Do you think it will be hard for me to get a decent job straight after graduating university with BA Honours in Political Science?
ehhh, probably? i’m typically averse to answering questions about how ‘hard’ things are, because then i would have to ignore all the million things that make your situation unique, and pretend that your idea of a ‘decent job’ and of ‘hard’ are the same as mine – which, they are probably not. i do think it’s safe to say, though, that nobody finds looking for a job easy. it requires real effort, and it can be very discouraging if you don’t hear back from a lot of places.
however, as a recent graduate in English and Political Science myself, some of the things i have to say may actually be helpful in making this all a bit easier on you. here are my tips for job-searching out of an undergrad:
1) the wider you cast your net, the easier a time you will have looking for jobs. this doesn’t mean ‘apply for every and any job you come across.’ apply for jobs that you find interesting, that require skills that you already have. don’t fall into the trap of applying for everything. that will just tire you out, likely with little result.
the key is that you apply to a lot of the types of jobs that actually suit you. look at a lot of different job-hunt sites. use the CLN. if you know someone who works somewhere that you want to work, let them know you’d be interested in a position there. don’t be afraid to apply to jobs that you think you’re not ready for – the worst they can do is say no.
2) start early! start thinking about what kind of job(s) you’d be interested in at the beginning of your fourth year. don’t discount this step just because ‘thinking’ doesn’t sound like a real thing you have to actually do. determining exactly what kind of job you’re after is essential to a successful job hunt. as an undergrad in poli sci, you’re not graduating with any kind of professional designation, which means you actually have to research what field you’d like to go into. the nice thing is that you have a wide variety of options available to you. the flip side is that you’ll have to convince every place you apply to why you’re qualified for the job. and before you can answer that question to employers, you have to answer it for yourself: what are you good at? why do you want to do what you want to do?
begin browsing for jobs as soon as you’re done your thinking stage. doing this will get you ready for the actual job hunt. bookmark companies or opportunities that might be of interest to you. that way, in December/January, you’ll be all ready to start actually applying for jobs.
3) if you know you have a weak spot when it comes to job application (writing resumes, interview skills, actually finding jobs to apply to, etc.), see if the career centre has some resources for you (spoiler: they probably do). they can coach you on writing your CVs and resumes, interview skills, and lots more. also, you can use the career centre free of charge up to TWO YEARS after you graduate, which is nice.
4) customize EVERYTHING. i know it’s hard. i know it’s annoying. but DON’T send standard, copy/pasted resumes, because that is the easiest way for an employer to decide which candidates to discard. make sure to quote the name of the job in the CV. talk about why you’d be a good fit for the organization you’re applying to. address your cover letter to the hiring manager/employer. as someone who’s been on the other side of this, believe me, these seemingly small details are crucial.
finally, a word of caution: i know it can feel impossible to find a job in a time when every job seems to require highly specialized skills. if the field you want to get into really does seem to require a college certificate or graduate degree, consider doing that. however, don’t get a college certificate/graduate degree because you hope it’ll give you better odds at landing a job. that’s a waste of time and money.
job-hunting is labour intensive, and emotionally draining. but it can be done.
August 24th, 2016 by aska Category jobs |