How to get a job after university
How to get a job after university!
Job hunting is never a fun experience, but the post study job hunt is one of the most anxiety ridden things you will have to do during your entire university career. You are plagued with self-doubt and frustration when all you get is a computer generated unsuccessful email if you even get one of those at all.
So, to help get students more prepared for the upcoming job hunt, Summer of Biz hosted an event with Victoria University of Wellington Commerce Students’ Society, VicCom, a few weeks ago. Together, we brought in real life employers who hire graduates to come and speak to the students. But don’t worry – in case you couldn’t make it or forgot what they said I’ve got you covered!
Here are some of the key takeaways from our wonderful panel!
What employers are looking for:
You may be surprised to find out that it’s not actually all about the grades for employers these days. Yes, some of the big 5 do use grades as a screening tool for their grad programme applicants, but many other organisations are moving away from using grades all together. Yes, good grades show that you can/ do work hard and that you can learn but in terms of functioning in a real world working environment, they aren’t a great litmus test.
What our panel said employers really want to see:
- A positive attitude goes a long way
- Interpersonal skills! In every grad job you will be working with people so show employers that you can work with other people.
- Initiative – able to figure things out on your own
- Be proactive, professional, and curious. Show your drive, hunger and passion for your field.
- That you are willing to learn. Yes, you have a qualification, but that’s only the beginning!
Employer pet peeves!
The job hunt is hard and sometimes you’re going out for multiple jobs at one time. In this anxious time, you can get caught up and make stupid mistakes. Most are forgivable but according to our panel, these are things you really should avoid…
- Not tailoring your CV
- It’s about quality & content – focus on showing that you meet their criteria and requirements
- Also keep it concise – we likely won’t read long sentences
- Casual appearance at interviews. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. It shows you want the job.
- Casual speech/ swearing/ casual slang you would use with mates is never a good look.
- Turn up for your interview! Never show up late! If something goes wrong and you aren’t going to be late or can’t make it let, them know as soon as you can. Shit happens! They understand that. But they are busy people likely with many other people to interview.
- Don’t nag recruiters – they are busy people who will get back to you as soon as they can.
- Dishonesty and not being transparent with them. If you are going out for multiple grad jobs or you decide you’re not interested in their role or company any more, let them know! They aren’t going to drop you if they know you’re going for multiple roles. If they want you, it’ll make them move faster! And if you’re not the right fit for the role or the company, being honest saves both of you a lot of time and energy.
Some final advice from our panel:
- Persevere! It’s hard work but it will work out in the end.
- Learn to take constructive feedback. Believe it or not, they care and are trying to help you.
- Network! It helps build your brand and you’ll be surprised by what opportunities come out of the woodwork for you.
- Be open to other opportunities that might not be directly related to what you studied. University gave you more than a qualification in one area – it gave you transferable skills. Widen your scope when it comes to applying for jobs, you find you enjoy something far more than you ever thought you would. Careers aren’t ladders, so keep an eye out for opportunities.
- Strike a balance between backing yourself and being realistic about your skills – remember that you have value to add to an organisation but you’re not the best thing sliced bread.
- Careers take time and it might take you time to find the best one for you.
Alyson Garrido – Career Coach
Hannah Mundell – Senior Recruitment Specialist@ Assurity Consulting
Julie Mitchell – Manager HR @ Ministry for Primary Industries
Sarah Trass – Talent Acquisition Team Leader @TradeMe
David Harris – Marketing Specialist @ GS1