A letter to unemployed graduates

For many of us university, truthfully, is one the best experiences of our young adult lives.

Exams, parties and the joys of paying rent are all a part of the myriad of responsibilities that come with going to university. However, despite all of this, our purpose of going to university is to attain a degree which we believe will propel us into the job market. But this doesn’t necessarily happen straight away for a lot of us and we therefore become a part of the 5.1% of the population who are unemployed.

All of sudden life comes to a halt, and the myriad of responsibilities become all but one dreary and tedious task – job applications.

The purpose of this letter is not to make apparent what already is but to give advice to those of you who are currently residing in that 5.1% with a degree under their belt.

So here is goes.

1. It doesn’t last forever

One thing you constantly need to remind yourself is that you will not be unemployed until the end of time, though it may feel that way.

2. Implement a Routine

It is important to maintain a routine for yourself, this will ensure that the time you have is utilised effectively. This routine could consist of exercise, down time, a hobby of yours and of course job applications. The fact is that you have a lot of time on your hands and in order to make it as beneficial as possible you should allocate your time according to your own needs.

3. Practise

If your efforts are targeted towards graduate roles, you will have recognised that these applications will involve an initial sifting process which is often a situational test. In order to give you the best chance, take some time to practise and assess your results. There are plenty of resources online such as: http://www.practiceaptitudetests.com and its free – bonus!

4. Ask for help

If one thing that is keeping you unemployed is a constant flow of “unfortunately on this occasion…” emails then it could be the way you are constructing your cover letters and/or your CV. If you are a recent graduate you should still be able to access resources from your university which help you understand what employers are looking for. If you are not, ask for help from friends. Sometimes, it is difficult to identify where you are going wrong. Having a fresh pair of eyes will point out what’s missing and what needs to be included.

5. Tailor your CV

You do not need to send the same CV to every organisation, one CV does not fit all. In fact, what you should do is tailor it according the organisation and the job description. Your CV should demonstrate exactly why you are suitable for the role and how you demonstrate the specifications outlined.

6. Volunteer

One thing that employers do not want to hear is that all this while all you have been doing is job applications they want to see that you have been active. Volunteering is a good way to ensure that there are no gaps in your CV. Some ideas are: volunteering with your local MP, councillors, homeless shelter, local businesses etc. Also it may benefit your pocket to look for opportunities in your area that won’t cost too much to get to.

7. Financial assistance

As stated before, a lot of money may not be readily available. Whether you like it or not bills do not suddenly disappear when you are unemployed, one thing you can do however is reduce the amount of money that goes out. That mean’s cutting out services that you could do without like online music and entertainment providers, take-outs and much more. This doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely but a good reduction will help your money to stretch further. Additionally, you are entitled to financial help from the government. It is worth researching what help is available to you, though it may not be much it will ensure a steady and small amount of income.

So, I sincerely hope this helps you. You definitely do not have to take all of these tips on board but some of them may be worth your while. Though I can’t guarantee that this will help you get a job any faster, it will ensure that your time searching for a job opportunity is not wasted and that you make the most of it.

Uju Eneh – Young Labour Party Member in Village Ward

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