Getting your degree is one thing, but what one does after university has long been one of the trickier periods to negotiate. Even if you graduate with first class honors, simply walking into the job of your dreams is by no means to foregone conclusion especially if you are looking to enter a competitive sector.

In the latest student advice guide from Collegiate , we look to provide some impartial advice on what you should be doing once your degree course comes to an end. You may be surprised to learn about some of the options available should you be planning a career in Spain or perhaps even beyond.

Try an internship

Many people have put off the idea of an internship or work experience due to the fact that salaries are extremely low or in some cases, non-existent. But it can actually be a little naive to think in this way as they can open some great doors when it comes to looking for that all-important post-graduate job. There are successful people all over the globe who started as interns and if you are pro-active enough to secure a place at a significant or relevant brand, it can do wonders for your CV.

Our advice is to start looking for internships or work experience before you finish your degree and places are very limited indeed. You will need to get in there early and also submit an application which is going to stand out from the crowd. If you are looking to enter a highly competitive industry and one that commands a big salary, then some way of enhancing your CV that your competition does not have is going to be vital; an internship will provide just that.

LinkedIn is your friend

Whether you decide on the internship route or opt for heading straight into gainful employment, LinkedIn will be a vital tool when looking to get noticed. But it is not just a case of creating a profile and hoping for the best, as there is a very big difference between a good and a great profile. In addition to this, the LinkedIn Job Search function is one of the most powerful search engines on the web and can help to secure that important job interview or help recruiters find your skills and expertise.

When using LinkedIn, we recommend you to bear in mind the following.

Your CV is one thing, your LinkedIn profile is another entirely. Although you should absolutely be taking time to ensure that your classic paper CV is up to scratch, there are all sorts of extra features available on LinkedIn such as adding videos and media, so be sure to take full advantage of these. 

We can all be forgiven for having fun on social media, but remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform and the whole point is for you to get a job. So, do not use the same profile picture that you have on such sites Instagram and Facebook, as these are likely to be a little informal. If you have a proper headshot then great, if you should take a professional picture, that conveys you as a serious candidate.

As mentioned, LinkedIn has all sorts of extra features. So, if you have produced some relevant work, presentations or perhaps research, make sure you add this to your profile. Recruiters will spend hours looking through relevant LinkedIn profiles and this kind of thing can really help you to get noticed. This could help your job search no end. 

Ideal job interview preparation

Finally, when leaving university one of the most popular activities is of course likely to be your job applications. Internships and LinkedIn decorum are both great but ultimately the time will come for you to be in a room with a prospective employer and you need to ensure you prepare adequately.

The first aspect of this is getting in a room in the first place and once you have your CV and online profile all in order, it is definitely a case of applying to as many relevant companies as you can. As a general rule of thumb and with the appropriate qualifications and experience, you will probably get around two interviews for every ten you apply to. Although you should not be applying for any job on LinkedIn, there is no harm in going to your CV and circulating around your industry of choice.

Remember to get lots of sleep the night before your interview and to look the part. A new suit or dress is not essential but you should certainly have it freshly washed and pressed and do plenty of research into your potential employers. Aside from coming across competently, the most impressive thing you can do is ask loads of questions so spend plenty of time doing your research.

We hope this guide has been of help and wish you luck in your job search. If you are still studying in Spain and are on the hunt for luxury student accommodation in Madrid, Valencia or Barcelona  – why not take a look at some of our premium residences?