How Long Does It Take to Get a Job After Graduating?

Finding employment after university can seem like a daunting prospect but there are many things that can be done to make the process easier

This is an age-old question that often plays on the mind of many students when they are coming towards the end of university. The short answer is – it completely depends on the individual and their situation. It’s difficult to put a blanket timescale, as there are so many factors that can affect one’s circumstances.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how long it can take to find a job and provide you with some tips for speeding up the process. 

How long will it take to find employment after you graduate?


Whilst some people seem to be able to walk straight into jobs after graduation, it often takes up to a year or even longer for others to find employment. It will likely depend on what type of job you are looking for and which industry you are wanting to build a career in. 

If you are solely looking for graduate scheme jobs, this can also be difficult as there are limited spaces, and it can be highly competitive when trying to land one. 

If you’re finding yourself worrying about how long it’s going to take to find a job, we’ve got some tips that can help speed up the process and put you in the best possible position. 

Top tips for speeding up the process

Get some work experience

A graduate with some work experience is usually always going to stand out ahead of a graduate that doesn’t have any. Some people are usually lucky enough to have had work experience during placement years, but not everyone has been able to do this.

To gain some work experience, you can try applying for internships or look for volunteer work in the industry you want to enter. If you’ve already gained the knowledge and academic requirements for the job from your university studies, then it’s important for you to pick up some work experience in whichever way possible so you can showcase that knowledge in a practical environment. 

Create an awesome CV

A lot of graduates fall into the trap of creating a CV that focuses too much on academic achievements but is scarce in terms of skills or experience. 

Whilst of course it’s important to highlight your degree and academic achievements, emphasising your skills, as well as your working and practical achievements, is essential. This will help demonstrate to employers how you could potentially add value to their company. Even if your previous experience isn’t directly related to the job, any transferable skills are worth mentioning and can help to land you more interviews. 

If you’ve been actively applying for jobs but haven’t been getting any luck in terms of landing interviews, updating, and editing your CV to stand out as much as possible is the next thing you should do. It’s always worth getting in touch with your university’s careers support team if you need any help with your CV or your job hunt in general. 

Prepare yourself for interviews

Being as prepared as possible for interviews will give you a much better chance of landing the role. Whilst it’s almost impossible to completely predict how an interview will go, you should do as much research as possible on what kind of questions you may be asked. 

It’s also wise for you to research interview skills and techniques, which aren’t usually taught at school or university. One common method for answering interview questions is to use the STAR model, which is a technique that encourages you to discuss a specific situation, task, action, and result in your answer. 

It’s important for you not to be put down if the interview doesn’t go as planned. Every interview is an experience no matter the result, so it is usually always worth doing an interview even if you’re not entirely sure about the job. 

Get career advice from a professional

Getting advice from a professional is likely to help you greatly in your search for employment after graduation. It can also help you to focus on applying for jobs that suit you, as many graduates who have no experience in the job market end up applying for as many jobs as possible. 

A careers advisor can help you to articulate your skills and experience in a way that is more likely to resonate with employers, and they can give you tips on how to reach out to more companies. If you’re not sure where to look, it’s worth first looking to your university, before looking at the public careers guidance resources in the city you live in.

Be proactive

Whilst it can be draining, it’s true that the more proactive you are with your job search, the more likely you are to be successful. It’s important to put as much time as possible into your job search, and to use your time efficiently whilst you are doing so. Some tips for being proactive during your search include the following:

  • Sending out multiple applications
  • Tailoring your CV 
  • Practising mock interviews
  • Writing cover letters
  • Networking with others 
  • Speculatively email companies
  • Take online courses to enhance your skills 

We know the search for employment post-graduation can often feel like it takes an eternity, but it’s important to keep a calm mindset and to just keep going. Hopefully, some of the tips in this blog can provide you with some help regarding how you can approach your job hunt more efficiently. 

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