And so it is done. The Graduation has passed and I now have an oversized document stating I have a formal qualification. The oddest part of Graduation is that after months of lecture-less days, all that was left was a one-off attempt to drink a student loan’s worth of free champagne in a single day. My best attempts couldn’t have amounted to more than 6 glasses, but at 7.30 in the morning that was to be expected. The ceremony itself was nice and the support and admiration of family and friends even more so, but now comes the terrifying attempts at making the last three years’ worth more than the ceremony.
While having a degree does put you in good stead with employers, it is only as good as what you do with it and often without a lot of effort that may not be much. Having applied for over 30 jobs in the U.K. the best advice I can offer is to make use of the graduate support offered by your University or Institution. If Post-Grad is not for you, you will need to bypass the attempts to get you to pour more time and funds into further education so that you can get to the good stuff –internships, job leads and active recruiters. Most tertiary education providers will offer some form of career advice and even steer you in the direction of potential employers for your field. Do not underutilize this, as in a few months’ time there will be a new batch of graduates thinking the same thing. If possible even before graduation it would pay to register your interest with prospective employers or at least start thinking about where you want to be.
Get help with your C.V. It is the difference between an interview and an outright rejection. Writing ten pages of everything you have ever done is not necessarily the best way to grab someone’s attention, so always submit it to an impartial eye. If you can’t afford a professional service, then you could consider showing it to a current or past employer and asking them how you could improve. Some people look better on paper than others so if you are the kind of person who WOW’s in a face to face setting, a good C.V will get you in front of those people.
Finally –and this should go without saying- take the time to commend yourself on making it this far. There would have been moments that were particularly tough and you should feel proud of your accomplishments and your commitment to finishing. There will likely be tough times in the future and you should always look back on this moment as proof of what you can and will do.