The brutal graduate recruitment market and gruelling 9 to 5 workday are a contrast to typical student life. This can make adjusting to full-time work after university daunting for any graduate. With a recent study by graduate job site Milkround showing that just 18% of graduates are securing jobs post lockdown compared to the usual 60% before the pandemic, graduates now more than ever have to work hard to increase their employability. To do this, graduates need to stand out against the competition and then have to quickly adjust to the work environment.
Although easier said than done, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Our Digital Team, a digital agency, prioritises graduate recruitment to combat the digital skills shortage. They have created 9 key ways for graduates to adjust quickly to post university life, firstly to improve their job prospects in the digital marketing sector, and secondly to adjust to work life when they secure a full-time position.
- Improve your online presence
Having an up-to-date social media account that demonstrates your experience and hobbies is a great way to improve your employability, it also allows you to showcase your skills online. A good online presence on sites like LinkedIn provides job opportunities through connections and listings that might have been missed out on without having an online presence.
- Get some digital marketing experience
A great thing about the digital marketing industry is that any budding marketeer can hone their skills online for minimal cost. Invest some time to set-up a blog about something you are passionate about and then amplify it on social media, this is a great way to develop your content creation skills. Get to grips with industry tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads. The result is a compelling CV with great experience and a case study demonstrating growth in digital marketing. This will make any graduate stand out from the crowd.
- Craft a CV that shines against your competition
An excellent CV is the first step in getting your foot in the door and a great way to stand out from the other graduates competing for similar roles. A well-crafted CV should showcase your most relevant experience and qualifications at the top so employers can quickly identify whether you’re right for the role or not. Long winded CVs with little structure are likely to be put to the back of the pile and may not even get seen by the employers.
- Look into governments graduate Kickstarter scheme
As graduates are in a difficult position following the economic downturn from the pandemic, the UK government has implemented a Kickstarter scheme to encourage businesses to hire graduates and to get young people into work. For graduates really struggling to get work, this may be worth looking into as it’s a great way to springboard your career and sustain a long-term job related to your degree.
- Get into a routine
After securing a graduate job, one of the hardest parts of ‘adulting’ is the 9-5 work day, so getting into a routine before you start working is a great way to make the adjustment that little bit easier. A good routine reduces stress, tiredness and improves your productivity throughout your day meaning you’re more likely to accomplish more.
- Learn to manage your money
Another important factor to consider when working is that after being a skint student for the past few years, the chances are you’re not used to having a regular income that comes with a graduate job. So, remember, don’t fritter it all away at once on expensive coffees and gourmet sandwiches. The best way to do this can be through meal prepping and planning ahead.
- Improve your stamina
A 9-5 work day might not sound too bad but after your first week you might be struggling without the unlimited coffee breaks and afternoon naps that got you through your university days. The best way to prepare for the typical work day is to improve your stamina and adjust to sitting in the same place all day cracking on with the tasks at hand.
- Realise that learning doesn’t stop just because your time in education has
It’s important to remember that learning never stops just because you’ve graduated. The digital marketing sector evolves by the day and it is essential to keep your skills up to date. With every job role there is something new to learn and with every organisation different way of doing things. Start work with an open mind and ready to deepen the knowledge developed throughout your studies.
- Learn to manage your time effectively
Another element to consider when adjusting from being a student to working full time is time management. You can go from having too much time on your hands to not enough hours in the day to balance work and social life, the best way to do this is to keep a schedule of your week to avoid a burnout.
These 9 steps have helped many graduates adjust to post-university life and secure careers in the digital marketing sector. The framework was developed by Craig Johnson, an experienced digital marketer and former University lecturer. After successfully recruiting, training and coaching graduates for the last decade, Craig decided to set-up a digital agency with a difference: Our Digital Team is committed to recruiting graduates every year and providing a career map for every new recruit. This provides graduates with a progression path and structured career development that begins with the 9-step process.
Results have been encouraging so far, with the class of 2021 already working on exciting digital marketing projects for clients across Europe and North America. After just weeks in their role, they are contributing to exciting projects including content marketing, social media work and search marketing.