University graduate

Despite what parents, teachers and the internet may have you believe, a six-figure job rarely awaits the moment you are handed your graduation scroll.

While some university leavers may have employment already lined up by the time they throw their mortarboard in the air on graduation day, it's fair to say that those people are in the minority.

As a result, it's not uncommon for graduates to find themselves with no job after graduation. In fact, a large number of graduates find leaving university to be a bit of culture shock.

If you’re struggling to find a job after university, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a whole host of tips on how to get a job after university.

 

How to Get a Job After University

Job hunting can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when you’re fresh out of university with a bare CV that’s lacking in the work experience department.

While the process can be laborious and disheartening, finding a job is far from an impossibility.

Keep these points in mind during your post-uni quest for employment to help you through the rough terrain and get you to the promised land in one piece.

 

Means to an End

Anyone that’s ever been on the hunt for their ideal job will be able to tell you that it’s a lot easier to get a job when you have job.

A jobless job search can translate to desperation, which can add pressure and stress that can hinder your performance at interview.

Conversely, the safety net of having a job already while you look for something more suitable can be invaluable in terms of mentally and financially.

Don’t be afraid to take a stop-gap role to help stabilise your finances while you search for your ideal job.

 

Be Social-Savvy

Social media rules the world in the 21st century. From pregnancy announcements to mealtime photoshoots, very few aspects of life go by undetected and uncelebrated online. Unsurprisingly, this trend can also relate to job hunting.

Platforms like LinkedIn are the perfect shop window for your online CV, presenting yourself in a professional manner to potential employers. Meanwhile, it’s also a great way of networking and getting your name out there within your chosen industry.

According to a 2018 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social networking sites to pre-screen candidates during the hiring process. While this can be encouraging from a LinkedIn standpoint, it’s worth noting that this also extends to other platforms as well.

Ensure your social media profiles are presentable and the relevant privacy settings have been set to help maintain the integrity of your personal brand. If your FB profile shows you downing a yard of ale in Magaluf, it may be time to switch it up.

 

Is a Masters All That Masterful?

Those that are unsure what to do with their lives post-uni may find themselves pursuing a master’s degree out of indecision and uncertainty.

However, while it may seem easier to go with the flow and top-up your existing degree with a relevant post-grad qualification, attaining a master’s degree often does little to boost your chances of employment.

From an employer’s perspective, a standard uni graduate with a year of work under their belt is typically a more attractive proposition than an MA graduate with no real-world experience.

A typical master’s degree in the UK takes a year of full-time study to complete. That year could be put to better use gaining industry experience or learning additional skills in pursuit of employability.

 

Work Experience

A common stumbling block for graduates is that, while they may be a proven commodity in the world of academia, the practical application of their skills in a real-life working setting is often unproven.

This poses quite the paradoxical quandary for candidates fresh out of university: you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job. Or can you?

Graduates that suffer from a lack of experience can gain valuable on-the-job training through unpaid work placement and volunteering.

While this will naturally be financially unrewarding by their very definition, the gamble can pay off massively, resulting in relevant, first-hand job experience.

Meanwhile, there’s always the possibility that your work ethic and effort may be recognised during your unpaid stint, potentially leading to a paid role at the end of it.

 

Stay Positive

While the average time to get a job after graduation can vary wildly between industries as well as location, it’s worth remembering that if you are struggling to find a job after university, you’re not alone.

In fact, according to TotalJobs.com, nearly 40% of graduates are still hunting for jobs six months after leaving university.

Competition and financial climate can play a big hand in your fate as well, which can also change dramatically from one year to the next.

Try to stay positive and channel your energy into your job search and applications. You could even make the most of the free time by gaining additional transferable skills.

While rejections and unresponsive employers are undeniably frustrating, persistence will pay off in time. Remember, good things come to those who wait…

 

For more job-seeking advice and tips for recent graduates looking for employment, why not speak to one of our advisors directly? Call 0203 225 5120 now or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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While it's long been said that money can't buy happiness, it can definitely make life a little easier at times - anyone who's ever been on the wrong side of an overdraft will surely attest to that.

Sadly, science has yet to master the genetic engineering that would be needed to grow a money tree, and the average person’s income is still largely based on the daily grind of working life.

As such, it’s natural to want to earn as much as possible for our daily efforts.

If you feel you’re being underpaid, you’re probably hoping that a pay rise will be coming your way soon. However, this isn’t always guaranteed, and a gentle nudge in the right direction can sometimes make all the difference.

Here are a few tips on how to ask for a raise.

 

Pay rise handshake

 

Do I Deserve a Pay Rise?

Talking about money can be an uncomfortable process for many, particularly when it comes to asking for a pay rise. Unfortunately, many business owners will use this fact to their advantage as a means of avoiding the discussion and therefore dodging the bullet of increasing your wages (and their monthly outgoings).

Many employers will be looking to get as much work out of their staff for as little as possible. While the job market is a competitive one, it’s important to know your own value; if you believe you’re contributing more than you’re being remunerated for, the onus is on you to speak up and make your point heard.

A good way to identify if you’re being underpaid is to check the pay scale of similar jobs in your area. If there is a notable discrepancy in pay for positions of similar responsibility, you may have a solid case for a pay increase.

 

Tips for Requesting a Pay Rise

Asking for a pay rise can be tough waters to navigate at the best of times, and going into that meeting unprepared is as good as not going in at all.

To give yourself the best chance of achieving a positive result, be sure to bear the following points in mind.

 

Make the request in person.

While it may seem obvious, asking for a pay rise is one endeavour that benefits greatly from being conducted in person, rather than over the phone or via email.

Emails can easily be ignored and phone calls can be cut short at the touch of a button. By contrast, it’s generally harder to turn down a request when it’s posed in person. Negotiation tactics undoubtedly work better face-to-face as well.

Written words can also be misconstrued and taken the wrong way without the context of verbal tone and delivery, while passion and enthusiasm are also far more apparent in person.

A lot can be achieved through physical interaction as opposed to digital or audio, and the intricacies of conversation in person can lead to a far more beneficial outcome for all parties.

 

Be realistic.

Despite what Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko character said in Wall Street, greed isn’t good when it comes to asking for a pay rise.

Demanding an unrealistic figure or asking for a pay rise multiple times within a short period can be seen as unreasonable and may actively work against you when you're trying to secure a pay increase. What’s more, overvaluing yourself can immediately tarnish the credibility of your request.

That being said, the art of the deal is all about compromise: while you don’t want to price yourself out of contention, going in too low can leave you with nowhere to drop to.

Aim for a number a little higher than you ultimately expect to achieve. That way, you can always meet them halfway at a lower figure that is still agreeable to your needs and expectations.

 

Plead your case.

Your boss is unlikely to agree to a pay rise just because you want one. Prepare yourself for the inevitable question of “why should I?” by coming equipped with a list of accolades, achievements and prospective goals.

Remind them of your worth and how much you contribute to the company. Facts, figures and statistics to back it up can help provide measurable proof of your value to the company and further fight your cause.

 

Time it right.

Like most things in this world, timing really is everything when it comes to pay rise talks. As such, picking your moment carefully can have a big impact on success.

Strolling into your boss’s office when they are amid a whirlwind of stress and anxiety is not conducive to a positive outcome. Try to catch your boss when they aren’t busy and are in a good mood.

Managers are far more likely to listen to you and your requests when they are relaxed, free of distractions, and have the time to focus on what you're saying.

A performance review is typically the accepted time to broach the subject of pay, as your contributions are naturally going to be the primary subject at hand. However, that’s not to say you can’t ask for a meeting outside of these parameters.

If your work is being spotlighted as an area of success, this can be the present the perfect opportunity to strike while the iron is hot; e.g. upon completion of a project of which you were an integral part.

Similarly, a request for you to take on more responsibility can also be an opportune time to request a pay increase.

 

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Workplace diversity

If you happen to work in HR, diversity in the workplace is probably a very familiar topic. It’s a legal obligation that’s seen growing visibility over the last two decades.

However, diversity isn’t just a matter for Human Resources. Diversity in the workplace has a profound influence on every part of the working process, from social interaction to quality of work.

A diverse workforce can provide better results in terms of creativity, problem-solving and decision-making, generally resulting in a more productive environment all round. After all, a toolbox full of hammers won’t do much good when it comes to changing a light bulb.

 

Diversity Hiring Laws

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace, theoretically providing a basis that ensures nobody’s personal background or characteristics affect their right to work.

However, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), “an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal compliance”, and appropriate steps must be taken to ensure a varied working environment.

As such, knowing how to hire more diverse employees while staying safely within the boundaries of diversity hiring laws is a must for any company. Failure to do so could land your business in hot water.

Luckily, we’ve got a few helpful suggestions that will allow you to broaden your field of applicants instantly, helping you achieve a multicultural, multi-talented workforce across the age spectrum.

 

How to Hire More Diverse Employees

While specifically targeting a particular group can lead to accusations of discrimination, ensuring that your recruitment strategy is free from any involuntary prejudice can be a fantastic way to fairly and efficiently level the playing field for everyone.

Here are three effective diversity recruiting strategies that will help you to achieve a balanced response from all manner of candidates, ensuring your field of applicants is as diverse as possible.

 

Requested Info

Whether you consciously realise it or not, the information you collect via job application forms can have a dramatic effect on your perception of each applicant.

Information such as gender and nationality can subconsciously affect your expectations of a candidate and influence your response accordingly. Even names can trigger such biases; anonymous job applications have gained a lot of of traction in recent years as a means of eradicating this issue.

While this may seem a little extreme, there are simple steps that can be taken that garner similar results. To nip this issue in the bud, simply avoid asking for information such as gender, date of birth and nationality within your application forms.

That way, you can completely avoid direct or indirect discrimination by simply not knowing these characteristics, basing your judgement exclusively on the merit of the candidates in question.

 

Tell-Tale Wording

It’s also important to note that the inclusion of certain words in a candidate specification can also give skewed results. As such, it’s important to take care when penning your job descriptions to avoid a slanted verbiage.

For example, requesting “recent graduates” is likely to return applicants in their early to mid-20s, while requesting “experienced candidates” or requiring a minimum of X years’ experience is likely to discourage applicants below a certain age.

While there are always exceptions to these rules, avoiding such potholes could help you to appeal to a wider mix of applicants.

 

Favoured Parties

Though potentially more controversial than the above steps, favouring one party over another in order to achieve a greater balance in the workplace is undoubtedly an effective way to combat the issue of discrimination.

However, this tactic can spark debate, and may be perceived by some as discriminatory in itself.

This approach has drawn criticism from some corners over the years as it does - somewhat ironically - exclude certain parties in order to give more opportunities to a specific group. Nevertheless, it is a legal technique and one that is promoted by the government itself.

According to gov.uk, as an employer, you are allowed to favour a candidate with “protected characteristics” over one without if you feel the former is underrepresented in your workplace / industry. The only proviso is that both candidates must be equally matched in terms of suitability for the role.

 

Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace

While it’s important to have a fair and unbiased recruitment process, recruiting a candidate for the specific purpose of “ticking a box” can be counterproductive for all parties and can foster workplace resentment, as well as potentially reducing the overall quality of the work produced.

For example, hiring an ineffective communicator for a role that predominantly involves communication will likely result in a negative outcome for the company, the customer and the team, which can in turn be demoralising for the worker themselves.

Being fair without inadvertently discriminating against any party is a key part of creating an equal process. If you base your search purely on merit, you should bag yourself a diverse workplace by proxy, and this will ultimately achieve the best results for your business.

Read More: Inappropriate Interview Questions >>

Photograph courtesy of Pexels

Staying healthy at work can be a tough task. Workload can be unforgiving and deadlines don’t account for downtime, all of which can have a knock-on effect on your health, state of mind and your diet.

That being said, remaining fit and healthy in a full-on job isn’t impossible. In fact, with a few minor adjustments to your daily routine, you could achieve your health and fitness goals with ease.

 

how to stay healthy at work, desk exercises, how to stay fit in the office

 

Office Desk Exercises

No matter how many times it gets written as a solution for staying healthy at work, exercising at your desk probably isn’t the best idea, practically or productively.

If you’re working, you’re not getting the most out of your exercise. Meanwhile, if you’re exercising, you’re not getting the most out of your work.

A few isometric desk exercises throughout the day aren’t going to turn you into The Rock…although they may make you look like you’re passing a kidney stone.

Lunging down the aisles or performing a plank at the coffee machine is only going to attract funny looks and earn you the reputation as “that guy/girl” in the office.

Moreover, performing crunches at your desk isn’t going to allow you to skip that 30 minutes on the treadmill you had planned after work either.

Subtle changes, like taking the stairs instead of the lift or using the furthest printer on the other side of the office, can be ample in terms of keeping your activity ticking over throughout the day.

 

How to Stay Fit in the Office

While there’s no real substitute for exercise when it comes to fitness, there are ways to counteract the sedentary nature of office work and limit the damage of sitting at a desk all day.

Check out these top tips for how to stay fit in the office to keep your body healthy and fighting fit.

 

Take Lunch

A growing workload and impending deadlines can place restrictions on your daily downtime, leading many to dine aldesko and forego their lunch breaks.

While this may seem like the best solution in terms of productivity, it can actually have a detrimental impact on you and your work.

Whether you’re walking to the local deli and back or taking a run in the local park, leaving the office at lunch provides an excellent outlet for midday exercise.

What’s more, the change of scenery and fresh air can work wonders to revitalise you mentally and positively affect the quality of your work when you return.

 

Cycle Logical

If your workplace is within a reasonable distance from your home, why not consider switching up your commute methods?

Ditching the car journey in favour of cycling to work can see notable results in terms of physical health and financial health, cutting your fuel costs down significantly in the process.

Even if your workplace is too far to cycle to, there are still other ways of making your daily journey healthier than driving door-to-door.

Why not park within walking distance to enforce a physical commute to the office? Simply changing up your parking habits can have a surprising effect on your pedometer.

Meanwhile, if you take public transport, there are still options to get in some pre-work exercise. Try getting off a stop or two early to garner the same step-boosting results.

 

Drawer the Line

Snacking at work can be the downfall of many diets, making a sedentary office lifestyle all the more difficult to undo in the gym. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t graze throughout the day when you hunger strikes.

Ditch the demonic vending machine and its calorific contents in favour of healthy snacks, like nuts and fruits. Stocking up your desk drawer with healthy snacks is the perfect way to combat the mid-morning munchies and fend off the afternoon hunger pangs.

 

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Early starts, hectic schedules and generally living life at 100 miles per hour can commonly see breakfast scrubbed from the daily “To Do” list.

However, skipping breakfast can have a myriad of negative effects on your diet, from an over-reliance on coffee to evening over-indulgence on junk food.

There’s a reason breakfast is called “the most important meal of the day”: neglecting it can have an adverse effect on your eating habits throughout the day.

If you don’t have time to make food in the morning, why not prep the night before and have it on the move? Alternatively, avoid the rush and simply eat when you get to work.

 

For more office advice and tips for the workplace, drop us a line on 0203 225 5120 or send us an email using the button below.

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Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect for any new employee, and the build-up can be extremely stressful. After all, as the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.

As such, the pressure is on to make your first day, week and month a success – especially if there is a probation period. Fear of the unknown coupled with a strong desire to impress can be the perfect storm of anxiety that makes Day 1 extremely intimidating.

But you don’t have to let nerves ruin what should be an exciting and momentous occasion for you. Make your first day a walk in the park and come out smelling of roses with these 5 top tips for starting a new job.

 

First day at a new job

 

New Job Tips

If you have a new start date on the horizon and you’re worried about your first day on the job, take a look at these tips for starting a new job and turn that stress into finesse for the ultimate first impression.

 

Arrive on time.

Having to say “sorry I'm late” is not a great way to start your journey in a new company. It sends a negative message to your colleagues, implying that you are unreliable and don’t value the opportunity you've been given.

While it can be unavoidable at times, being branded with the “latecomer” label is the last thing you want when you've only just started a new job. Even if you really wanted the job, tardiness can give your employer the impression that your heart isn’t in it.

Aim to be prompt and timely, making an effort to be early where possible – particularly in your first week. This will help you develop good habits over time and naturally get you into a timely routine.

 

Dress for success.

There’s a classic saying in the business world that proclaims you should “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”. While this isn’t an open invitation to head into the office dressed as Hulk Hogan, there is certainly some truth behind it.

Presentation can have a profound impact on the way you are viewed by your co-workers and, more importantly, by your superiors. This is all the more important when you're trying to make a good first impression.

If you arrive to work on your first day wearing an un-ironed shirt and rocking three days of stubble, it doesn’t exactly scream “Employee of the Month”. Worse still, it actively conveys that you don’t care enough about your new job to make an effort.

You’ve worked hard to get this far and bag this job in the first place – don’t let a lacklustre appearance let you down. If you want your bosses to view you as a serious employee who's worth their time and money, looking the part is half the battle.

 

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

A common fault for new starters at work is a reluctance to ask when unsure about something. While it’s natural to be a little more introverted, reserved and shy during your initial foray into a new job, the importance of asking questions cannot be overstated.

The “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality isn’t always the best course of action, particularly in the early days of a new job. In fact, when it comes to work-related processes, blindly carrying on down a murky path of uncertainty can lead to a myriad of problems down the line.

Asking questions is the quickest way to remove doubt and learn the organisation's preferred practices. Remember, you are the new kid at school here - you won’t be expected to know everything right out of the gate.

Interest and intrigue can also show enthusiasm for the role; however, it’s worth remembering that there’s a fine line between being eager and being annoying. Keep your questions relevant and specific in order to avoid inconveniencing your new colleagues.

 

Get to know your surroundings.

Once you’ve settled into your new workstation and got your day off to a good start, take a little time to familiarise yourself with your surroundings. If possible, ask for a quick tour of the office and get to grips with what’s what and where's where.

While you're sightseeing, be sure to memorise the layout and locate the most important office essentials, like the toilets, kitchen, stationery cupboard and meeting rooms. This also a good opportunity to make a mental note of the fire exits, just in case there's an emergency.

 

Offer to make the tea.

Homer Simpson once said, “you don’t win friends with salad”. While that phrase may be less true now given the increasing popularity of vegan diets, one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is Britain’s love for a good cuppa.

A sure-fire way to ingratiate yourself is to get acquainted with the office coffee machine and your team’s tea-drinking habits. Offering to make a round for your co-workers is a small gesture that can go a long way, showing your willingness to be a team player.

It’s also a great way to get to know people and introduce yourself to those within the team whom you haven’t yet met. While you may not win friends with salad, you certainly will with tea and coffee.

 

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