graduate first job
Remaining committed to your career goals can improve your chances of securing a grad job

Tips for graduates: how to land your first job

Focus on building your skills

You’ve just graduated – so what next? It could be that your degree course set you clearly on the path to a career but often, graduates find themselves with what seems like a vast range of options and the difficult thing is knowing where to start, and where the best employment and career development prospects lie.

It’s not easy starting from scratch when you’re looking to land your first job, but there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you identify and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.

Tips for landing your first job:


Set some goals – think hard about your skills and strengths. That doesn’t have to relate directly to your degree. What are your interests and what careers appeal to you? Make a list of the areas you’d like to investigate and do some homework. Will you need additional qualifications or work experience. If so, think about how you can improve your career chances. Make a list of the things you have to offer an employer.  

Get your CV in shape – update your CV and make it look professional. Write a template cover letter to go with each application but remember to tailor both the letter and your CV to the position you are applying for so that they match the specific job requirements. No one expects every box to be ticked when it comes to a graduate’s first job but try to cover as many aspects as you can.

Raise your profile – it may be that you have contacts from university work placements, summer jobs or part-time jobs before you went to university. Build on that professional network as much as you can in your search for grad jobs. Attend job fairs and industry events and find out about any online platforms that are relevant to what you’d like to do. Once you’re using online platforms to network, make sure they are kept up to date, and keep them professional!

Internships and volunteering – while you’re looking for a route into a professional career, identify potential companies or organisations that might offer internships or graduate workplace experience. Even if it doesn’t turn into a job opportunity, you will learn from it, you will build relationships and it will enhance your CV.

Interview techniques – when you get an interview, prepare yourself as well as you can. Think about how you would answer common interview questions and identify real-life examples of where you have demonstrated your skills. Find out as much as you can about the company to show that you’re genuinely interested. Be positive and enthusiastic during the interview, it will help you make a good impression, as well following up with a letter or email afterwards to thank the interviewer and reiterate your interest in the role.

Be patient – stay patient in your job search, it may take a while for the right role to come along and it’s tempting to get discouraged but persistence usually pays off. Make sure you stay updated on industry news and relevant skills, perhaps gaining additional qualifications to increase your knowledge and show your commitment.

Take professional advice – you’ll probably engage the services of recruitment agencies as you look for your first job. A good recruitment agency will be able to advise on maximising your profile so that you go into any job application as prepared as you can be. They will have inside knowledge on the company you’re applying to and will be able to help you work on your CV and cover letter to make the best impression.


Landing a job might not be easy but it’s essential to learn from every experience. Showing that you have remained committed to your career goals can only improve your chances of securing a grad job.

ACS Staffing Solutions can help with advice and guidance for any graduates looking to land their first job. Contact us online or give us a call on 01604 704058.

Chris Wright
August 29, 2023
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