The main question to ask yourself before you start the job search is ‘What do I want?’ Once you can answer that question then start shaping your CV around your desires.
1. Treat the job search as a job-
Searching for a job is no easy task. Whether it is your first job, a graduate job or even an internship, the competition is high. The good Ol’ days of dropping your CV in to your company of choice and receiving a phone call the following day, are over.
Where to start:
-Press advertisements in your local or national newspaper
-Personal Contacts – Having contacts is one of the best ways to secure a job these days. It can be family contacts or even contacts you have built up throughout college. Remember college isn’t just three years of going on nights out and drinking at ridiculously times of the day.
– Visit the Employer – This can be seen as a little cheeky but also very gutsy and somewhat a sign of confidence. Ask to speak to the HR sector, you might be brought straight through or told to email them later. Either way, prove your eagerness. Don’t forget there is a mere line between eagerness and desperation. Physically hand the HR team your CV. You might just stick in their mind when a position comes up.
– Jobs and Careers Fairs – Personally I am not of fan of these as i’m always thinking, ‘Whats the catch?’ But for many it can be the opportunity to see what jobs are going out in the big bad world. What qualifications companies are looking for, what countries, what languages, etc.,
– Recruitment Agencies – Many people, depending on the size of your town have a recruitment agency. Visiting one can be extremely helpful if you are feeling a little lost and need some guiding advice.
– Send out CVs – This shouldn’t be your only method of looking for a job! The majority of CVs end up in the bin. Unless you are directly handing your CV into the HR department many employees will probably just throw it in the bin. All that money you spent typing it up, the ink, the paper, the envelope. Make sure you address it to who is in charge.
2. Be Aware of Your Digital Footprint-
I once heard a careers professional talk about LinkedIn. In his own words, “It’s not bloody Facebook! People aren’t there to party.” He was right. Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a somewhat professional looking photograph, not you pouting holding a bottle of wine. Definitely save those pictures for Facebook.
Many people still have their first email address they created when they were 13 years old. Something embarrassing such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Create a new professional account with your actual name.
3. The CV-
The purpose of you CV is to get an interview not a job. You CV, metaphorically speaking is the bait you need to attract a big fish.
Don’t send out the same cover letter and CV. You want to specifically address each cover letter to a specific company, most of the time this is the HR team. It is so obvious to tell a mass cover letter from a well-tailored cover letter.
If you are thinking of applying for a job abroad remember to investigate before you apply because different countries have different CV structures for example, the level of details or producing a photograph of yourself.
Don’t put unrelated information on your CV. No one cares if you were head girl or head boy in primary school. The information you do put down on your CV, make sure you can back it up.
Interests – You might love to spend three or four hours daily playing video games but don’t write that on your CV. Think intellectually!
No grammar mistakes. ” If I see CVs with mistakes, I just put them into the bin. If that person worked for me they would be sending emails out to clients with mistakes.”
4. Prepare Yourself For The Interview-
Do some background research on the company before you go for an interview. You want to show your interest for a company and demonstrate you went that extra mile to show you determination. Make sure you have questions to ask.
Know the job you are applying for – Bring you CV with you.
Dress professionally and appropriately. No mini skirts ladies and no trackies and a hoodie lads. You want to show respect for the company.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations. You aren’t going to get the job and become the company CEO the following month!
Prepare you communication skills – Ask a friend or family member to test you on a few questions about yourself. Questions about your degree, what subjects you were good at, what you have to offer, your skills, your interests, etc., The concern isn’t what you did in the past, it’s about what you can do in the future.
Remember to show eye contact with the interviewer.
If your mind goes blank calmly say, “Can I think about that for a second?” That means there is no awkward silence. No ‘Emms’ and ‘Umms.” You want to come across as being articulate and confident.
Be clear about what you have to offer. Most importantly let your personality shine through even though you might be nervous. The employer is hiring a person not a degree. Your degree doesn’t define you as a person. Many graduates go into alternative industries totally unrelated to their degree.
A handshake can to a deciding factor for many employers. Have a solid handshake but don’t take the arm of them. A simple, “Thank you, I really enjoyed it. I look forward to hearing from you.” Manners, confidence, professionalism and positivity are the four most important factors.
Send an email a day or two later thanking the interviewer and reinforce your keen interest in the job.
Best of luck with the job search. Were any of these tips helpful? Let me know below in the comments.
Funny interview stories-
1. The interviewee asked the interviewer for a hug.
2. The interviewee recorded the interview.
3. The interviewee checked their Facebook mid interview. I guess Facebook really is that addictive!
4. The interviewee kept one earphone in his ear throughout the interview.
5. The interviewee asked the receptionist for her number.
6. The interviewee wore sunglasses throughout the interview.
7. The interviewee came with a plastic bag full of cans of beer because he was going out afterwards. It burst on the way out.