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How to find your first graduate job

06/10/2011
I have been working in Fircroft’s Automotive team for nearly two years, in which time I have placed candidates with clients such as Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford. In recent months, I have had requests from a growing number of clients to find graduates to fill their contract roles.

Over this series of blog posts, I am going to draw from my experience of placing graduates with some of the biggest automotive brands, and help you make the transition from graduate to the perfect candidate. I will be sharing insider info, starting with the best way to begin your graduate job search, and then moving into other areas such as employability, CV writing, interview techniques as well as how to suceed in your first engineering job.

I’ve got my degree, what happens now?

After three or four years of hard work, you’re now the proud owner of a degree at last. But what happens next?

The logical step is to find a job, but what will you do and how will you do it? For many the amount of job searching resources open to them can be overwhelming, whilst many others don’t even realise what is available.

Graduate job search

There are different things to consider when you graduate and look for your first job. Do you want to get some work experience, volunteer, get a work placement, enrol on a graduate scheme or take a contract role? Alternatively do you hedge your bets, and look at mixture of all the options?

To find the ideal job, you have to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack early on. One way is to attend graduate job fairs, as this provides an excellent opportunity for the future worker (you!) to speak face to face with employers. You can discuss the industry and how you can progress within it, opportunities and find out what you need to join that organisation as well as helping you decide if that industry or organisation is something you want to be part of.

Your next option is to get yourself registered on job boards or start looking at advertised positions. This could be with the big name job boards or your local university careers websites. Some universities are well known and respected by different sectors, and employers go out of their way to advertise on them. For example, I specialise in Automotive Engineers, and use the services of Coventry, Oxford Brooks and Loughborough career websites to target graduates.

Across a number of technical industries in the UK, there are major skill shortages for some areas. Despite the recession, the Automotive industry is continuing to grow. As a recruiter at Fircroft, a number of my clients are thinking outside the box and are more open to taking on graduates through a variety of methods with a view to investment, training and development.

What use is a recruitment company to me?

Generally speaking, recruitment consultants and agencies specialise in specific industries and sectors. As a Recruitment Manager within Fircroft’s Automotive team I have expert insider knowledge of the industry and know which manufacturer is recruiting for which skill set at any given time. When working with graduates, this means your CV is passed onto the correct team within an organisation; maximising your chances of getting that ideal graduate role. A good idea would be to register your CV and details with reputable recruitment agencies that are active within your desired industry and have proven success of placing graduates.

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