Graduate Job Hunt – Smart Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd

Graduate job hunt – smart ways to stand out from the crowd 

Graduate job hunting

Entering the job market in the midst of an economic recession, it’s no secret that in the last decade graduates have had a particularly tough time trying to land their first job. We might have emerged from the worst of it, but the economy and the job-hunting world have changed in that time, and recent graduates are going to have to adapt their applications in order to keep up!

Despite a fall in total unemployment to 7.1% in 2014, The Independent has found that the struggle for new grads continues, as ‘nearly 40 per cent of graduates are looking for work six months after graduation, while a quarter are still unemployed after a year’.

The predominant reason for the drop in unemployment is explained by suggesting either that people have just stopped looking, or that they’re employed in non-graduate positions. In fact 47% of employed graduates are working in jobs that do not require degrees.

Now, we don’t want you to be part of that 47% who are forced to work jobs they’re completely over-qualified for, so we have a little suggestion for you: think outside the box. The Independent is very clear that in order to stand out in the current job market, ‘students need to be more innovative with their applications, tailoring each one to the role they are applying for’.

A personal website is the new CV!

So how exactly can you stand out from the recently graduated crowd? We have two words for you: branding and personalisation. Trying to stand out with your CV alone isn’t going to cut it. Let’s face it, a CV is a black and white document that’s limited to just two pages maximum, gets outdated quickly, and can’t be changed after it’s been submitted for a position.

A personal website circumvents all of these problem areas. Unlike the lifeless two page CV, your personal website can uniquely convey your personality, is infinitely adaptable and updatable, and can display a portfolio of all of your skills and abilities so that they can be seen in practice as opposed to conveyed through words alone.

Despite the growing importance placed on personal websites within the workforce, this necessary part of the current job seeker’s arsenal seems to be too often overlooked. According to Jacquelyn Smith’s article Why Every Job Seeker Needs a Personal Website, ‘42% of people say they’ve struggled (or failed) to establish their own personal website because it’s time consuming’. All we’re hearing here is excuses excuses excuses! With providers like 1&1, and various online resources to assist in the design process, creating a personal website is becoming simultaneously simpler and more imaginative.

What your personal website also achieves is the ability for potential employers to actually find you online, beyond the cliché LinkedIn or Facebook profile. On this platform, you’re in control of the content (no dodgy tagged photos here thank you very much), so you can show a potential employer that you’re serious about your career. It’s not enough to be present in just the social media sphere anymore – you need to brand and sell yourself. You are the product and the employer is the customer. With this in mind, you can see your personal website as the pinnacle for your personal marketing strategy. Good luck job hunting, graduates!

Anouszka Tate

Anouszka is a print journalist and radio & TV presenter with a penchant for sarcasm and tongue in cheek wit. Most importantly she’s YCB’s Features Editor. When she's not busy being all career driven she'll be baking, working out or making lists. Sometimes she wishes she had been born a decade earlier, and male, so that she could have been in a 90s boy band. Follow her on twitter and instagram @anouszkatate for vital updates on the above things summarised in 140 characters / in photo form.