Recent graduates in Scotland have got to get creative to land a job in this day and age. The worst thing you can do is to give up hope, however. With the right approach and positive attitude, graduate careers can be achieved.
Unconventional Career Paths
Consider how your education and skill set could apply to a less conventional industry or career path. Language graduates, for example, can take on international sales roles, find work in the tourism industry or events management companies that specialise in international conferences and seminars. Edinburgh is an ideal place to end up as it's such a popular destination for business travel and networking.
Have you heard of digital marketing? This is an industry for which there is no right or wrong educational background as most skills are acquired on the job. It's an ideal opportunity for business, marketing, computer studies or language graduates. You'll find most specialist agencies in Scotland are located in Edinburgh, but there are others throughout the country.
When applying to lesser known roles or industries, make sure to do plenty of research before applying so you can justify your motivation.
Internships and Work Experience
No matter what your chosen path of study, your career prospects will be considerably better with some experience to accompany your education. Fortunately, there are quite a few opportunities to acquire this experience in Scotland working both in the public and private sectors.
It's not unusual for students to contact companies requesting experience, particularly in some fields such as the creative industries and media. Turn to your university's career service for advice on how best to approach a company. Essentially, the very basics are to address an individual instead of emailing the generic company email address, and target your CV and cover letter to that particular company by explaining how you feel the experience would benefit your future career, as well as how you could add input to their team.
If you're unwilling to contact a company out of the blue or don't feel confident enough to do so, there are a few internship schemes worth looking into. These are Talent Scotland and Adopt an Intern.
Such internships are available throughout the country and vary greatly from admin positions at regional councils and junior sales roles to graduate engineer apprenticeships with industrial firms. To apply, students or graduates need to fill in an application form that states questions similar to those you would be expected to answer in a cover letter. Successful applicants are expected to attend at least one interview as you would for any job. In some cases, when the graduate does a really good job and proves his or her value to the company, there is potential for contracts to be extended.
Due to the large number of students hoping to find work in the media and creative industries, it's unlikely to see public relations, design and advertising agencies seeking interns via this route as they get enough work experience requests and job applications without even advertising for positions.
Instead, visit the websites of agencies that specialise in public relations Scotland, advertising and the like, as the sites often feature information on available jobs and the company's approach to internships. It's also very worthwhile following these businesses on Twitter and other social networks. If any job opportunities arise, they're very likely to be advertised through these channels.