searching for;
  • even when starting out on your job search, networking may still be invaluable, says the website Prospects – contacts with friends in a similar position, or better yet, those who have already been through the mill and landed their first job, can be maintained through judicious use of your favourite social media sites;
  • the internet generally, of course, is an important and ever-open portal onto the world of job opportunities, advertised vacancies and a wealth of background on practically any potential employer;
  • if you have already narrowed down your search to particular types of job, you might want to browse the relevant trade and professional journals, which often advertise internships and first jobs for suitably qualified graduates;
  • in a similar vein, you might want to explore those websites specific to the market or job sector in which you are interested;
  • you might think they are not necessarily for you, but you might not want to discount the possibility of unexpected openings advertised in your local newspaper or even the Jobcentre.

What’s on offer?

When you are starting out, it typically helps to be flexible and approach any opportunity with a completely open mind because:

  • internships, for example, often expect you to work on a full-time, unpaid basis and might therefore not appeal to every graduate – but they may be a way to give added value to your CV, network with professionals already working in that job sector, confirm your desire to pursue that given career, and may sometimes lead to your being offered a full-time, paid and permanent position;
  • graduate recruitment schemes are run by a number of leading corporations and you might encounter stiff competition for a place on one – what comes with it though, is typically exposure to a wide variety of positions within the organisation, a structured training programme and pay.

Once you have graduated, the next big question is likely to be what next when it comes to finding that all-important first job, in your chosen career, on the way to making your own way in life.

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