Kickstart your Career

Sadly university doesn’t last forever, and it is easy to forget about life post-graduation. Degree in hand, the daunting badge of adulthood becomes firmly fixed and this can mean only one thing: it’s time to find a job.

With recent reports showing that nearly half of graduates are stuck in work that doesn’t require a degree, finding the right job is not a task for the faint hearted. However, CEO of the company GradQuiz, Finian O’Kane, explains that there is no reason to panic when searching for a job and that both the changing job markets and developments in social media can be used to our advantage.

“I was inspired to set up GradQuiz after my own experiences of finding work as a graduate”, Finian commented. “Nothing was available to tell you what you could or should do, so, I thought, why not build a more intelligent site to give students the help that they need?”

GradQuiz currently works with 45 of the biggest graduate recruiters, helping to match students with the right companies and jobs for their skills and requirements.

However, despite having so many options it’s not always best to just apply for everything and hope for the best: “Companies want the top candidates for their positions and with an average of 85 applicants per role it’s important to stand out.

“By sending off a large number of applications there’s a risk that you’ll not spend an appropriate amount of time on each. It’s important to be aware of the business and what it’s looking for.”

With so little time and so many places to apply, thoroughly researching each company may seem daunting – but in most cases, all the information you need can be found on the company’s website: “Youtube channels and the press sections of the recruiters website are always a good place to start”, explained Fin.

“If you really want to make a good impression, find out about what’s currently happening with the companies in the news. From this you’ll be able to not only realize their problems but also give feedback. This will demonstrate that you understand the business so that you can properly tailor your application.”

But it’s not just about the application process itself. It’s important to make the most of social media: “Whilst on the whole it’s probably better to keep your Facebook and Twitter accounts private, if you are visible to the public it’s important to weigh up whether you should make your account more professional or personality based.

“It obviously depends on the sort of job that you’re looking for, but either way it’s definitely a bad idea to let your future employers know quite just how much you hate your boyfriend.”

Social media is also crucial for engaging directly with employers: “Remember that behind every profile or brand is actually a person sat at a computer.
“As a company, GradQuiz created connections through sources such as Twitter and you can do the same. Why not try sending a CV over in this unconventional way? Or even just contacting a company to show how passionate you are and how you could add value to them.”

Whilst these are particularly valuable tools for final year students, even freshers should not be neglecting their impending futures. “If I could give any advice, it would be to start early,” commented Finian. “In your first year try to get some internships and work placements.

“More and more companies are looking to hire apprentices, so it’s vital that you have as much experience as you can, even if it might not seem relevant at the time.

“Not only will this help you to align yourself with employers but you’ll also get to see whether that area of work is right for you – there’s no point in eventually landing a job if you don’t like it.”

With the right insight, knowing where to direct your passion can mean a lot in the daunting world of graduate recruitment. So next time you think that the only way to cope with becoming an adult is drowning yourself in Sambuca, remember: enhance your skills, focus on positive engagement and get to know the companies that are right for you.





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