As our bio suggests, Gradguide is looking to create a platform to provide online/remote career guidance and mentorship to students and recent graduates as they look to secure their first full-time role after education. To begin with, we will focus on tech jobs (as its what we know) stretching across all disciplines from engineering to design and sales to marketing 🚀

The idea for the project began when four recent graduates working in tech recounted how they landed their first job post-college and quickly realized how fortunate they were. This transition is a worrying and stressful period that begins long before graduation 🎓

Traditionally students have relied on college career counselors or their parents for assistance when deciding the right path for them when choosing their first full-time job. The only issue here is that these people took this important decision a very long time ago in a much different world than today.

That is why we are set-out to connect these students/grads with mentors (or guides to fit accordingly with our namesake 🤓), that are only a few years ahead of them on their career journey who can still remember this transition from education to employment and provide much-needed relevant & reliable guidance — which is not currently available. But as well as this, we want to equip these guides with the correct tools and areas of focus to ensure grads on Gradguide are set up for success. The four major stepping stones we have highlighted on the road to landing your dream job out of college are the following 👇

  1. The Artefacts: every job application will require a copy of your CV, an attached cover letter and a link to your personal Linkedin page.

We believe that there is value in receiving objective feedback on your CV as many people tend to include lots of irrelevant accolades on a black and white word doc that their parents and friends have told them “reads great”.

  • Another fault is your Linkedin page not matching what you have on your CV or worse contains a lot of overinflated achievements that lack credibility i.e. the CEO of your five aside football team.
  • Lastly, not enough time and effort is put into composing a custom cover letter to the company you are applying for — company culture is massive nowadays, especially, taken seriously in tech startups, so you must highlight why you would be a good fit.

2. The Search: where to look for your first job after education is another battle in itself with the number of job listing sites growing exponentially by the day 📈

  • I’ll be the first to admit that I struggled particularly with this side of things. Firstly, I didn’t know where to start looking but more worryingly, I didn’t have a clue what jobs were applicable to my experience level. For example, I was applying for Enterprise Sales rep positions in various multinational tech companies straight out of college (which was a massive waste of time and effort on my behalf)
  • Your guide can work with you here to curate a collection of jobs that match your skillset & interests i.e. entry-level sales role rather than an enterprise account executive.
  • As well as this they can use their network to hopefully bag you a referral — which goes a long way.

3. The Interview: most jobs nowadays will feature not just one but various interviews before an offer being made & this is deemed the most daunting task in the process by candidates.

  • The major stumbling block here is plain and simple — a lack of preparation. For example, I recently interviewed somebody who didn’t have any questions about the role they were interviewing for.
  • The most valuable thing about having a mentor at this stage of the process is that it enables you to go through a mock interview scenario in advance.
  • They can also share cool tips & trick (back to tools once more) such as — using the STAR 🌟 model to answer interview questions and propose a 30:60:90 day plan of what you will look to do in the job were you to be selected.

4. Working Life: there are a lot of new challenges that arise in the working world that college students are not prepped for …

  • The challenge isn’t over once you have received an offer for a job, unfortunately.
  • Don’t worry though, as our guides will be able to help out with these steps, sharing their experience when it comes to valuable areas such salary negotiations & making an impact in your first 6 months to a year (remember your still on probation 😂)

As you can see from this quick breakdown, the transition from education to employment is no walk in the park. We want to bridge this education-first time employment gap.

There are a lot of tech solutions out there to help companies recruit talent but there is not a lot of assistance for the individual themselves on their job hunt — especially, for college students and recent graduates (we have been there not too long ago, remember).

I hope you have enjoyed the brief overview of what we are set out to do, like many start-up projects this is likely to change and iterate several times over. However, we would love for you to check out our MVP site here & let us know what you think! 👋

Mark from Gradguide

Online career guidance & mentorship program transitioning students from college to their first job in tech 👩‍💻

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