As a final year, there is immense pressure to secure a grad scheme at a large business. Whilst many of my peers have succeeded in getting their dream job, there are equally as many of us who have not been as successful and are wondering what to do next. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to try and get into the job market after uni without a grad scheme.
Go to networking events
Whether it is one organised by the uni, or an external one in the city, networking events are great places to meet prospective employers. Although it might be daunting going to these events, they are really useful for making connections. My top tip is to add the people you met on LinkedIn. Send them a message thanking them for their time, they usually really appreciate that. If you’re nervous take a friend along – you never know, you both might leave with interviews set up!
Polish your LinkedIn Profile
Leading on from this, make sure your LinkedIn is top-notch! You never know who is looking at your profile, so keep it updated. I’ve found that adding people from all aspects of my life (uni, societies, work experience, careers fairs) has really expanded my network. Add everything you have done to your page, even if you don’t think it is very much it might impress an employer. Plus, some businesses use LinkedIn in place of CVs.
“You just don’t have enough experience” is a sentence I’ve heard way too many times. Despite working and volunteering since I was in school, I don’t have enough specific to what I want to do. This is the case for a lot of grads, and the lack of experience makes it hard to find any! Volunteering is the best way to go about it. You will gain knowledge and be able to talk about it in interviews. If there is a specific industry you want to go into, find local firms and ask them if you can go into the office for a couple of days. The worst they’re going to say is no, but even then they have your details and know that you are interested.
Consider a gap year
You’ve just spent three years of your life working hard at university, so why not take some time off before you get a job? There are so many companies offering gap year travel experiences all over the world. I promise you, the more you look into this, the more enticing it gets!
Alternatively, if there is a grad scheme you really wanted but missed out on, take a year to work on your CV, gain experience and reapply.
Although it may seem as if a grad scheme is the only way into the job market, it really isn’t. There are so many other opportunities, you just have to find them!