I started the Grad Guide Blog in August 2010 – A naive, lonely graduate.

Today, still somewhat naive, the Grad Guide Blog gives help and advice to fellow graduates as they begin their quest in the real world. Discussing career routes, offering travel tips and previewing fashion trends, the blog is every graduates’ guide.

The Grad Guide Blog Story

So, here we sit, with our degrees. Ahhh… Dissertation done.

Now comes the hard bit. Starting life in the big wide world.

In 2010 I attended a course for graduates; it was billed as “make the award winning CV” and “how to tap into the unadvertised job market”. Oooh, I thought. In my final year at university I’d followed various Twitter feeds and scanned the net on careers information, so this really appealed to me to find out more.

The course was normally charged at £750 for students. (Who have just graduated. And have next to no money. And massive debts). However, they were offering it for free. Let’s do it.

Being a budding marketing/advertising professional I slipped into research mode before the course began. I Googled the company to find out more. Strangely, I couldn’t find anything. When I got there I found out the people running the course had no careers background, their website was nothing at all relating to graduate careers and they had no social media presence. Right… Not quite the image I was hoping for from someone giving me advice. I already had some for them.

The course, let’s say was ‘not for me’.

‘Bob’ (made up name) told us to lie back and relax as he began a motivational speech. After describing the beach tables and yellow walls of the room we were sitting in, we had to go through imaginary careers doors. Fine… not really my thing, but I’ll go with it.

He told us this was to put us in the right mindset – “the right mindset would get us the job”. Fair enough, a good, positive mindset towards building your career is a great thing. But… as he was trying to imply, would this get you a job? If only it were that simple.

‘Bob’ failed to mention you also needed the degree, extra curricular activities, something to make you stand out and the ambition, drive and motivation to get the job you wanted. A ‘mindset’ alone won’t bring a job running to you.

He told us “the recession is a mindset” – this hit the final straw for me. I turned into the black sheep of the group and had to question him.

Me: I’m sure if you said to someone who’d lost their house or business due to the recession they would not agree with you.

Bob: The recession hasn’t affected me at all. How do I know it’s true? It’s a mindset. Has it affected you?

Me: I can’t say it has. But, if you read the newspapers and watch the news you can see it is affecting others.

Bob: Didn’t you do a media degree? You know how the media exaggerates everything.

Need I say anything?

I also have to share this one (when writing a covering letter):

“If you don’t know the employers name, write… Mr Smith. It’s a common name.”

WHAT???! How about you register on Linked In? Research the company? Track the company on Twitter? Look at their website? Make some calls and FIND OUT! I was absolutely outraged he was telling a group of naïve graduates this is what to do.

So, fellow graduates – this is why I’m writing this blog. I’d always wanted to start a blog, and this gave me perfect inspiration to do so. My blog aims to give you the tips and hints on helping you get on the career ladder. ‘Bob’ was in his fifties and had been to uni 30+ years ago. Graduate guide is for graduates, by graduates. People who have experienced and understand what others are going through.