Securing your Graduate Role

By jp4,

Written by Unitemps, Alison Romanova 

University – what a ride! First of all, a huge congratulations to you for graduating – get celebrating!

Now, whether you’re thinking of taking a well-deserved break for a while or whether you’re ready to keep pushing forward into your professional life, it’s never too early to start applying and securing your graduate role.
Read on to get the best tips and tricks, as well as getting to know your support system at Staffordshire University.


My Journey 

I secured my first full-time role recently in June 2021. When I submitted my final assignment, I felt an influx of emotions: relief, fear, excitement.

I first felt underwhelmed, because throughout my time at university, I had a few goals that I wanted to achieve. Unfortunately, obstacles flew in from all angles – personal, financial, and housing. It made focusing on these goals and studying extremely tough and unrewarding. I felt like I physically dragged myself to the finish line: 4pm, May the 4th (be with you).

I felt like I ran out of time to do the things I wanted to at university. I think I was also just so relieved that it was all over that I looked for more negatives than positives in my situation. 

Eventually, I “chillaxed”. There was a new obstacle to overcome – an exciting and new experience for me – getting a full-time job. After my final submission, I applied to over 200 jobs on all sites that I could think of. This kept me busy after university, which was exciting and nerve-wracking too. 
With my English Literature & Creative Writing degree, I heard these a LOT: 

  1. “So, you wanna be a teacher then?”
  2. “*Laughter*” 
  3. “Good luck getting a job with that degree!” 

But this didn’t put me off at all. Most of the time, these were jokey remarks, and I felt like I could prove them wrong. 

I was so grateful to have spoken with my personal tutor, Mark Brown. He told me to think outside the box and to look at what I have learned during my time at university. Now, my degree wasn’t a label, but an ocean of skills and experience that I could fish out and present at my job interview. 

I got out an A3 piece of paper and drew a mind map. After scribbling down my skills, work experience, volunteering, and extra-curricular activities. I realised I had more to offer than I thought. Eventually, I realised I could apply my skills to so many job titles I’d enjoy: copywriting, marketing, translation, freelancing, and graphic design.

I got my job as a Marketing Assistant & Creative Producer Assistant thanks to Unitemps. Lizzy was so supportive & she helped ease my nerves for the interview. She also encouraged me to get some certificates online to stand out from others. So I did!  


Target Keyword Searches

These are essentially the keywords you use in the search bar, whether that’d be on Google, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job search websites to help refine your list of jobs. This makes job hunting easier because you will be matched with more roles that suit your level of expertise, as well as your interests.

It can be daunting to look at the list of irrelevant job roles without first refining your job needs. For example, on LinkedIn, you will see these filter options in the “Jobs” section:

At first, 24,000 jobs appear and it will take too much time trying to scroll through page after page of job titles for candidates with 25 years of experience! Filter through the following options: 

  • Remote: this is a preference. If you are a stay-at-home parent or you would love to work for a company but would like to stay in your jammies at home-sweet-home, then click on “Remote” button.
  • Date Posted: experiment with this. It helps to lower the number of searches and the earlier the job post, the better. This is because many job postings from earlier may have expired, so it would be a waste of time applying to those.
  • Experience Level: many graduates like myself would typically click on “entry-level” jobs, “internship” or “associate”

LinkedIn offers a free trial for their Premium Feature which can be helpful when seeing what the other applicants’ backgrounds are like, which job titles match your skills on your profile and who is viewing your profile. 


University & ‘Career Planning’

Did you know that Staffordshire University graduates have access to Career and Personal Development support for life

On their page, ‘Life after University‘, the Careers Team suggests that having a ‘Career Plan’ is useful to help you understand yourself and what options you have for careers moving forward. The list will ultimately help you understand the following: 

  • Your strengths, values and interests – as well as what you could work on to stand out from other candidates. 
  • The goals you need to work towards your career (long-term and short-term). This will help you stay motivated and organised, because job-hunting is no easy feat. 
  • Some ideas of which fields you can apply yourself to (what jobs could you do). 

MyCareer

“MyCareer is your career and personal development one-stop-shop and the first place to go to:

  • Look for jobs and experience
  • Book a place on career workshops and events
  • Ask quick career-related questions”.

Once you have graduated, you will have received an email asking you to register for a new graduate account. This will give you access to a variety of work, with exclusive access to you, the graduate! You can also register HERE if you haven’t received it or are visiting after years of graduating at Staffs.

As well as finding work, their Careers Team is on hand every day of the working week (Mon-Fri), virtually and in-person, to help you in the following: 

  • Writing a tailored CV
  • Writing the best cover letter for that particular role you’re applying for
  • Answering any career-related questions (or anything about student life; did you know that the Career Coaches are current students?) 
  • LinkedIn Assistance
  • Practice Interviews 

And a lot more to list… Visit the link above and contact them today!


Unitemps

Saving the best for last – kidding, we’re all useful in our own way; and it’s a lot more beneficial if you use all the services mentioned here regularly!

Unitemps offers new opportunities on the daily, whether that’d be a part-time role, a full-time graduate role, temporary or permanent roles, virtual or in-office roles, graduate schemes and more. 

We also offer placement opportunities if you decide to stay in education. Placements are a great way to get on-the-job experience within your subject area. These vary from 12-week projects such as SAMPID to full 12-month placements. Undertaking a placement can be beneficial to your subject area knowledge and employability after completion of your award. 

We have roles tailored to every need and with just a few clicks of a button, you can send out your best CV and Cover Letter after visiting the Careers Studio and registering with us HERE


Not only do we offer the opportunities above, but did you know that we are in partnership with Staffordshire University for the following schemes?:

1) SAMPID

As it was just Women’s Engineering Day a week ago today, you may have heard of SAMPID. But if you haven’t, that’s okay! SAMPID stands for the ‘Advanced Manufacturing, Prototyping and Innovation Demonstrator’ programme. 

The primary aim of SAMPID is to drive innovation in Advanced Manufacturing Sectors across the Staffordshire region. In just 12-months, you will develop skills in your STEM field.

Please read our previous blog to find out more about SAMPID HERE


2) SDIPs 

The Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships (SDIPs) programme is a collaborative project between Staffordshire University and Staffordshire County Council to drive transformation through digital innovation in the region. The project is funded by Staffordshire University, Staffordshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 and will run until December 2021.

  • Digital Innovation Partnerships (DIPs)
  • Business Intelligence Partnerships (BIPs)
  • Social Challenge Innovation Partnerships (SCIPs)

Register with Unitemps Today:

https://www.unitemps.com/Register/Candidate

To speak to one of our Career Coaches get in touch: 

Email: careers@staffs.ac.uk 

Twitter: @CareersAtStaffs 

Instagram: @CareersAtStaffs 

Facebook: Staffordshire University​ Career & Personal Development 

LinkedIn: @CareersAtStaffs