10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience

Now that you’ve just graduated, you’ll be noticing the classic contradiction in the world of work. You’re probably wondering – how can you get a job without experience, when you can’t get experience without a job? It makes no sense. Luckily, there’s no need to stress as there are options, and we have some helpful options for you. Here’s a handy list of 10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience.  

1. Get an internship

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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One of the best options to go for, that will get you a great level of experience, is to go for an internship. Chances are it’ll be the most structured approach to getting the insight you need, and can talk about in job interviews. And the people you’ll meet and work with within the industry will be great contacts you can keep for the future, if you do well!

Many internships will be unpaid, and they can be quite competitive to get sometimes. But take initiative, show how you stand out from others and really make the most of it, if you manage to get one. Keeping a log of the sorts of things you did and learned is a great way to make sure you can discuss your internship experience to impress employers.

2. Volunteer

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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Second only to getting an internship, volunteering is another brilliant way to build up your experience and skills. Volunteering opportunities can often be relatively quick and easy to get, so take a look around Indeed, LinkedIn and your local organisations.

If you can find a volunteer role in an industry or company related to your future career plans, that would be even better in the long run.

3. Focus on your extracurriculars

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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As a recent university graduate, employers should be understanding of the fact that you’ve likely gone straight from school into a full-time degree. As a result, you might not have had too much time in between to gain professional work experience.

So, having taken part (or even better, been on the committee for) in any societies – whether that’s sports, dance, music – or extracurriculars will be a great talking point. These can show many valuable skills like teamwork, leadership and more, so focus on what you’ve learned and done alongside your academic life.

4. Make use of your grades

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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With the competitiveness of the modern working world, top ranking final university grades will be extremely helpful. That’s not to say a First is by any means essential, but if you did particularly well in your final exams, don’t forget to advertise that.

If you have employable personal skills on top of exceptional grades, you’ll be in the perfect position.

5. Restructure your CV

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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Without previous work experience, it’s vital to play to (and emphasise) your strengths. Anything you’ve done, achieved or taken part in will be a great asset if you sell it well.

So take time to rearrange, and perfect your CV, focusing on what you’ve done the best. Whether that’s your grades, your personal skills, or any awards you’ve won – make sure your highlights are clear and obvious.

6. Network

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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One of the best things you can do while searching for a job is network. As far as tips for graduates with no work experience go, this one’s up definitely there with the most important. And luckily, with the prominence of social media, it’s probably easier now than ever.

If you don’t know about LinkedIn, get to know. Be confident and proactive in connecting with professionals within your chosen industry. And if you’re able to get any work experience through an internship or something similar, make sure to really impress those above you as much as you can.

7. Speak to careers advisors

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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Your university should happily provide you with support and advice post-degree, so don’t hesitate to see what they offer. If you’re able to set up a meeting with a careers advisor, you could gain a helpful insight into what options are available to you. Hopefully, they could even give you connections to alumni that could join your network and help you get your foot in the door.

8. Make use of graduate schemes

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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Many of the top companies and employers in the UK will run specific graduate schemes, targeted at people like you, in a range of sectors.

Graduate programmes like this can last a few years, and can easily set you up for the future at the same company, if all goes well. So do your research, and see what’s out there – Prospects has some great information on schemes on offer in 2022.

9. Have realistic aims

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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Without work experience, you’ll need to try different things, and really take initiative. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but it’s also important to be realistic so you don’t risk getting disheartened.

Apply for entry-level jobs, or junior roles, and understand you’ll probably need to work your way up the ladder. Unfortunately, many opportunities are very competitive these days, but keep trying and don’t get frustrated.

10. Prepare well for job interviews

10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience
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When you secure a job interview, preparation is key. Above anything you can write or brag about on paper, and on your CV, employers will ultimately be focused on you. No matter what you have or haven’t done in the past, if you can show them how your personality, drive and skills make you perfect for the role, you’re winning.

In the spirit of being proactive, make sure you take a good amount of time preparing for interviews and meetings with potential future hirers. Hard work will always pay off!

So there you have it – 10 tips for recent graduates with no work experience. For more post-grad advice, make sure to check out Here’s where to find graduate internships in the UK and 5 Of The Best Online Courses To Do After You Graduate Uni.

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