Its that time of year where soon to be graduates are contemplating their futures. It can be a daunting time as choices made now could determine how their life pans out.

Its important that career decisions are taken seriously and preparation when searching for jobs is imperative in this market place. Potential employers want to know you have researched their company and have a genuine interest in working for them. They will want to know that you have considered their area of business and have a basic understanding of what it is they do. No one expects you to understand the in’s and out’s at this early stage but it will be seen as a negative if you haven’t even looked at their company website. Putting in this ground work at this stage is very important and can be the difference between being successful in interview or not.

Researching professional qualifications, although the last thing on anyone’s mind having just completed your time at university, is also hugely important. Think about what you are willing and wanting to achieve from employment. Do you want to spend another 4 years studying? If not then you could possibly have to rethink a potential career choice.

Over the last 2 to 3 years we have seen an increase in opportunities available to high level graduates and the market in Guernsey is very positive. However, in line with this Graduate expectations need to be realistic. Whilst there are many opportunities open to those who are willing to put in the work, its not realistic to come in thinking you will be running the company in 12 months time. Salary is also a factor that needs to be addressed. In the past we have had graduates register with us saying they would like a starting salary of at £25,000 plus. Whilst this is not impossible to obtain, its most likely that you will be looking at around the £22,000 mark. If you are someone who has shown willing throughout university and has consistently worked, in or out of finance, this can show a potential employer that you are eager and have an understanding of the working environment. Someone fresh out of university who hasn’t considered working over the last 3 or 4 years can be reviewed more negatively.

When applying for jobs locally you could be up against a candidate, who although not degree educated, has spent a couple of years within a working environment. Some employers could prefer a candidate like this as they already understand what’s required of someone wanting a career and can be considered less of a risk than someone without experience. An untested entity can potentially be an expensive risk for employers. The time you spend at university is obviously very important, but so is the time you spend out of it and how you chose to use this time can effect your marketability. Working shows a level of maturity and responsibility that is appealing to future employers.

Having an understanding of office etiquette is hugely important. In the workplace the majority of your time will be accounted for, working, learning and developing new skills, the work to free time ratio swings in completely the opposite way than being at university. For some new employees this can be difficult to comprehend. You will be spending up to 8 hours a day in a office, so making the right career choice at this stage will make that transition much easier.

The market place is positive but also requires some initial effort and responsibly on behalf of anyone entering it. Make sure you have a CV that outlines your achievements, education based or otherwise, any social responsibility and work experience. List as many duties as possible, even if you only worked in the Student Union Bar. Were you responsible for stock taking, input, cash handling? All of these duties are a skill you would of learnt and can be positively addressed on your CV.

Opportunities are available and making yourself stand out from the numerous graduates returning to the Island is essential.

Using an agency can be an effective tool in presenting yourself in a positive way, we have access to some of the best jobs available. However if you were specifically seeking a career in PR or marketing then perhaps using an agency is not the best idea. Marketing yourself in a unique and different way would attract the best attention for your CV (the clue here is in the title of the job you are applying for…)

Guernsey needs graduates and specially those who are willing to put in the ground work in order to secure a role that will allow for future development. No one expects your first job to be your last job, but employers would like to see some continuity in a CV, or at least know that the reasons behind several changes in direction are positive.

To discuss potential Graduate opportunities or for a chat about possible areas of initial interest please just give us a call.