Written by Teresa Richards, Student Adviser at The Careers Service
When I finished my degree I had no idea what type of job I wanted to get, but I knew for sure that I wanted to stay living in Manchester. I wasn’t ready to end my chapter in Manchester because I felt like my new life as a future young professional was just about to begin. I know that many recent graduates feel the same. Hopefully, I can share some of my wisdom and help at least one person secure their first graduate job.
My first piece of advice would be to be proactive. Try to research the sort of sector that you want to work in and narrow down the type of skills that you would like to develop in your role. The finding graduate entry-level jobs page is a great place to start. This will make life a lot easier when you are searching for jobs as you can find out the essential skills that employers are looking for in that particular role. For example, if all employers for graduate-level marketing roles are looking for SEO skills then you should try to develop SEO skills to increase your chances. There are so many free resources online to help you do that and CareersLink is home to hundreds of graduate job opportunities
Update your CV and LinkedIn
You need to sell yourself by updating your CV and LinkedIn profiles to reflect the skills that you have developed throughout your degree. Not all CVs are created equal and you shouldn’t be using the same CV that you use for applying to retail and waitressing jobs that you use for a graduate-level role. I remember spending hours in the Learning Commons rewriting my CV based on the Careers Service guide. By the time I was finished, I never wanted to look at another CV again! However, it was a necessary evil and as long as you continue to keep it up to date, you will never have to start from scratch again.
Join Manchester Graduate Talent (MGT)
MGT helps source paid graduate-level roles based in Manchester for UoM 2020 and eligible 2019 graduates. It’s one of the easiest ways to find out about graduate jobs based in Manchester. MGT roles are advertised through the MGT 2020 Facebook group and the weekly MGT Vacancy Bulletin. I can personally vouch for MGT because I managed to secure my current role working as a Student Advisor in the Careers Service through MGT. I stumbled across the advertisement when I was scrolling through Facebook and I knew immediately that I needed to apply.
Sign up to recruitment agencies and job boards
Recruitment agencies are a great place to start when you are looking for jobs based in Manchester. There are many different types of agencies that specialise in different sectors and employment levels. It’s a great way to get out in the world and see what opportunities are available. I signed up to a few recruitment agencies when I first graduated and I received information about various jobs that I could apply for. The Careers Service website has a great guide to help you find a recruitment agency and CareersLink is a job board full of roles that are especially curated for University of Manchester students.
Find your own opportunities
This last tip ties into being resilient and resourceful. I knew that I wanted to work in central Manchester or Salford Quays so I used google maps and google search to find out about the different companies in my preferred sector, then I looked on their company pages to see if they were hiring. I am sure there are easier ways to search for jobs, but it worked for me! Before I secured my role as a Student Advisor, I was working in a company whose role I found out about from searching on google. Also, the ‘finding work in Manchester‘ guide is a great place to start.
Searching for your first graduate job after finishing university is hard enough without having to deal with the added pressures of navigating a post-COVID 19 world. Rejection is also going to be part of the process of securing your first graduate job in Manchester but don’t take it personally, keep getting back up and learning from your mistakes and eventually you will get a job!