Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New Year, New Beginning... Time to Find your Graduate Job?

That title probably sounds like an email you would get from a recruitment agency where you phone up to apply for the dream job advertised only to find it has mysteriously been filled. But would you be interested in one of the telemarketing roles they have available...

Job hunting is essentially a massive pain, all the more so if you are still at university and are smart enough to have started job hunting before the 31st June (in which case you’re already doing better than I was). There are January exams, dissertations to finish and the looming prospect of rubbish retail jobs if you can’t get something sorted in time. Anyway the Guardian had a great article about how using LinkedIN can help graduates land their first job (which is definitely worth a read).

This got me thinking about how the AGI can help our ever growing pool of student members to help find a job in GI (and how students can use the AGI to help them stand out). After some fuzzy clicking over of cogs I came up with three things; the first of which is appropriately the AGI LinkedIN group. Joining and taking part in discussions in groups relevant to your chosen industry is a great way to get noticed. You can actually point to a way you have shown an interest rather than just going for the bland ‘I’m really passionate about x topic’. Also recruiters using LinkedIN as a tool (which virtually any recruiter will be) will be able to see that you are active and have something to say helping you to stand out from the dozens of other profiles.

Secondly you can become more involved with the AGI, volunteer, committee and organising roles are not restricted to senior people. AGI Scotland are currently actively looking for  a recent graduate to join the committee and the other national, regional and special interest groups are all happy to take on enthusiastic students and graduates. Volunteering has been a way of making your CV stand out for a long time but volunteering with something directly relevant to your chosen career is much more effective. If you are enthusiastic and proactive you can find yourself doing things that are tangibly CV building like helping to organise seminars or participating in debates within a SIG. The need experience to get experience conundrum is a common one faced by graduates and volunteering with the AGI can be an excellent way to show and interest and develop some skills and experience.

Third and finally is networking. LinkedIN is an excellent tool for advertising yourself and creating greater visibility with potential employers but nothing beats meeting people face to face. Our annual events series along with the less formal seminars and evening sessions all provide a great opportunity to meet more experienced people working in the industry alongside potential employers. I know of at least one AGI member off the top of my head who got their current job via an AGI networking event. The added bonus with networking at the conferences and seminars is that your very attendance shows that you are proactive enough to further your knowledge of the industry.

Anyway those are my thoughts on how the AGI can help graduates help themselves to get ahead in the great job scramble. If anyone has other ideas or experiences of how to get ahead and get the crucial first job then please share!

1 comment:

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