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How to find the perfect job – for students and graduates

Whether you’re a graduate, currently studying or you’re just on a term break right now, it’s a great time to kick start your career. Gaining real-world experience early on will give you a head start in finding your perfect career path in the future. 

So what type of jobs are available and how do you know which one is right for you? In this blog, we take a look at what to look out for and how to find the perfect student job opportunity to suit your individual skillset.

The good news is that the job market in the UK is buoyant with almost 200,000 new UK job advertisements were posted in the last week of June, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Understand yourself

It can be hard to know exactly what you want to do when you leave university when not everyone has a clear career path in mind. Now’s the time to think long and hard about your capabilities, interests and where you’d excel at work. For example, are you an extrovert and love to chat with people, or are you more focused on problem-solving and detail-oriented? 

There are lots of career aptitude tests that can help you hone in on your skillset. This test from Job Personality is useful and we love this fun animal-themed quiz from UCAS – both of which can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and suggest roles you’ll enjoy. 

Next, you’ll want to think about what type of job you want so whether part-time or full-time is best for you. Do you need flexibility in your role i.e. something to fit around your studies? And what industry would you enjoy being in? At CPM for example, our field sales roles cover retail, grocery, convenience, DIY, on-trade, plus we have lots of office roles available too. 

CV and interview skills

The first step in securing your perfect job is to nail your CV. You’ll want a CV that makes you stand out from the crowd. There are lots of guides online to help you, and we love this one from Save the Student where you can download a free template, plus they’ll even review it for you. And remember to check your CV, and then check it again! Typos or inconsistencies show a lack of attention to detail and care so they can be deal-breakers when you’re job hunting. 

Then the dreaded interview! Most people get nervous at interviews especially if you’ve not had many (or worse, any!). However, along with sharing your interest, enthusiasm and experience, use the interview as an opportunity to find out more about the role and if it’s something that you would genuinely enjoy. 

Some examples of the type of questions you’ll be asked can be found online so it’s worth preparing answers for some of the more common ones in advance. Preparation is key here – the better prepared you are, the better you’ll perform.

Company culture and career development

The culture of a company you’re going to join is very important as to whether you’ll thrive in it. You can ask about the culture in your interview, and you can also check review sites and hear from current or previous employees. Research online and find real people who work at the business you’re interested in – for example, you can read exactly what it’s like to be a Business Development Executive at CPM

The company culture at CPM is collaborative, inclusive and supportive. We offer genuine career progression where our people are given the opportunity to learn and grow. We call this ‘Get, Grow, Keep’ and it’s at the core of our culture of how we recruit, train and develop our people. You can read more about our company culture in our blog from our Head of Talent Acquisition, Amanda Smith

What’s next?

Being a student or a recent graduate is an exciting time in your life. It’s full of new possibilities and growth and learning. It’s the time when you’re getting to know what career you’ll be passionate about and it’s the perfect time to learn on the job. 

We have lots of new and exciting opportunities that are perfect for students hiring right now UK-wide. So what are you waiting for? Start your career adventure with CPM where no day is ever the same. This could be the start of something great! 

Find out more online, or to chat with our recruitment team, simply give us a call on 0208 396 0540.

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith heads up the CPM UK Group Talent Acquisition team, recruiting over 1000 vacancies every year across field and office. With a background in Talent Management Amanda is a champion for the philosophy ‘Recruit for attitude, train for skill’ and loves seeing candidates with a can do approach succeeding and excelling in their role. Amanda fully understands the Sales industry having worked across all areas of the CPM business including Contact Centre, Field and office in client facing and operational roles.

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