Whether you’re in your final year of studies or you’re a graduate, you’ll want to make the most of your qualification to land the job you want. But with graduates outstripping the number of jobs available, the competition for employment is high.

Planning, researching and executing your approach correctly will get you noticed and get your foot in the door.

Preparation perfect

The art of finding the job you want is all in the planning. If you’re a graduate or a student on a course with 6-12 months remaining, start your search now with a clear plan of action. We recommend you make a list of all your options.

Your research in trade press, radio and TV will get you off to a great start. Look out for weekly graduate job sections in quality newspapers like the Guardian, too. It is also worth going to your local library where you will find invaluable reference material often unavailable on the internet.

To really ramp up your search, you need to go online and get as much information around your area as possible. Here, you will find all the details you need to answer your two main questions; what options are available relevant to my qualification, and what jobs really interest me. Both questions are equally essential. Employers love to see motivated and passionate people that can really make a difference.

Research your expertise

Your time researching your area online will be invaluable. In a short space of time you can find out what jobs really interest you. When you have compiled your list of contacts from your research you can upload your CV and covering letter on the spot.

You can also call, write to or email the companies or organisations you are interested in and request more information about graduate recruitment schemes and even an application pack.

Many students and graduates widen their search further by attending graduate fairs and company open days. This is a great way to meet real people in real lines of employment. Exactly the source you need for inspiring career advice and direction.

Your end product

When you put your plan of action into motion you need something more than just your qualification. You need a unique and inspiring CV and covering letter to make you stand out. Take time to get these right and you’ll open doors to interviews and employment.

We recommend you draft several versions of your covering letter. Make it clear, passionate, simple to read and professional. Keep it current, outline what makes you perfect for the role and let the person holding your letter know why you should be considered for interview.

The strength in your covering letter should naturally flow through to your CV. Make it just as sharp and well-presented, setting out your education including the qualification you graduated in or you’re still studying for, your employment record and a short paragraph about you and your interests or activities, especially when relevant to the position you’re applying for. Remember, distinction attracts interest. Some students and graduates even include a photo for extra impact.

In general, be positive, patient and persistent. Get a good understanding of what’s out there and find something you’re naturally passionate about. The hard work you put in to your planning, research, CV and covering letter will pay back in recognition and interviews. It may even land you your dream job.