Job Search Tips for Recent Graduates

iStock_000006080507XSmallWritten by Dave Cullen

The competition in Ireland’s jobs market remains fierce with recruiters regularly inundated with applications from highly qualified candidates. As a result, it can be a particularly tough place for recent graduates to break into. With limited to no work experience to put on their CVs, graduates must be more creative in how they identify opportunities and showcase their talents and abilities to prospective employers.

The following is a list of 5 ways a recent graduate can improve their chances of finding a job.

Global outlook: These days when an employer considers hiring a graduate, they tend to be more attracted to those who have some experience internationally. Those graduates who have studied abroad or perhaps done an Erasmus will usually be considered better-rounded than those who haven’t. As a result, those with a second language will be open to a world of opportunities; Cpl Language Jobs have significant requirements for German, Dutch, Danish, French, Norwegian and Swedish speaking candidates in exciting international positions across Europe.

Attend industry relevant events: A great way of learning practical job search tips, meeting employers and making new contacts is to attend networking events and seminars. Graduate and recruitment fairs can also be enormously beneficial. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce regularly hold breakfast briefings and business conferences that will allow you to make useful connections with influential people and gain valuable insights into the requirements of employers and the state of the market.

Have realistic expectations: After studying hard for up to 4 years or more in college and possibly even completing a Master’s Degree, many graduates can become disillusioned by the prospect of working for little or no money. Unfortunately, to reach the top you have to start at the bottom; few employers will hire an inexperienced candidate for a role that requires a proven industry track record, let alone pay them a high salary. When starting your career, humility is a virtue, graduates who are willing to prove themselves by working for no money or very little through internships will gain real world practical experience. Interns, who work hard and demonstrate value to the employer, may be rewarded with a permanent position.

Broaden your skills and knowledge: Many employers are now expecting candidates to diversify their skillsets. Jobseekers are advised to market not only the skills required for the role they are applying for but also demonstrate their skills in other areas. For example, if a candidate comes from an IT background, it can be advantageous or even necessary for them to have a grounding in business. Upskilling and taking additional courses at night or on weekends will demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond the basic requirements of your job.

Look the part: Recent graduates can be unfamiliar with the codes and conventions of the professional working world. During the interview stage it is crucial that they exude a professional demeanour in all of their interactions with recruiters and hiring managers. They must adhere to the office dress code, be polite and punctual and behave in a respectful manner in order to make the right impression with their new employer.

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