It's no secret that over the last decade many industries have dramatically evolved thanks to the advancements in the internet. Email now plays a vital role in communication and the organisation of many services, notably in this case - graduate jobs. Although it can be overwhelming at times, we can't stress enough how important it is to stay on top of incoming emails as missing the most important ones could cost you an opening or even an interview for your dream job. If you're registered with several recruitment services, are you using a separate email address or filters to handle the incoming alerts? Have you set your preferences to only receive the roles you are interested in? Are you opening them? If you don't stay on top of it and leave emails unopened as they build up, then you run the risk of missing something very important. Don't close doors on yourself no matter how busy you are. It only takes 2 minutes to scan over your emails so keep an ear to your inbox!
In this competitive market companies will always seek exceptional individuals who can not only do the job but also add value to their organisation. As a graduate you can bring useful skills, but in order to show your value you need to be able to present them in a relevant way to show you’re making the connection. In a graduate interview, one way to find out what they look for is to ask who are the good role models in the organisation and why? This way you can provide evidence of your suitability based on the reply. Researching everything you can on the company is key so make sure you are up on their current news as well as their history. This research can be integrated with your answers to keep everything relevant and stand out from other applicants they speak to.
When creating a CV, make sure you save it in a versatile format that everyone is able to open. We would recommend saving it in document format which is .doc as it's the most common. Saving your CV in this format means you can be sure no one will have any problems opening it or integrating it with a database that employers can search - using .pdf files can create problems. Additionally, make sure you name your CVs sensibly like 'John Smith CV - Marketing.doc' so the employer knows whose it is among others. Never leave the file name of your CV unlabelled such as 'my final cv.doc' or 'cv edit3.doc' as this looks very unprofessional.
Do you consider your real options when looking for graduate work? There are so many different industries and small niches in which you can search for graduate work rather than the most obvious that springs to mind. To help expand your horizons and effectively increase your chances of employment try to think about other areas similar to your main focus and you may find something that really takes your interest. For example, if you wanted to work in PR then you could find roles that fulfil your passion just as well in Marketing. If you really want to think outside of the box think about larger companies by department - a large Retail firm doesn't just do Retail, they will have IT, Buying and Purchasing, Marketing and Accounting departments to name but a few. Researching well and digging deep will reveal more of the market and increase the number of applications you're getting out there.
Every year is a fresh start and while some people may be planning to lose bad habits or try to take on new hobbies in 2011 it's also the perfect moment to set yourself some career-based goals. This could be as simple as dedicating routine times to job hunt or research more into graduate job industries you are interested in. Maybe you are focusing on really making your last year count so something like obtaining a position within a society, entering academic competitions or keeping a detailed track of your potential to get the grade you need. To-do lists can help with the finer parts of organising your plans week to week so if you really want to drum it in then stick up a list where you can't miss it like on your computer monitor, fridge or textbook.