Posted November 14, 2017 | Career Advice | No Comments »

Guest Blog: A Graduated Journey

This week on the blog, we bring you a great guest blog written by none other than two of our brilliant team members; David Mains and Emily Field. Focussing on the topic of graduate recruitment, we find out Emily’s top advice for recent graduates from how to make your CV stand out to how to handle your social media profiles. Take a look below and start preparing yourself for your job search…

Over the years we’ve had great success at Enigma helping clients find graduates that fitted their culture; who had the right skills to grow and develop into important members of their team. To do that, we spend time talking to and helping to advise graduates on how to present themselves, their experience, their knowledge and their skills. It’s a rewarding process for everyone concerned. We’ve also had great success in recruiting graduates into our own team and our latest addition to the team, Emily Field, is keen to pass on what she has learned. Who better to help and advise graduates than a recent graduate who has been through the process many times with a number of different clients?

Thanks, David! Graduating from further education can be a really exciting time for people, especially if you have a graduate role lined up waiting for you (yep, those are the lucky ones that we all envy!). However, if you’ve just graduated and don’t have a role to step into, then it can feel a bit different. There’s that mixture of relief that your years of study are behind you (for the time being), an excitement for the future and what’s to come, and then the slow realisation that you now have to go out and find yourself a career. Even though that mixture of emotions and thoughts might feel quite daunting, if you take a look below and follow our recommendations, you’ll soon feel at ease when you realise you’re on the right track to finding the perfect graduate role for you. So, let’s get started:

First thing’s first, how’s your CV looking?

  • To make it as easy as possible for recruiters and potential employers to understand where your skills lie, try and group your related skills together and then give examples of experience you have had of using these skills.
  • Include a personal profile to highlight why you’re suited for the role in terms of personality, skills and experience and how and why you will succeed in that environment.
  • All skills, knowledge and experience included with your CV should be used as evidence to support your application and should be relevant to the role.
  • Remeber, if the job specifies you will be working with certain software or methodologies (for example; JS, Angular, Scrum or Agile) and you have these skills – make sure you’re highlighting this in your CV and giving some information about your experience using the software or methodologies. This will make your CV stand out.
  • Software Developers: If you’ve worked on any apps or have published apps, please include these as they will be key to your application and help highlight your skills.
  • Even though it can become frustrating when applying for roles, please only apply for roles that suit your skills and that you’re actually interested in. Otherwise, it becomes a waste of time both for you, and the recruiter/business you’re applying to.
  • Taking the time out to tailor your CV to each role you apply for can really make a difference to your chances of moving forward in the process. *Tip* Save different versions of your CV so that you can alter them for different roles. i.e one for a marketing role, one for a communications role and one for branding.
  • PROOFREAD & proofread again. Common sense right? Maybe not. Grammar, spelling and the dreaded “copy and paste” mistakes are something we still see more frequently than we would like. Before you click “send”, take a look at your submission that one last time.

And what about that cover letter?

Cover letters are your chance to shine. Use them as an opportunity to get really specific about why you’re applying i) for that role ii) to that specific company and iii) how your skills, knowledge and experience match up. It’s also a good idea to include any details which would make you stand out; do you have specific experience with a particular software that’s key to the role? Or maybe you created an app to solve a problem? Talk about this in your cover letter and always ask the question “is this relevant information to the role I’m applying for.”

You’re on Social Media, right?

When it comes to social media and job hunting, a great place to start is, of course, LinkedIn. Setting up a profile, adding your education, (relevant) work experience, key skills or uploading your CV will stand you in good stead. Being active on LinkedIn, whether that be through sharing articles, writing your own, engaging with others or joining groups is something we would recommend as it allows you to build up a network of like-minded people. This, in turn, means your positioning yourself in a place where opportunities are more likely to come along, as well as useful information and news about your chosen sector. Recruiters use Linkedin to search for the best candidates for their roles and if your profile is up-to-date, there’s a good chance they’ll be in touch to talk to you about the roles they have which suit you.

Outwith the “business” type social media platforms such as LinkedIn, on your personal social media profiles, it’s always a good idea to either make your profile private or moderate what you’re putting out there. It’s not uncommon for social media to change a hiring managers opinion of a candidate, especially if you’re posting offensive content or coming across negatively. Think before you post!

Considered working with a recruitment agency?

Naturally, you would expect me to say this as a graduate recruitment consultant but I say this not for the reasons you might think. I talked with recruitment agencies when I graduated university and, if you find the right one, then it can really boost your chances of finding the role that’s right for you, plus they are really good at giving career advice (check out our blogs here). We’re here to help understand your skills and experience and make sure that not only do your skills fit the role but that your personality and attitude fits in with the company culture of your potential employer. We’re looking to match companies with candidates – a match that will benefit both the business and the candidate in the long term, not just a quick fix. And remember, if you have any questions then don’t be afraid to give us a call or an email and we’ll chat things through with you – it’s as simple as that!


So, there you have it – everything we think you should know as a graduate looking to step onto the career ladder. If you’re currently looking for a role but struggling to find something that really suits you, you can contact me or get in touch directly at 0141 332 4422.

 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us or call us on 0141 332 4422.

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