How to instantly increase your chances of success in getting a graduate job

A recent research paper by Handshake entitled ‘Netpotism-building fairer and more inclusive recruitment in a post-Covid world’ highlighted an interesting paradox. As recruiters shifted all their hiring processes online due to the pandemic, they also focused their search for potential candidates on online Jobs boards. Most notably LinkedIn, the no. 1 go-to site for graduate recruiters. At the same time, those students who had been unable to source internships, also due to the pandemic, felt unable to complete a LinkedIn profile as they were concerned they would have nothing relevant to add to the work experience section. So recruiters have essentially been fishing for job applicants in a half-empty pond!

A previous post covers how to create a LinkedIn profile and this week I spoke to LinkedIn’s Charles Hardy who says: ‘More and more employers are agreeing it’s about skills and how you can demonstrate these. Work experience is useful of course, but not necessarily expected from grads.’ Charles highlighted some of the tools  of particular help to graduates:

How to complete or update your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn’s Labour market tool

Explore insights on employers, jobs, top skills. You can check out top trending employers, search by country or sector and search for and apply for graduate jobs.You can see the top in-demand jobs and requisite skills and access a number of FREE unlocked LinkedIn Learning courses

LinkedIn Learning’s blog

For useful articles and resources that you can follow (filter on the Topics top left)

This is a great way to research careers – where did all the History grads from Warwick end up? What do Philosophy students do? Finding an alum to connect to for help – someone who studied the same subject at Warwick, now in an industry or company or job you are interested in. Alumni are often willing to help /mentor current students and recent grads.

Warwick’s LinkedIn alumni group

It‘s also a great way to connect with former Warwick students from your degree discipline, or who work for organisations you’re interested in getting into. You can e mail and request to connect. Many former students will be happy to help you or give you pointers if they can. There is a vast network of thousands to tap into!

How do I share that I’m available for opportunities?

Add a ‘looking for work’ sign to your profile picture. On the top right of your profile photo, you can click on ‘looking for jobs.’  This will help you stand out when recruiters are searching for potential hires. The more time you invest in tailoring your profile the greater likelihood or relevant jobs or recruiters approaching you – so it’s worth the time investment to do this.

Networking and how to do it successfully

Charles says: “Growing your network on LinkedIn is not about trying to connect with Managing Directors and Chief Executives you don’t know. It’s about connecting to people you do know: everyone on your course, your tutor, friends, family friends, anyone through clubs/societies/teams, and work colleagues. Connect with context, personalise the invitation. You don’t know where these people will be in 18 months or five or ten years. For example, in 2023 you are looking at company x – and you discover someone from your course now works there as LinkedIn shows this, and that person can help with the inside track and even a referral.

Or you connect to your neighbour – they’re not in any way working in your target career / sector, but then LinkedIn highlights that they are connected to someone in your target company / job (maybe it’s your neighbour’s sister!) and they can introduce you. It’s often that “second degree network” where opportunities can happen – even in the newsfeed where when a connections likes a post it is shared to their network too.

I know someone who knows someone… ‘Grow your network and let it work for you. It doesn’t have to be about where you grew up.

Finally, if you’re not succeeding in finding a job straight away, do remember that you are not failing. We have been living through unprecedented times and the pandemic has created a challenging and constantly evolving global labour market. Persistence and making sure you are supported means success will come.

So the message is – there are jobs, the situation is better than anticipated. So do engage with the application process and use LinkedIn!