We’ve been at that stage of our Degree’s where we realise that it’s time to take our careers that bit more seriously – all that studying wasn’t for nothing. So those sleepless nights submitting applications for jobs and graduate schemes commenced. We imagine you’re probably worrying about how you’re going to make two cents rub together this summer; who else is going to fund all the stuff you and your friends have planned?
Whether you’re looking for a small summer job, or simply ready to kick-start your career, this blog will offer you some advice that helped us to get by. It’s easy to have a flick through the Internet but why bother when we’ve summarised the important things you need.
PART 1: Job Hunting
No matter how much studying is done, not everyone knows what type of industries they want to go into. So before you even get searching you should take some time to think about exactly what you want to do. You don’t want to get into the rut of applying for jobs you know you have zero interest in (it won’t make you happy in the long term if you do).
So, now we’ve got that out the way you should start to research your chosen industry, here are 3 key things to consider:
- Are there any aspects of this industry that go against your beliefs/morals?
- Which companies are dominating this industry?
- Does this industry expect people to have attained certain skills or qualifications?
How’s your Curriculum Vitae looking?
You’re probably sick to death of being told to keep your CV up to date – as were we – but seriously it’s important. You should really tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for because the job won’t be changing to fit your CV.
Okay so here are the 3 things that may help:
- Distinguish clearly which qualifications you already have and which ones are pending.
- Are there any hobbies or skills you have that will boost your brownie points?
- WHAT EXACTLY IS IT ABOUT YOU THAT MAES YOU A CUT ABOVE THE REST?
Make sure you tailor each to the job as best as you can. It may help to create a main CV that fits in with your chosen industry and then amending it accordingly for each application.
Relevant website: https://jobs.theguardian.com/careers/cv-advice/
CLICK HERE for a CV template we made especially for you!
If you want advice on writing a cover letter then send us your details
Organise that time!
I’m sure your parents or grandparents will tell you that they just walked into an establishment, asked for a job and then just so happened to get it. Yes we’ve heard it one too many times too, and sometimes it makes us green with envy. It takes between roughly 30 and 60 minutes to complete a job application these days, and if you’re applying for multiple jobs we’re certain it will get tedious…pretty fast too.
So anyway, here are 3 little things that will help you organise your job application time:
- Before starting the application, make a note of the deadline
- Create a schedule of some sort to split your time up, especially if you intend on applying for multiple jobs
- Make time for you and don’t overdo it. Try limiting yourself to a certain amount of applications a day
CLICK HERE because we’ve saved you time and sorted out a planner for you to schedule your days
*****SEARCH FOR JOBS*****
Get to know the company. Get to know the role.
So by now you’re pretty clued up about the type of industry you want to work in, you’ve updated your CV, you’ve decided when/how you’ll apply for jobs, and you’ve searched for some roles that tickle your fancy. Now all that’s left to do is apply, right? No, not just yet. You’ve prepared so well this far, why stop now?
Follow these few steps (sorry there’s more than 3) to familiarise yourself with the roles and the companies you found on your searches:
- Identify the company’s mission statements
- Learn about the company’s origins (do not overkill – you won’t be tested on it)
- Make sure you genuinely understand the job role/description
- Contact anyone listed on the job description and ask them what you’d be expected to do if you were successful for the role
- Surf the Internet. Have a look at the company’s social media pages and network as best as you can – Remember to ALWAYS remain professional.
REMEMBER: Google’s your best friend in this instance. You don’t need us to give you a link for that….
PART 2: Job Interviews
By now we’re assuming that you’re fully sighted on how to apply for a job. If you’ve successfully gotten to the interview stage, here are 10 ideas that may assist you further:
- Research the job AGAIN
You’re one step closer, and it may be worth reminding yourself about who you actually have an interview with.
- Dress the part
They often say that people shouldn’t be judged you on what you’re wearing but we’re certain your appearance will speak to the room before you do.
- Accept help!
Most institutions have places you can go to seek employability advice. We promise you won’t lose any credibility if you go, so take advantage of the services and pop in or contact them.
- Prepare and practice responses
If you have a competency-based interview, it is likely that the questions may be similar to jobs that share the same criteria. You should take a look on the Internet at interview questions and mentally prepare responses. It is not a guarantee you will be asked these exact questions but they may not be far off. You could also review any material the company may have sent you (if they did) and prepare using it.
- Never say ‘no’
There will be questions you may not be able to answer but you should never simply say ‘no’. If there is something you find difficult to answer, you could identify what qualities are desired and speak about a time you’ve had to use these said qualities. You could then go on to speak about what you WOULD do in the given situation.
- Consider the scoring system
We’re aware that some companies adhere to a scoring system when interviewing candidates. If possible, you should familiarise yourself with this scoring system, and then consider how you’ll aim for the highest scores.
This is probably the most important element of preparing for a job interview. If you go into your interview nervous, it will show. So start as you mean to go on! Make sure in the hours before your interview you do what you can to relax.
- Schedule your day
It is not unheard of to have a busy day and still have to attend job interviews. It is therefore important that you plan your day in advance so that you’re punctual.
You may want to go and get that planner we made for you. CLICK HERE
******GO FOR THE INTERVIEW!******
- Remain neutral
Let’s imagine you’ve followed all 8 steps above and you’ve just walked out of the interview. If there’s anything that you forgot to do or ask, now is not the time to worry. The moment has passed and hopefully you’ve done the best that you possibly could. Between now and when you find out whether you get the job or not, maintain a neutral attitude.
- Ask for feedback
It doesn’t matter if the response is “Unfortunately you were unsuccessful…” or “Congratulations…”, you should always ask for feedback. You’re probably wondering why. If you were unsuccessful, you could use the feedback to prepare for a future interview. On the other hand (which we hope is the case because we’re rooting for you), you’ll be able to find out what qualities you conveyed through out your interview.
Well that’s that then. We hope that you’ve taken tips from this week’s #TopicThursdays that will benefit you. Get in touch with us and let us know how you get on. Oh, and Good Luck!!