What to do after graduation?

The lectures are finally over and exams are done. The last year of university has passed faster than you could possibly have imagined and in only a couple of weeks it will be over. Now… the real world starts 😊  

Don’t Panic - When you read news and talk to people, you may feel like it is harder than ever to secure a role. While the job market is crowded it has always been like this and there are plenty of things you can do to stand out from the crowd. What can you do? Have a think about what you want to do and stick to your goals and aspirations. If you are not qualified for your dream job currently then look at jobs that you are qualified for that will lead you to have enough experience. Ignore the negative press and focus on making sure you get the career you want.

Get your CV ready – Your CV may have been untouched for some time or does not exist at all. Now you are graduating, your CV is very important and you need to spend some time getting it up to date. Recruiters and hiring managers will see hundreds of CV’s every day so make sure yours is fit for purpose. Potential employers know that you do not have years of experience so focus on the experience you do have.  If you need help then find a CV template from the internet and read our previous blog. Apple Pages and Word offer very good CV templates as well. Make sure you keep your CV up to date.

Digital footprint - Google and  social media don't like to forget. Potential employers do and will check your social media profiles and potentially google you. Make sure you have an up to date LinkedIn profile, see our other blog on creating a great LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn is the first-place employers will visit. If you don’t want potential employers to see your social media then either tidy it up and delete inappropriate content or make it private. Even if your profile is private then they can still see your profile picture so change it to something you would be happy your future boss seeing. Social media is part of life and employers will expect you to have an online presence but while job hunting do think twice about what you are posting!  

Networking – Candidates often complain that the people who get the best jobs are the people who know people. So, if you can’t beat them, join them by networking! Start by looking at the MeetUp and EventBrite events. Attend things that interest you and are relevant to your chosen career path and while you are there talk to people. You never know who you will meet and who might be looking for a candidate exactly like you. Spend some time contacting friends from university who graduated before you as the company they are working for might be looking for graduates or might know of companies who are. Lecturers are also a good way of boosting your network, they will know people. 

Recruitment Agencies – Agencies are often working on roles that employers are not advertising directly. Find a good graduate agency in your chosen field and spend the time getting to know the agent. Recruitment agencies need to make money by placing candidates so make sure you are meeting with them and being at the forefront of their minds when a relevant role comes in. It is in an agencies interest to make sure you get the job so they will make sure you are fully prepared. We are very keen to help you here at Fair Recruitment so please feel free to get in touch on alex@fairrecruitment.co.uk

Time Management 

Some of us are born with good time management, some of us are not. However, it’s a good skill to try to develop at University before you enter the world of work. When it comes to writing you dissertation or finishing an essay, good time management is essential. Technology makes it easier and below are five different apps that will help you to manage your time better.

The apps have quite similar functionality but have unique differences. Try them out and find the one that best suits your style. We all have a different way of studying so different apps will suit different individuals. Fair Recruitment hopes our article will help you to find the best app for your study style, do let us know how you get on. 

  • “To do List” and “Wunderlist”

These two apps offer similar functionalities. They are both task management tools with due dates as well as categories. These tools will help you to divide your work into sections and allocate enough time for each task. “To do List” also allows you to add tags and receive Karma points when you hit your time targets. 

  • Pomodoro Timer

The famous Pomodoro technique is now on your smart phone. This technique enables you to divide your work into 25 minute blocks and short breaks. It has been used for many years and its simplicity makes it very easy for you to use. One of the benefits of this app is that you can keep a record of your performance. 

  • Clear

Clear offers a very clean, colourful and simple design with a unique interface. This app helps you to prioritise your tasks by categorising them and then prioritising them. The priority feature is also very useful as it enables you to remember which tasks are most important.  

  • Focus Booster

Focus Booster offers a similar technique to Pomodoro but enables you to ensure you maintain focus on specific tasks. The app helps you to track both time and performance. The categorisation section enables you to split tasks into smaller tasks and over time will help you improve your time management.  

  • Toggl

Toggl is another app that allows you to track your time and help you manage your projects. Unlike the other apps, Toggl offers a more business style approach to time management. Toggl offers a group time management function so you can easily use this app for group projects and the reporting function will help you to measure your performance.

Interview Questions

Interview Questions

Preparing for an interview does not just involve researching information about the company and the role, although this is very important. You can be further prepared by making sure you have put together answers for the most common interview questions. A bit of preparation will ensure you are less nervous and more likely to succeed. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself - The interviewer isn’t interested in how your parents met or how much time you spend in the pub. Have a think about experiences that are useful for the role and the business. Keep it brief and simple. Pick 4 / 5 attributes that you have, these could be skills, qualifications or work experience and identify how they relate to the role and create a conversation around them.

Why are you interested in working for us? “I want a job”, “I need money”, “My parents told me to apply”. However true these answers may be, they are not the answers that will get you the job. Be specific in what interests you about the role and really have a think about why you are applying for the job. Consider why you want to work in the business and avoid any vague answers. Be direct and do your homework and research the business. The more research you have done on the business and the role, the more they will be able to see that you are interested. 

Why should we hire you? Clients want something more inciteful than “I’m the best, pick me pick me!” As before, you need to know what the criteria is for the role so you can sell yourself against these criteria. Back up each skill set they are looking for with relevant examples from your skill sets. Tell them you can solve problems, identify opportunities for improvement and have a “can do” approach. Also, make sure you bring up your previous successes as the interviewer won’t ask about everything on your CV and you want them to hear about your achievements. 

What are your strengths? This is your opportunity to beat the competition and put yourself at the top of the list. The answers should include what you can bring to the business. Again, matching your strengths with the job is the best approach. Companies look for people who can solve problems and focus on the goals. Be a problem solver.

What are your weaknesses?  Nobody likes this question which is why interviewers like asking it. If you prepare for it before the interview it will make it a lot easier to answer. Everyone has weaknesses so be aware of yours and how you have improved on them or are trying to improve on them. Make a list of your weaknesses and include why you need to solve them and what you have done to do so. Using this list to form your answer will show that you are aware of your problems and ready to solve them.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? This question is designed to assess your long-term planning and whether you have thought about your future and what it might look like.  Do your research on the company and see where they want to be in ten years.  Don’t exaggerate your answer and show your passion for the position you are applying for and the drive to make it a success.  

Do you work well as part of a team? Whether you are applying for a temporary or permanent role you will be working with others and it is very important to explain your team working abilities. Talk about any previous roles and give examples of how you have worked as part of a team. If you ran the team, explain how you effectively managed others. Talk about how you coped with any difficulties dealing with different members of your team. 

Do you have any questions? This is not a rhetorical question and you can’t be expected to accept a job without asking questions. Before the interview you should think what you need to know to be in a position to accept a role if offered it and ask those questions! Ask about the company; ask about their latest project, new clients, career progression, training and development. Ask about things you have read in the news to show you have done your research. Show your passion and ambition. 

For any other questions feel free to contact us on alex@fairrecruitment.co.uk

Don’t Lose Your Work

Imagine the scenario; you have spent hours working on your assignment or dissertation and the worst thing has happened… your computer has decided to go on strike and all your hard work has vanished inside the bits and bytes of the digital world. We have all experienced this and know how dreadful it feels. Hours of work gone in seconds and you have to start again from scratch….  

Fortunately, computers don’t run on floppy discs like in the 90s and there are a couple of ways in which you can avoid this catastrophic situation. Below are some tricks to help keep your work safe. 

Word If you are using Microsoft Word go to settings, find the autosave section and reduce the interval to the minimum, 1 minute. Word will now automatically save your work every minute. It is also possible for Word to create a backup of you work automatically, you can enable this feature under the File tab. Go into File, click Advanced and find Create Backup copy. You will now have both frequent autosave and a backup of your work. 

Pages Apple’s word processor, Pages, is student friendly. When you start to type Pages automatically saves everything you type and keeps a record of your deleted section. Unlike other software, Pages is very reliable when it comes to saving your document frequently. 

If you want to have a copy of your work somewhere other than your computer, then a good back up is using your email. By simply emailing the document you are working on to your email address, you will have a back-up copy that can be easily accessed. A benefit of emailing yourself your work is that each document is filed chronologically. If you change your mind about an edit you can easily find a previous draft. If anything happens to your computer, then all drafts of your work are saved in your email address. 

Online Word, Pages or Google Docs? Most people think that by using a web-based processor they are safe. However, if there is a problem with your internet connection then your browser will become unresponsive and you will lose your work. Make sure you are regularly saving your work even if you are using a web-based browser. Web-based versions of word processors are great and make our lives easier; however a reliable internet connection is very important to keep your work safe.

Evernote An alternative to any word processing software is to start using Evernote. Evernote is a note taking app which can be used to write assignments. Evernote automatically saves your work on both the web-based version and the software version. You can also use Evernote to type your work and then copy it to Word or Pages for the final edit.  

Whenever you start work on a document make sure you get into the habit of saving the document frequently and creating backups. You can also use cloud storage for additional safety. This may all seem time consuming but less time consuming than re writing whole assignments. 

Interview Tips

You have written your CV, a cover letter, applied for numerous jobs and now you have it, an interview! It is what you wanted but now you are in an unknown land with unknown questions. Everyone gets nervous before interviews but the easiest way to reduce these nerves is to be prepared. Below are Fair Recruitment’s tips for dealing with that first interview:

  • Standard Questions Although you don’t know what questions an interviewer is going to ask you can have a think about the most likely questions. They will want to know your background and why you are interested in the role. Make sure you know your CV back to front and can answer any questions about your education or work experience and explain any gaps. Make sure you have thought about why you want the job and why you are going to be well suited for it. Make sure you prepare for the questions that you know will come up. 
     
  • Research, Research, Research The interviewer is busy and has taken time out of their day to meet you. In return the least you can do is to know as much as possible about the company and the role. The company website is the first place to start but also make sure you look up the business on LinkedIn and Social Media. Make sure you understand the business and what they do, find out who their competitors are and do some reading around the industry. If you really want to impress them consider looking into their annual reports and any information on future growth plans.
     
  • WhatIWoreToday (#wiwt) This hashtag, invented by Poppy Dinsey, is extremely relevant when it comes to interviewing. The employer will tell you if they want you to wear anything other than formal attire but if in any doubt choose a formal outfit. They won’t expect a suit from Saville Row or an expensive outfit but make sure you look as smart as possible. Don’t ruin your chances by turning up in an inappropriate outfit. 
     
  • Do Not Panic We all know that job hunting and interviewing can be extremely stressful but so does the interviewer. They are used to people being nervous and they will do the best they can to put you at ease. The most important thing is to not panic during the interview. The more prepared you are the less stressful the situation will be. If you think you might struggle with the stress, ask for help from your University as many offer sessions to cope with this stress. You have been invited for an interview because the interviewer believes you are suitable for the role having seen your CV so remember this and be positive. Make sure you listen and don’t fall into the trap of not answering the question and be direct with your answers.  Always be positive and upbeat. 
     
  • Smile Human connections are very important during interviews. If the interviewer buys into you as a person, they are more likely to think positively about you afterwards. Smile, build rapport and be personable. Be friendly to everyone you meet as many companies will ask the receptionist what you were like so don’t save your personality for the interviewer.
     
  • Questions You can’t be expected to accept a role without knowing everything about the opportunity. Think to yourself; “What do I need to know to accept this role if offered” and make yourself a list of questions. Think about this before and don’t be afraid to take a list of questions with you. You can’t ask too many questions. Prepare and ask as many as possible. 

We hope you enjoyed readying out interview tips and that they will help you with any future interviews you have lined up. Please do let Fair Recruitment know if you enjoyed reading it and please feel free to share our tips with your friends.