If you are a recent graduate on the hunt for a job, here are some helpful tips to guide you along the way.
Remember: St George’s graduates have the highest employment rate of any university!
1. Update your CV
Tailor your CV to your preferred industry and job roles (Prospects.ac.uk and Target Jobs have job profiles of graduate roles and give the key skills required as well as how to apply to them and key industry job websites).
Rather than sending your CV to every role you see (as others might be), be selective and take the time to write a strong and tailored CV or application for each job you apply to. Employers will notice if you have taken the time to do this or not. Prioritise quality over quantity to stand out from other applicants and help you secure the right jobs you really do want.
Read through the job description/advert thoroughly, identify the skills and experience the employer is looking for, and make sure you provide evidence that you meet their requirements. Book a careers appointment to get your CV or applications checked before you apply.
2. Engage and grow your network. Start actually using LinkedIn!
Reconnect with people from your personal and professional network (e.g. from work placements, part time jobs, volunteering and so on) to see how they are and let them know that you are currently looking for work.
Reach out to new contacts and organisations on networking platforms – from social media to LinkedIn. This way, you’re in a good position to find out about new opportunities faster.
LinkedIn is easy to use and can have an enormous impact on your knowledge, network and job search. It enables you to:
Raise your profile
Connect with like-minded people with similar career interests
Find out about people and career journeys
Check what skills others have who work in the roles you would like
Follow key organisations that interest you
Find and join professional groups to stay up to date with developments in the sector and join in conversations
Post articles, examples of your work or other useful info – or comment on other peoples’ posts to show your interest.
Register with the Job Search and receive notifications. Subscribe to the LinkedIn “Get Hired” weekly newsletter for tips, advice and updates
Grow a professional network through others that you can nurture for live
Make sure you check how to make the most of it with these links or book an appointment with the careers team.
You could also find and join professional groups or organisations on Facebook and or follow people or organisations on X (formerly Twitter).
SavetheStudent have some useful tips on perfecting your LinkedIn profile. You can also book a careers appointment via email@example.com to get feedback.
3. Take time to reflect – what direction should you take now?
Research and reflect on what types of roles and careers you’re interested in – if you’re unsure about your career, use tools like the Prospects Plannerto identify your skills, interests, values, then get matched to job profiles to explore online.
4. Advance your Skills and experience
Websites like Futurelearn can help you top up your skills to add to your CV from Business and Management to Health and Medicine.
To search the range across different providers also try my-mooc.
5. Work actively on your job search – not all jobs are advertised!
Research roles and companies – if you know what you’re interested in, get online and start researching the employers in your industry, look at job adverts, find out tips for applying, plan to get relevant experience, and reach out online to expand your networks.
Register with key job sites for your industry, Prospects.ac.uk job profiles and Sector guides can help to identify them.
Speculative applications – limited approach
You could try creating your own opportunity by reaching out speculatively to organisations, even when they aren’t advertising. Do your research about them beforehand, so you can be clear about why you want to work for that particular organisation, what you can offer (i.e. evidence of your relevant skills and experience) and what type of work you’d be interested in.
You might also want to think about the type of skills that employers will find particularly valuable. For example, highlighting your IT or digital skills, and/or creating voluntary roles that would be especially valuable to small companies and charities (such as helping them with online marketing and social media to meet the needs of clients, or developing their online brand).
6. Do work experience or volunteering to boost your CV and keep motivated
You might also consider doing a work experience. Forage offers a range of virtual work experience from some top graduate employers, to help you develop skills, get an insight into what it’s like to work in your chosen sector, and prepare generally yourself for the world of professional work.
Volunteering gives you a chance to gain many of the same skills as through formal work experience, while also giving something back to an organisation or community that could benefit from your skills. Volunteering roles could encompass anything, from helping an organisation build their website or database, to designing promotional materials or a marketing campaign. Do-It and websites like Idealist are good starting points.
Bright Network offers three-day virtual experiences with a range of employers to discover career paths, meet employers and boost your employability.
For those looking to get more experience prior to making a medical application, Observe GP (run by the Royal College of General Practitioners) aims to give a fair chance for all in gaining work experience.
7. Learn how to perform in interviews and recruitment – practise makes perfect
For additional information, advice and guidance regarding careers, explore the resources available at The National Career Service and Target Jobs.
Get ahead of the curve by preparing and practising for the types of interviews you want to secure, for example by:
video yourself answering interview questions
book a mock interview with a Careers Consultant by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to practice over the phone or via video link
think about how to sell yourself – create a list of potential interview questions (or view some on and type up some bulleted answers to use as main speaking points.
Dress professionally, be ready to go five minutes early, check all of your camera and audio settings ahead of time (in the case of a remote interview), and make sure you have an appropriate, uncluttered background.
Find more tips on the TargetJobs website.In addition, some graduate recruiters were already using online assessments, such as psychometric tests, as part of their selection process. You can practise Assessmentday.co.uk. Find more advice on the Prospects website.
8. Be patient
Be patient and don’t panic if employers take long to respond. But also, do not be afraid to follow‐up to show you’re serious about the opportunity.
Good luck and don’t forget that the St George’s Careers Team offers a lifelong support after graduation.
Book an appointment by contacting email@example.com.