You’ve just graduated… what’s next?

Congratulations! You’ve done it!

You’ve walked out of the final exam of your degree and now you’re entering the ‘real world’.  It can be an exciting moment but also very daunting! There is an inevitable sense of fear that comes with graduating. What has your degree prepared you for? Can you compete with other graduates? What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

The amount of people graduating from university is increasing each year, this makes it ever more competitive for new graduates. So here are our top tips for you recent grads!

Be realistic

If you have your heart set on a ‘graduate training scheme’ you can expect to be faced with a lot of rejection from online portals – don’t take it personally as this will be an automatic rejection system if you haven’t met their requirements! It can also be a long, drawn out process that may not be as beneficial as you think.

However, you don’t have to choose a graduate scheme – there are many fantastic, local companies who offer excellent training and development that will enrich your CV and give you even better experience.

Instead, you could chose to take a customer service or admin role to get an understanding of the actual working world, this will give you a taste and may help you decide what it is you want to do. This could in turn open up many more opportunities and give you transferable skills for future roles. You don’t need to travel to London to find your perfect role, look locally and you will find exciting prospects right on your doorstep!

Salary – expect to be paid a starting salary of around £18k for a local role, you may find companies in London appear to pay slightly higher, but you have to take into consideration the cost of travel which can be up to £4.5k for a rail season ticket plus the commuting time, it’s not as glamorous as you may think!

Stay positive and seek experience

It is important to stay resilient, rather than feeling despondent, seek out opportunities to better yourself either through temp-work, an internship or volunteering.

Though it may seem frustrating to not find your dream job from the get-go, doing a ‘filler’ job can help you stay positive, and it will give you a well needed boost to your self-confidence during the arduous job-seeking process.

All of this extra experience will look great on your CV, and will also make yours stand out from the crowd. Also, you never know what opportunities can arise from it!

There is no such thing as a bad interview

Never turn down interviews. All interview experience is good interview experience. Try to go to all the interviews you can. Every time you are unsuccessful, see it as an opportunity to learn and perform better in future.

Interviewing gives you the opportunity to interact with real professionals, which can be valuable and really improve your self-confidence. It can also give you a sense what it’s like to be in various offices settings, and will give you an idea of the kind of environment you want to work in.

Don’t accept a job just because it’s offered

Some graduates feel compelled to accept the first offer they receive. If you feel that it’s right, then go for it. However, sometimes you can come out of a job interview and instantly know that the role is not for you. Have the confidence to turn down a job that’s just not the right fit. In the long term, this will be the best decision and leave you free to pursue more fruitful opportunities.

Stay in touch and take advantage of resources

A good agency will take time to find out what you’re looking for together with your strengths and discuss the best course of action for your qualifications. It is much more reassuring to work with a supportive recruiter than trying to find a job by yourself.

At Red Door we offer advice on CV writing and interviewing, enabling you to present yourself to maximum potential.

We are always on hand to talk through possible roles and give you important background information on local companies you may be considering.

We work with over 200 locally based companies with many long term relationships spanning many years. We can work with you to prepare for your first interview, ensuring you have the maximum chance of success. Our team are experienced recruiters with over 50 years between us!

We have also produced an invaluable downloadable toolkit which can be found by clicking this link -

Call in or email and we will start working on your behalf … good luck!

Heather Mustard