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Your transition from student life to working life may be challenging at times, but we can help you crack the code and get a foot in the door with the labour market.

As a new graduate, it's good to be open and cast a wide net based on the skills you have. Many jobs will seem different than you had expected before beginning to work at them. The first step is to get you foot in the door and gain practical experience at a workplace. It's always easier to find your next job once you've had a first job.

Here, we offer you a guide for your way into the labour market.

1. Who are you?

First and foremost, think about your core skills and the direction your interests can take you in. Specifically, there are some things you need to find out about yourself: Who are you? What do you want? And what are you capable of? This is about processing your experiences to find out what kinds of preferences you have regarding future jobs.

Not sure what skills you have?

2. Where do you want to go?

Don't think exclusively about what you want to do for a job, but also about your working environment, corporate culture, colleagues, industries, organisations, and job functions. Decide what conditions are important to you. That could be anything from pay to working hours, conditions for parents, and the location of your workplace.

In the public sector, working hours, pay, and other terms of your employment are agreed upon through collective labour agreements between employers and employees. In the private sector, jobs covered by labour agreements tend to be the exception to the rule, so everything is up for negotiation there. You can get help and learn more about negotiations, labour agreements, and conditions at different workplaces from DM.

Read more: Your pay — what are you worth?

3. The perfect match?

Based on your reflections, move on to the research phase, where you will discover the kinds of opportunities that are aligned with your preferences. You can't expect to have all of your wishes and preferences met. This phase is as much about excluding options as it is about choosing them. Give your future workplace as nuanced a look as possible. That way, you can maximise the opportunities you keep open.

What types of positions match your expectations and skills — whether you're qualified for them or not? This can lead you toward other positions within the same area or industry. That means that you've focused in on what you want when you're facing a specific job offering, and you can evaluate whether or not that job is one you'd like to apply for.

Read more about how to gain industry knowledge and organisational understanding

4. Here's where you can start

Now, you've reached the point where the actual job search begins. It will be based on your reflections and your research. At this point, you should have a good idea of the kind of jobs you want to look for. This is also the phase where you'll contact the businesses you'd like to work with and apply to — whether that's through job postings, unsolicited cover letters, or phone calls.

Read more job search advice

5. You have the internet and your network

Most people only apply to jobs they find posted online. But your network can be an alternative to the internet: Private individuals, people from your studies, places you've held student jobs or internships. Relationships and recommendations from your network will often lead you to the right path.

Read more about using your network

Get advice from MA and DM

Job hunting is a lengthy process, and you might need some feedback, sound advice, or guidance along the way. Come to career events at your institution, or contact MA or DM for more knowledge and guidance about the path to your first job.

Become a member

Become a member of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs and the Masters' Unemployment Insurance Fund to get advice and help with your student job, and when you're a new graduate looking for your way into the labour market.