So it's coming to the end of term with exams over and the summer looming. Some of you may be looking for internships, others for summer jobs or even grad jobs. There are plenty of articles out there giving tips for finding work but nothing has really caught my eye and rung true with what I've found myself. Here is the Kick take on what you need to do to secure an awesome job during or after uni based on our experience.
1. Look elsewhere
This is my number one, highest priority tip. There are other options out there besides the usual grad schemes that sometimes feel impossible to get into.
Look into the world of startups for a range of exciting companies and prospects which can be less subscribed and a lot more fun than traditional grad jobs (if you need more convincing have a look at the article I wrote for RUG).
2. Be personal
Not over personal but take the time to get to know the company, what makes them tick, their ethics and work and apply this to your CV and covering letter. Do a bit of tailoring to make sure your application shines and doesn't look like a bog standard email sent to 200 companies.
3. Look for your passions
There's a lot of negativity about the jobs market at the moment and also about grads in general who expect too much from their first jobs. It is OK to want job satisfaction and want to love your job though, even at the moment. Don't be afraid to keep going til you find it. Don't stay in a job you hate because of the state of the market, look for something new alongside so that you can get out before you get dragged into the black hole of hating your work. You have a right to do something you enjoy, you spend enough hours of your day at work. In my experience finding job satisfaction means you will do better at work, learn more and progress faster. I know this might not always be possible and that job satisfaction isn't that important to everyone but if it's something you want push to make it happen, it might not be as hard to find as you think.
4. Ask wherever you are
Great conversations and even job opportunities can come from the weirdest places. You might be in the toilet at a concert and get talking to the founder of a great company who just so happens to be looking for a new employee (far fetched as it sounds similar has happened to people I know a couple of times).
I'm not saying always be on your guard and shoving your cv down people throats but just be aware and look out for potential opportunities in your everyday life.
This really extends to networking too. If you want to work for a startup (which we think you should) for example there are literally tons of events you can go to to meet people etc. In startup world this is especially important as companies may not be able to advertise their jobs as readily as big businesses or you may be able to create a job for yourself if you really impress. It's important to make sure you make your connections valuable by sure you follow up if you've had a conversation with someone. Don't go adding every Tom Dick and Harry on LinkedIn but make sure you connect with people you have spoken to.
5. Startup yourself
This isn't for everyone and people shouldn't go starting a business as a doss options if they can't be arsed to get a job, because starting up is hard and definitely not the easy option. If you've thought about running your own business though, there's no time like the present. As a student you are at the time in your life where you're most used to living on beans 5 days a week, working long hours and making awesome things. This is also the time when you are likely to have the least ties. If it all goes wrong and you end up penniless at least you don't have a mortgage, a dog and three hungry children to feed. Instead you can slink back to your parents, like your wounds and start again.
There's also the option of starting up alongside your degree, taking advantage of uni resources and small amounts of contact time like this and this student. If it goes well then great, you can continue after uni. If not it's still some great experience that looks a bit different to put on your CV to help you find your dream job after education.
These are things I've learnt from my own experience. Is there any other tips people have learnt that I should add to my list?