As a business we continue to connect with university students. Maintaining communication over a three-four year period from start until graduation is a strategy that is of foremost importance to me personally. Thompson & Terry seek to develop an unremitting dialogue in a bid to understand candidate hopes and aspirations with a view to graduates eventually taking steps to making better and more informed decisions about their transition from education to a responsible choice of career.
This post is our way of ventilating some of the barriers that confront graduates in discovering their desired career path. We hope that through regular engagement and encouragement a constructive exchange of ideas by way of evading the negativity surrounding applications and recruiter services can lead to ensuring graduates and job seekers are better placed to make more informed decisions in the most efficient way.
For prospective applicants here are seven vital ingredients to a successful graduate application:
Register on LinkedIn
Registering for a LinkedIn account ensures that you are visible to recruiters in-house and externally. Remember, recruiters are both reactive but also proactive in their search for the next generation of recruits. You will be competing against other likeminded graduates and it’s not always a decision based upon the ‘best’ applicant. Most recruits are those who are most visible and reactive to contact.
Simply registering on LinkedIn is not enough. Be proactive and connect with decision makers within a select number of industries who you deem to be a desirable fit. LinkedIn is a numbers game; it is not a platform to connect with those who you know. LinkedIn is used to connect with relevant stakeholders therefore quantity is important. Post, like and share content as much as possible (multiple times a day) to remain relevant and observable to those that matter.
Contact decision makers
Graduates are not stereotypically recognised for their forthright approach. Go the extra mile and approach business decision makers with a speculative application. Directors or HR Managers are the most likely point of contact. Whilst this method may not always be successful you will almost certainly make a positive first impression that may benefit you in the near future.
Online applications often get lost in the shuffle. Try to remember a CV is an artifice (it does not tell me about your personality) therefore I question how recruiters with busy schedules are able to identify your better suitability over 50 similar applicants? You might be the strongest applicant but it is not always possible to tell this at first glance therefore an online CV submission is not always the best approach. Agencies work best in this instance.
Register on job boards
It is vital to become visible to a larger audience. Recruiters have access to a range of ‘CV search’ facilities. These include Reed, Totaljobs, CV library and Indeed to name but a few. Key words in CV’s are of vital importance. Recruiters will search for buzz words that relate to the job specification including; ‘grad’, ‘graduate’, ‘business student’, ‘sales’ and so forth.
Seek advice, check… and check again!
Most recently a graduate uploaded a copy of their dissertation to a CV search facility whilst a second uploaded an instruction manual for installing a Panasonic television. Check, check and check again! Grammar is equally important. Be professional, correct any grammatical mistakes and only commence your searches upon successful completion of your CV to the highest standards.
Be responsive and courteous!
Recruiters are often left to wait days, weeks or months for a response when most jobs require an immediate decision. Be courteous, engaging and honest about your search – Your reputation will be remembered both positively or negatively long into the future.