Skip to content

Candidate Blog Getting Ahead as a Graduate

As the academic year end draws closer, we have started to see lots of graduates coming through to us and asking for advice. I thought I would share an article on a few hints, tips and advice on how to use this time proactively and also to enhance your job search.

1) Prepare and detail your CV

Think about relevant experience that you have that is applicable to the job that you are applying for, this can either come from placements/internships or that part-time job that you have continued during your studies. A common misconception is that by not completing a placement year, then it will be extremely difficult to get secure a Graduate role. If you have had a part-time job in retail, you have gained lots of transferable and critical skills such as customer service, cash handling/balancing and this also shows commitment whilst balancing a degree on-top! In terms of formatting, ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors throughout and your CV is laid out clearly for the Hiring Manager to review. Also, add details of your modules and what topics were covered, and which IT programmes you used during your degree.

2) Be Patient

It is so easy to compare yourself to your classmates, who may have secured a Graduate role earlier on in the year. However, we all do things at our own pace and I am definitely a believer in ‘what’s for you wont pass you’. If you have went for an interview and unfortunately were not successful, or weren’t shortlisted for a role – ask for feedback from the Hiring Manager or the Recruitment Consultant you are working with, especially if you haven’t had much experience with interviews in the past. This also goes hand in hand by saying that not all Graduate opportunities are gone early during the start of your last academic year – some businesses do not start their recruitment until the latter side or during summer months.

3) Connect with Recruiters

We have a really good understanding of the market in Honeycomb, as we talk to our clients every day! Luckily we work across a range of sectors and have specialist Consultants in each area. If you have graduated in a more general degree, it is hard to know all of the roles out there – especially in Belfast where new businesses are popping up all of the time due to the wide and diverse talent pool we have! We are always more than happy to chat to you, whether that be help with interview prep, information on positions in the market or CV advice – and most of us have been in the same shoes in the past. If you are applying for a graduate position through us, we will keep you updated during each step of the process.

4) Think of What You Enjoy, Not What is Expected of You

I have lots of conversations with Graduates who feel that they need to stay in the subject area of their degree after graduating. One bit of advice that I would give is if you find yourself not interested in this area – have a think about other industries or roles within the wider sector that you enjoy. If you aren’t ready to commit to a permanent role before testing out the industry first of all, check if there are any internship opportunities or temporary positions to give you first hand experience. It’s never too late to do what you really are passionate about!

5) Prepare, Plan and Be Organised!

If you have applied for multiple roles and are lucky to be shortlisted for a couple of interviews – it is so important to make sure you prepare for each interview on an individual basis. It can be so easy to get confused and feel overwhelmed if you have a few meetings, along with looming assignment and/or exam deadlines. In terms of preparation – look at the company website, check if there are any positive news stories and ask the Recruitment Consultant for some background information. Have a look at generic competency based questions and write down some examples prior to the interview from your placement year, part-time role or during University (e.g. teamwork). Think about certain tasks and pieces of work during your degree that have been really interesting to you, or even if they would be applicable to the role you are interviewing for.

Of course this article is just a snippet! If you would like any help at all, or advice – please do not hesitate to contact me on 028 96 207 050 or email


Looking to hire top talent?
Get in touch today.
Great Place to Work
NI Chamber Members
Cyber Essentials
Belfast Business Promise
Belfast Chamber
Disability Confident
JAM Card
Climate Action Pledge
Retail NI
Tech Talent Charter