A postgraduate qualification gives you the opportunity to specialize in a particular area and it can have a positive impact on your career prospects. However, there’s still going to be plenty of competition when it comes to securing your dream job. To simplify your search, take a look at these six top tips for landing your first postgraduate job now:
1. Think Long-Term
If you enrolled in your postgrad course immediately after completing an undergraduate degree, you might not have much experience in a commercial or workplace environment. While this needn’t hold you back from pursuing your goals, it may mean that you’re not ready to walk into a senior role just yet.
Although your academic qualifications can fast-track your route to the top, you’ll still need to gain experience in your chosen field before you can work your way up the career ladder. Due to this, don’t be disheartened if your first postgraduate role isn’t your dream job. Instead, think long-term and consider roles that will be a stepping stone to success.
2. Prepare Your Resume
A resume or curriculum vitae is going to be an essential document when you’re searching for a job, so take the time to get it right. Even if you aren’t required to submit a resume when applying for a role, you can use it to guide your submission and ensure that you don’t miss out any details that could be of interest to a prospective employer.
As well as including your academic and professional history on your resume, be sure to give future employers an insight into your personality and character too. Your resume should contain contact details of references, for example, so reach out and confirm that your preferred endorsers are happy to provide a reference for you. Figuring out how to ask someone to be a reference is important, since you need to make sure they are willing to help. To ensure you’re taking the right approach, take a look at this blog post on how to ask someone to be a reference from Placement. With expert guides and access to experienced career coaches, Placement can give you the support and assistance you need as you develop your career.
3. Apply for Graduate Roles
Graduate jobs are a popular option after completing an undergrad but having a postgrad qualification doesn’t make you exempt. In fact, your postgrad degree will make you stand out from the crowd and could make it far easier to land a role on a graduate training scheme. Most companies and organizations don’t offer separate graduate schemes for undergrads and postgrads, so don’t be put off from applying for graduate roles. Your academic experience will certainly stand you in good stead and won’t go unnoticed by employers and interviewers.
4. Personalize Your Applications
It’s easy to assume that the more roles you apply for, the more likely you are to land a job, but this isn’t always the case. Submitting numerous applications could be advantageous but only if they’re unique and relevant to the specific role you’re applying for.
Sending out hundreds of resumes or copying and pasting answers to application questions simply isn’t going to cut it in the competitive world of job seeking. Instead, you need to ensure that every application is bespoke and tailored to a particular employer. This will enable you to show how your experience and skills make you the ideal candidate for the role, but it also gives you a chance to reflect your knowledge of the organization and prove that you genuinely want to join their team.
Completing applications or tailoring your resume can take time, so don’t rush the process. It’s better to submit fewer high-quality applications for jobs you really want than to send the same template to multiple employers.
5. Develop Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is everything you want a future employer to know about you, including your skills, character and work ethic. Despite your experience, employers will hire someone because they believe that they’ll be an asset to the team, and this means more than simply being competent in your role. With a well-developed personal brand, you can ensure that you have a glowing reputation in your chosen industry and that you’re a valued member of the workforce in the near future.
Think carefully about what you want to be known for. Perhaps you’re a team player who wants to be recognized for their ability to motivate others or maybe you’re a self-starter who can work effectively without support, for example. Once you’ve decided what your personal brand should encompass, take steps to refine your brand and promote yourself within your sector.
6. Grow Your Network
When you have an established network in your preferred field, you’ll find it easier to secure interviews and you may even find yourself being offered roles or being personally asked to apply for a specific job opportunity. Ideally, you’ll have started developing your network well before you’ve completed your postgrad but it’s never too late to make contacts in your industry.
As well as attending sector-specific events remotely and in person, use your academic and professional experience to get noticed by your peers. Publishing insightful and engaging content online and sharing it on professional platforms can be a good way to be ‘seen’, for example. Similarly, speaking at events or volunteering for projects within your industry can help you to get to know people and make the connections you’ll need in the future.
Launching a Career After Postgraduate Study
When you’re launching a career, it’s vital to use everything at your disposal to impress future employers but you also need to ensure that the jobs you’re applying for are the ones you genuinely want. Don’t apply for the same type of roles as your fellow graduates simply because it seems like the right thing to do. Instead, think about what you want from your career and don’t be afraid to take a different path to others in your field. By doing so, you can ensure that your future career is rewarding, fulfilling and challenging.
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