Geographers, believe in your interdisciplinary skills: Tips for securing a graduate job
Applying for graduate jobs as a student can be emotionally demanding. As you are browsing for opportunities, you may become anxious about your suitability for certain positions or about your future prospects. Luckily, as a Geographer, you have plenty of interesting options to explore, because your Geography course will have equipped you with a range of social, technical, and critical skills. And remember, nothing good comes too easily!
Reflect upon your lifestyle and work aspirations
It is great if you already have a hunch for a specific field, but don’t underestimate aspects around the environment, place and working formats, as they are important in life too. With this in mind, you can go on websites and explore options that you really love and that fit your personal requirements, be they remote/in-person jobs or positions that include fieldwork or travel abroad.
Look for graduate jobs weekly
Maybe you have checked a website once and thought the range of options is super limited, but you never know what may come up on that website even a day later. Always keep a positive and open-minded outlook on your application process! Examples of useful websites are: Manchester Career Connect, LinkedIn, Google Jobs, Indeed, Glassdoor.
Make use of the University’s CV checker software
It is available here and it is free to use for UoM students. It allows you to correct your CV, or tailor it to a job description. Copy-paste the job description in the software, and you will get a score for your CV – the higher, the better! This means that you get more chances to get your CV read by the employers, because it becomes more relevant to what they are looking for.
Geographers, believe in your interdisciplinary skills!
You are interested in climate change, and you have studied different ways to combat it. You found a job on carbon accounting which requires critical thinking and graph interpretation skills (which you have!), but they want a BSc student, and you are a BA Geographer. You can still apply and confidently speak about what you have studied. And you can always reiterate how you have approached climate change from both human and physical perspectives, since it is such a complex problem that you have been trained to analyse from scientific and social viewpoints. If you give specific examples of assignments where you interpreted a graph on carbon emissions in relation to a topic you particularly enjoyed, you may stand out more than someone who ticks all the administrative boxes in a job description. Show your passion and drive, and back it up with your technical skills!
Embrace the unexpected
Learn to appreciate pathways you never thought you would choose. This doesn’t mean you need to train yourself to like every job opening. Rather, it means that if a job you see requires many of the skills you have, it may still be worth applying to get to know the employers or read more about the company. This is an opportunity to learn that no job is perfect, and as a Geographer, you have the power to assign your own meaning and passion to the projects you are working on. Employers will love your unique input and ideas, and even though the job is not what you have dreamed of, it is means to affirm or reassess your interests, and readjust yourself for future openings. Nothing is set in stone, things are always moving. The same applies to jobs and to your hobbies!
Written by Andrei, current BA Geography student at The University of Manchester.