Career Advice for Gen Z Entering the Workforce (15 Tips)


Career Advice for Gen Z Entering the Workforce (15 Tips)

by Artöm Obenko

  • Career
  • · July 05 2024
  • · 10 min read
Gen Z graduates throwing graduation hats ready to enter the workforce

Table of contents

Moving directly into the professional world from university can be daunting. For Gen Z starting work, and going from school to a 9-5 job is a drastic change. Instead of classes and parties, it's now about work and responsibility. However, taking the first steps can be intimidating at first. To help you with this process, we have compiled together this step-by-step guide with 15 useful tips for entering the workforce after academic life.

Did you know that Gen Z is set to surpass baby boomers in the workforce by 2024? According to a study by Glassdoor, those born from 1997 to 2012 hold around 17.1 million full-time positions, leading to fewer boomers and more zoomers.

Keep on reading for more advice for entering the workforce as an undergraduate in the UK.

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15 tips on how to get a job immediately after graduation

1. Define your career goals

You're not alone in facing this challenge. Most university graduates feel pressured to secure a job immediately after graduation. However, rushing your career path could also mislead you in the wrong direction.

  • Start by reflecting on what you enjoy doing, what matters to you, such as high-paying jobs, and where you see yourself in the future.

  • Focus on activities or courses you enjoyed the most during your studies and figure out how to transform them into a career.

  • Explore CVMaker's job finder or platforms like Indeed or Glassdoor to search for different career paths within your field of interest.

  • Research job roles, industries, and organisations to gain insights into potential career opportunities and growth trajectories.

  • Identify your key interests, values, strengths, and weaknesses to help you set long-term goals for the future.

Check out our list of jobs that didn't exist 20 years ago for more career inspiration!

2. Start searching early

Starting your job search while still studying can give you an advantage over other graduates. By doing so, you can better understand the job market and identify the best opportunities based on your skill set and background. The better you are prepared, the less stress you will experience when job searching. For Gen Z or millennials entering the workforce, it's becoming a normal practice to work as digital nomads. There are even endless hybrid and remote working opportunities.

  • Start job hunting a couple of months before graduation.

  • Consider working for a start-up or smaller company.

  • Move back home for the duration of job hunting

  • Estimate your current needs and living situation.

  • Search and track applications in one place to help you be organised and consistent.

3. Gain experience through short-term roles

Gaining additional experience through internships, apprenticeships, or traineeships can significantly improve your prospects of securing a job. They provide you with hands-on experience and the opportunity to develop yourself. Don't be afraid to apply for jobs outside your expertise for the time being. Examples of part-time roles include the following:

Prioritise financial stability and happiness while keeping an eye on long-term career goals. Doing a part-time job provides greater flexibility, time for self-development, and the opportunity to form connections with others. Read our tips on how to write a CV for a part-time job.

  • Internships are designed for learning and often align with your field of study, whereas traineeships focus on specific job functions and include mentorship.

  • While some internships are unpaid, traineeships typically offer compensation, albeit at a lower rate compared to full-time positions.

  • Both internships and traineeships offer valuable opportunities to hone your skills and gain real-world experience, which employers greatly seek in young graduates.

  • Performing well in these roles can pave the way to full-time job offers within the company, using your internship or traineeship as an entry point to securing employment.

  • To excel in your job search, prioritise the most in-demand skills that employers value, as detailed in our article for top skills to include in your CV.

4. Tailor your application

To increase your chances of getting noticed customise your application to each job you apply for. It shows you've put time and effort into your CV and cover letter, especially if you address the keywords and information mentioned on the company's website or job description.

  • Make a list of keywords appearing in the job description and incorporate them into your CV and cover letter to ensure it is ATS-friendly.

  • Personalise your cover letter and explain why are you excited about the role and company.

  • Include measurable achievements to demonstrate your success store from the previous roles you've held.

To learn more, refer to our related blog article on how to write a master CV. Refer to our article on the top skills employers look for to help tailor your application.

5. Create a strong CV

Many graduates have great profiles but don't know how to show off their skills appropriately. Knowing how to write a good CV is essential for demonstrating your skills and experience effectively, setting yourself apart from other candidates.

Writing a CV for a first job can be daunting, but we've got some basic tips to help get you started:

  • Focus on your most recent experience and outline it in chronological or skills-based format.

  • Customise your CV for each job you apply for.

  • Use strong action verbs on a CV to quantify your impact where possible.

  • Mention your personal profile to summarise your background and state your career goals.

  • Remove grammar and spelling mistakes to make a strong impression on your hiring manager.

Remember, it takes only a few seconds for a recruiter to assess your application so be sure to keep it concise and to the point. A well-crafted CV could be a deciding factor in whether or not you will receive a job interview invite.

We know it might seem scary, but we have extensive CV example articles on what to do and how to start.

Already have a CV? Follow these tips on how to improve your CV as a graduate.

6. Harness the power of networking

Although you may not realise it, opportunities are sometimes right around the corner. Follow our tips below to help you set yourself apart from other candidates.

  • Communicate with your professional and personal connections, both in person and on social media to let them know you're looking for a job - they can give you a fresh perspective and provide a valuable advice.

  • Reach out to your alumni network to explore potential job openings at companies they work for or own, as they are more likely to hire someone with a similar background than a stranger, making them a great asset to your application.

7. Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a platform that connects people around the world, like social media but for professionals. It is a great platform to explore jobs, build your profile and gain connections.

  • Add all your co-workers from side jobs, internships and students from your university.

  • Send them a connection and tell them more about yourself.

  • Send a cold email with your CV and letter of interest to your target company.

  • Search for people in similar positions you aspire to work in.

  • Look into companies you want to work for and research the company culture.

  • Ask senior connections to be mentors if they know of an open position that can help you jump-start your career.

Once you've created your profile and built a network, you're all set and ready to bring your job search to new heights! Read our guide on how to maximise your LinkedIn profile for best results.

8. Find a mentor

Finding a mentor can be a life-changing experience. Some professionals with years of experience would be happy to train you and share knowledge. Seeking and maintaining a relationship with a more established person than you is an important strategic advantage and vital for career progression. Remember, a career choice is your hands - you don't necessarily need a confirmation from your parents or teacher to become what you want to be.

  • Seek and maintain relationship with a more established professional who can you assis in the career journey and recommend useful resources.

  • Make yourself more aware of employees who have been at the company for longer or have an interesting career path.

  • Try talking to colleagues outside your circle with more experience - they might be able to assist you with your career.

9. Send in an open application

A little-known secret to the workforce is that some jobs don't even exist on job boards. Consider applying with an open application to a company. Some companies may not realise what they are missing until they see it in front of them. Other times, companies have open positions within a company without having publicised them yet. You never know the reason, so why not be early and send in your CV and cover letter? Read more about how to send your CV via email for the best tips and tricks.

10. Apply to recent job openings

This may seem obvious, but it's a step often forgotten. As we mentioned, it's good to be early to an application. This means they might see your CV and decide you're the right candidate for the job. Filter job vacancies with the last posted within 24 hours and apply each day to a few of the interesting vacancies. This technique is applicable not only for your first job but for any job application later in life.

11. Prepare for interviews

If you have little to no experience with interviews, now is the time to start preparing! By understanding the company's expectations you can confidently portray yourself as a strong and motivated candidate. Remember, practice is the key!

  • Practice common interview questions and scenarios to help you refine your responses and communicate your strengths and qualifications more effectively.

  • Look into the company's website to identify its mission and vision statement to demostrate your interest.

  • Ask your friends or colleagues to conduct a mock interview to get feedback and improve your performance.

  • Review your CV and cover letter before the meeting to make sure you can elaborate on each sentence or experience you've mentioned.

  • We recommend to comply with the dress code and avoid any casual clothing or sport clothes, as this can present you as unprofessional candidate.

Research the company and consider what are the good questions to ask in an interview to showcase your capabilities and enthusiasm for the role.

12. Consider taking a gap year

Many people just straight into the workforce without exploring themselves or the world. Go backpacking on a different continent, get a travel-work visa for Australia, take a skydiving course in Indonesia or work part-time in Berlin for the dance scene.

There is so much to discover, so take advantage of your youth. You won't run out of time to enter the workforce! See our tips for more guidance below:

  • You have plenty of time to find your desired job and join the workforce.

  • Explore yourself and the world around you through travel, a travel-work visa, or a part-time job in another country.

  • A gap year can improve your personal growth and give you time for self-development.

  • Use your youth to discover new places, cultures, and activities you enjoy.

If you are worried about how this might look on your CV, we've got you covered. Learn how to explain unemployment gaps on your CV to effectively showcase your unique experiences.

13. Be patient

Patience is key when applying for jobs. The process can be tiring and waiting for a response can drain your energy. However, there are strategies to overcome these obstacles.

  • Stay organised and keep track of timings and times when you get overwhelmed.

  • Take breaks and recharge your mental energy.

  • Keep trying your best and do not let a lack of clarity discourage you from moving forward!

Remember, everyone faces several rejections before finding a great opportunity.

14. Track your job applications

To effectively organise and track your job applications, maintain a planner to record interview dates, locations, and deadlines, ensuring punctuality and thorough preparation. Additionally, utilise a spreadsheet to manage applications, noting company names, positions, locations, and hiring manager contact information. Here are some tips:

  • Use a spreadsheet to create columns for company name, position, location, hiring manager contact details, application date, hiring manager response, and interview date.

  • Regularly update the spreadsheet with new job applications and responses received to stay organised and informed.

  • Include a section for notes to jot down any important details or observations about each application or interview.

  • Prioritise follow-up tasks by scheduling reminders in your planner for sending thank-you notes or making follow-up calls after interviews.

  • Review your spreadsheet regularly to track the progress of your applications and identify areas for improvement in your job search strategy.

For more expert tips, refer to our blog article on how best to track your job applications.

15. Upskill yourself

There are crucial skills and knowledge beyond your degree you need to acquire to stay competitive.

  • Explore and obtain accredited certifications from Coursera, Udemy, FutureLearn, Open University, or university summer classes to showcase your skills further.

  • Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences.

  • Read industry reports and articles regularly to keep updated on the latest trends.

  • Continue learning both in and outside of work settings to stay competent and in line with the industry changes.

  • Acquire additional skills and knowledge through guidance from experienced professionals, reports, or presentations.

In today's competitive market, consider adding courses and certifications to your CV. This would make you shine brighter as a candidate and allow you to create a skills-based CV.

Key takeaways

Starting your career is exciting, but knowing what to expect is essential. You've worked hard to build the expertise and skills needed to launch your career. Now, it's time to get out there and explore potential opportunities. We're here to support you in your first steps and guide you on what to do after graduating. Remember, career growth doesn't come out of thin air, it requires action! Take the initiative in your hands and elevate your career!



  • State your career goals

  • Begin your search before graduation

  • Expand your network

  • Stay ahead of competition

  • Show initiative in your work and studies



  • Neglect personal development including soft skills

  • Focus solely on your current field

  • Apply for 50 jobs with the same CV

  • Overlook your connections

  • Take job rejections too personally

Next steps?

If you're looking to create a CV from scratch or iron out inconsistencies, consult our CV Writing Service. Use our intuitive CV builder and Cover Letter builder to help you finalise your application and secure your job interview. Lastly, check our collection of professional CV example guides and CV templates for more inspiration and valuable advice for any career!

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What do students need to know about entering the workforce?

UK students should focus on gaining both technical skills and soft skills like communication and teamwork. Internships or part-time work can greatly help. Also, keep an eye on growing industries and try to connect with people already working in those fields.

Refer to our article on making an ATS-friendly CV and master CV to help you get noticed in the job market.

What jobs will there be in the future?

In the UK, we expect to see more jobs in areas like technology, healthcare, renewable energy, and sustainability. Think about roles such as data analysts, cybersecurity experts, sustainability technicians, healthcare professionals, AI prompt engineers, and machine learning engineers.

For more inspiration, refer to our similar article on the best jobs that didn't exist before the millennium.

What are the 10 best jobs for recent graduates?

  1. Virtual Assistant

  2. Retail

  3. Data Entry

  4. Hospitality

  5. Care Assistant

  6. Catering Assistant

  7. Barista

  8. Tutor

  9. Developer

  10. Nanny.

For more information, refer to our related blog article on seasonal work and best student jobs.

How do you handle rejection when looking for a job after graduation?

Encountering challenging situations is inevitable. Just like at university, you might face inequality, a heavy workload or a lack of guidance from superiors. In these moments, managing your emotions effectively is crucial. Embrace challenges as opportunities as opportunities for growth and innovation.

Remember, every experience, even the toughest ones, offers valuable lessons. Celebrate small achievements, and view setbacks as stepping stones toward future success. Rejection is not the end - stay persistent, keep learning, and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

How AI has changed the job market for Gen Z?

According to Forbes, 76% of Gen Z claim that they are concerned about losing their jobs to AI. AI changes are expected to disrupt the processes performed in every industry, making the job market more competitive. It is altering the skills demands, replacing old jobs with new ones that didn't exist before. Although it brings plenty of benefits and improves decision-making, it also poses threats like privacy concerns and uncertainty.

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Updated July 05 2024


Written by

Artöm is your go-to Content Specialist committed to assisting job seekers globally. Through his engaging blog articles and in-depth guides, he's on a mission to make your career journey a breeze. Artöm is passionate about SEO, design, and all aspects of marketing, delivering expert advice that resonates with diverse audiences. Beyond work, you can find him practicising Kung Fu, travelling, reading a book, or enjoying the company of his beloved black cat. Try it now

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