This is going to be a long one! So I suggest you grab yourself a cuppa (and maybe some biscuits) and get comfy!
As it’s that time of year when you’re finishing school/college/university, I thought I would share my experience of how I started looking for jobs. It’s been over a year since I finished university and that I joined the working world. How has the time gone that quickly!? If you haven’t gone to university then don’t worry as my jobs haven’t required me to have a degree!
I understand if you haven’t finished yet and that you’re probably a bit preoccupied with exams and revision. However, that doesn’t mean you can put job hunting off. I started looking for jobs as soon as I handed my dissertation in and I still had university assignments to finish, exams to revise for and a part time job. When having revision break, instead of going on social media or watching TV, looking for jobs is a productive use of your time. That obviously doesn’t mean you can’t relax in the mean time but what I’m trying to hint as use your time productively!
- – Make sure that your CV is up to date and add any relevant experience. I used to edit mine all the time when I was at uni despite only ever having worked for Costa.
- – If you are going for a specific job, you need to make sure that your CV is tailored towards the job. So mention any relevant experience and show that you have a keen interest. If you are genuinely interested, it will show through.
- – Create yourself a LinkedIn account. I thought at first that it was like a professional Facebook. It’s not, it’s to to do with networking. Keep this up to date and you can also apply for jobs through it. One of my friends found her job through it! Just remember not to post things on there that you would post on Facebook as you don’t want potential employers to see your drunken night out photos now! Which adds on to my next point…
- – SOCIAL MEDIA: It’s a wonderful thing but please remember when applying for jobs to be careful what you say on the internet as it may come back to haunt you! I honestly have no experience of where I have been declined a job for something I’ve said as I’m always very cautious; BUT I used to work in HR and before inviting someone to an interview we used to have a browse at their social media accounts to get a feel of what they were like. So what I’m basically trying to say is that if you post something that you don’t want your employer to see make sure your accounts are all private or at least delete things you regret saying or doing from however many years ago!
- – If you’re not looking for a new job, I always like to browse frequently at the kind of jobs I’m interested in and what experience you need. So if an opportunity comes up in the future, you might be the right candidate and you can show them your CV.
- – Make sure that you are actively looking for jobs. Applying for one or two here and there won’t necessarily get you a job. Having said that, with my current job I applied on a whim doubting I’d have the experience and they offered me the job. However, when I was applying to start jobs after university, I probably was applying for in between 5-10 job at least per day.
- – Check how easily accessible these jobs are for you. You may have to drive places or commute/move far away for the job and there would be nothing worse if you were offered the position but couldn’t actually get there!
- – If you feel overwhelmed looking at graduate jobs, don’t worry! When I looked at them, despite having a good enough degree grade, sadly for most graduate schemes, I don’t have enough UCAS points. Quite often you can apply for jobs that don’t ask for graduates but will employ you if they like you and quite often like having graduates work for them as they believe that you will bring in fresh new ideas.
- – Don’t be disheartened when being turned down or not hearing anything after an interview. I know it’s easy to say that as believe me the amount of interviews I attended and had. However, instead of being disappointed, I decided to look at it as good practice for interviews and that I had learnt something new every time I attended one to take to the next.
Interview Top Tips
- – It’s okay to be nervous. I’m always anxious when attending interviews, exams, getting results back, work deadlines, etc, etc. However, the key trick here is to tell yourself it’s going to be okay and you’ve got this! Take some deep breaths and drink water. You will be fine!
- – Be prepared! Employers will look for this in a person as they will want someone organised especially if applying for admin jobs. When I went for my interviews, I prepared a folder with pieces of university coursework I had done really well in that had demonstrated various pieces of software programmes I could use, along with my dissertation. It actually shows what you can do and that you’re not telling them you can do things that you really can’t!
- – Take several copies of your CV with you. An employer may or may not have a copy of your CV (depending upon whether you submitted an application form or CV) so if you take a few copies with you, they can have one and you can have one for your reference. That way, you can glance at it if they ask you about any experience which you may forget about in the interview.
Keep positive and you will find something!
What tips would you give for looking for jobs? How did you find your job?