Studio 29

Graduates looking to start their careers - Do's and Dont's

Posted on 19 April 2018

I regularly get asked by recent graduates how they can get jobs and experience.  This is always a tough one for me because these young people have worked so hard to get where they are, some in situations and hardship that is hard to imagine. 

I don’t have the answers for them but I DO try to keep their spirit and hope alive.  The fact that there is still hope and their spirit hasn’t died yet, tells me that these are really special people.

The only practical advice I can give them is

  • Keep posting on LinkedIn
  • Find a mentor
  • Link with people at the company you aspire to get into.  Collaborate with them.
  • It is all about standing out to potential employers.
  • Work for free – yes.  Not ideal, but if you are not currently working, spending money on transport to go for interviews, tuck in your belt a bit more and offer to do an internship for free for a few months.  Then prove yourself!  Show enthusiasm, passion and that you are willing to take direction, want to learn and grow.  Soak up everything you can learn.  Some companies WILL take advantage of this but the reward is that your CV shows some on the job experience.  The good companies will offer you a stipend/salary and even possibly a permanent position if you show them your worth.  Remember, companies need good employees just as much as you need a job.
  • Go onto the job boards of the corporates and other companies.  Apply for the jobs that you have studied for. Do NOT apply for the jobs that you are clearly not suitable for.  This will just mean that your CV will not be taken seriously and you can miss out on future roles.
  • Sell yourself in the introduction or cover letter.  Do NOT just attach your CV and send.  This does not show commitment or passion or tell us who you are.  90% of the CV's we receive that are just attached to an email, with no information or introduction on the cover mail, are from people who are doing a shot gun approach. By doing this, you take the risk of your CV being deleted without being read.
  • Make sure your CV is laid out properly.  Do NOT over format and over share.  Do this with easy to read sections.  When sending CV’s through, do not attach all your certifications/degrees/transcripts etc.  Getting the attention of the hiring manager is your first priority.  They will then request these.  In your cover letter, you can highlight your degree/results.
  • If you are currently working at a job to earn money to so that you can live, state this on the CV.  Working at XYZ as a xxx while job searching or words to that effect.  Make it obvious that this is not ideal.
  • Never stop learning!  Research / do projects / practice / build a portfolio / take free on line courses.
  • Join the meetups and groups in your area.  Keep involved.  Meet like minded people and their bosses.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA - Be very aware that whatever you post on a public post is available for future bosses to read.   
  • Do not drink and drive.  It is astounding how many young people have criminal records for DUI and this impacts negatively when being considered for a job.
  • Presentation is so important – Make sure your pic on LinkedIn looks professional / Your CV and cover letter SPELL-CHECKED!!
  • If you are invited to an interview – PREPARE!!  Google the company / how to present yourself in an interview
  • Dress smartly
  • Have an early night before.  Prepare yourself.
  • Have something you can show the interviewer that lets them know you have enthusiasm, that you haven’t sat back waiting for a job to come to you.
  • Be positive
  • Be prepared


The above does not guarantee you a job, but it will make you stand out. 

Never give up!!