Five basic tips for the graduate job hunt

Your exams are finally coming to an end, and with it, if you're a finalist, your time at university. Here's our guide to what comes next: the graduate job search

So you’ve graduated – now what? If you’re like many graduates this year, you’ll be looking for your first job in your chosen industry. So just how do you find that first graduate job you’ve been yearning for?

Ask friends and family

You might not think you know anyone who can help you, but you’d be surprised how important connections are when you’re looking for your first job. Ask people to keep an eye out for you, ask for email addresses of people who might be able to help, and take a good look around you for inspiration. Even if someone in your family isn’t in the exact industry you want to be in, could it lead to a job where you could learn transferable skills that will help you later on? If so, go for it. You can always say no if it doesn’t quite suit you.

Make contacts online

These days it’s easier than ever to directly approach people who may have previously hidden behind hard-to-find email addresses. Use social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to your advantage. Phrase a tweet right and you could find yourself shadowing someone you respect and look up to in your field, or they may even give you some insider info on a job that’s about to come up. They can also explain to you how the company works, and what the different roles entail.

Approach your ideal company directly

If there’s one company you absolutely want to work for, then contact them directly and find out as much as you can about any upcoming jobs that might be available in your field. Even if they don’t have any jobs at the moment, you never know when a company might be looking for a junior staffer, and often they will keep impressive CVs to look back over when the time is right. Make sure you have the CV and cover letter sorted so you can really impress them. Cold-calling with your CV is a tough gig, but if you have the experience, genuine interest in the company, and personality to pull it off then what are you waiting for?

Do internships

It’s not unheard of for people to get jobs in their chosen industry after doing an internship. Behave well, be smart, be enthusiastic, and get stuck in to everything they ask of you, but be wary that you don’t trap yourself in the Eternal Intern situation. You are doing work you should be paid for, so make sure that they know you want to actually become a staffer and ensure that you aren’t just wasting your time working for free. While you’re on an internship, enquire about potential vacancies and put out feelers among the people you’re working with.

Job hunt the traditional way

Job boards, job sites, google searches, local papers… These are the traditional ways of finding a job and they may seem outdated but there’s a reason that people still use them: they’re tried and tested ways of finding and eventually getting jobs. One of the downsides to using job boards and searching for jobs online is that sometimes, jobs aren’t advertised, and when they are, you can guarantee there are at least twenty other people going for the same job.

Once you’ve found a great job, applied for it, and been invited to an interview, check out our job interview tips for some advice on how to prepare for them.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone