Life After Graduation

Life After Graduation…

It’s a daunting prospect: you have graduated after three or four years’ hard toil and it’s time to go forth into the world and, dare we say it, find a proper job. The question now is, where do you start? Geraldine Keane and Edward Le Gallais Junior Level Candidate Placements Consultants provide some advice.

What challenges do graduates face when they return to Jersey?

Edward:

“Through most of their life they will have had structure – at home, at school and at university. When they first come back to the island they have to start making some big decisions for themselves, finding a new structure and carve a future for themselves.”

Geraldine:

“You have to grow up very quickly. There are so many companies that might be interested in what you have to offer but it is really important to find the right fit. It is not just about matching your academic skillset so you need help to pick the right path for you.”

How do you help graduates?

Geraldine:

“First and foremost we talk to them and listen. We find out as much about them as we can so that we can advise them which of our clients might suit them best. We can give them a lot of practical help, for example coaching in interview technique, sharpening their CV and outlining the professional qualifications they might need to take to progress their chosen career.”

Edward:

“I agree, finding the right fit is essential and it is not always just about having a strong academic grounding. If a candidate hasn’t achieved the grades they would have liked, that doesn’t mean to say they are off the market. Many clients are looking for a more rounded candidate with good people skills. We can help tease that personality out of graduates and help them identify their strengths. Often vocational experience and good communication skills are as important to the client as academic under-pinning.”

What are your top guidelines for graduates?

Edward:

“Gain some professional advice. Seek guidance from people who can help you. It will make your search more targeted and rewarding in the longer term. Document what you have learned at university. As I said earlier quite often a client wants to know what life skills you have gained that could be a useful resource in your career.”

Geraldine:

“Don’t write off any industry just because it isn’t what you had in mind when you started your degree. Have an open mind and see the possibilities and opportunities. Don’t rush into the first thing that comes along and don’t chase the money. Think about the longer term and choose carefully. Get as much interview practice as you can. The first time many graduates find themselves in front of an interview panel they can be very rigid. I remember my first job interview and I completely froze.”

Edward:

“And don’t forget to ask as many questions at interview as you want. It is about finding the right match and it is important for you to know as much as possible about the role and the client, as it is for them to find about you.”

Should you audit your social media accounts?

Edward:

“Yes, definitely. We’re not saying you cannot have a social life but employers do look at what you are posting in public. The client wants to have confidence that as well as being able to do the job, you are not going to embarrass them or damage their brand or reputation. I would always recommend setting up a LinkedIn profile but make sure it looks professional. We can help with that also.”

Geraldine:

“At the very least put your settings to private. Social media is a representation of yourself, it is a digital business card so think very carefully about how you want people to see you.”