Are You Feeling Lucky?
23rd November 2012
The looming thought of graduation sparks fear and panic among most students. Forget the fear of gaining that all important 2.1, it is the sudden realisation of “I have no idea what I am going to do with my life" that causes these emotions. Having graduated in June 2012 after spending 4 years at University, I was no stranger to this and suddenly found myself feeling confused about where I saw my future heading. After spending so much time in education, entering the professional world is a daunting prospect, especially with so many different opportunities out there.
Amidst the stress of final year studies, the pressure of applying for positions is immense. There were 3 approaches my fellow students took: apply to anything and everything; not apply for anything and hope they would get lucky and something would land in their lap or be really particular and determined in what to go after.
The idea of getting into recruitment came to me in a very peculiar fashion: through blogging. Being a marketing student and working on a UK student recruitment marketing campaign for one of the Big 4, I was a bit of a “social media nerd". Procrastination at its finest, I would blog rather than work on my coursework. Tweeting links to my blogs raised my profile and I was contacted by a local consultancy, and so sparked my interest in recruitment.
You could say I was one of those students who got a bit lucky because my interest in recruitment quickly developed into a job in recruitment when I joined Thorpe Molloy Recruitment.
While speaking to students at the recent RGU Career's Fair, I realised that they were all going through the same fear and panic that my classmates and I experienced before graduating. University careers and recruitment fairs provide the perfect opportunity for students to meet the recruitment teams of prospective future employers and ask questions on what it's like to be an employee of that company, what opportunities are available and how to apply. They also give students the chance to gain specialist advice from recruitment consultancies on the local job market, what employers are looking for and how to best present themselves.
My advice to graduating students… Do your research. Applying to everything and anything will only weaken the quality of your applications, as you will be able to spend less time tailoring your CV and covering letters to specific roles and organisations. Also, by taking a scatter gun approach you may just find yourself in a role you hate, which happened to one of my classmates. Spending time researching the company and evaluating whether you could really see yourself working for that organisation and what value you could bring to the team is a much more effective approach, and will be reflected in your application. In the meantime, make sure you take advantage of networking opportunities where you have the chance to market yourself. You never know, you may just get lucky.