There is so much conflicting information available regarding job hunting and graduates, but it provides little help to actually doing the daunting task and landing that first job. There are mountains of tips and tricks to help you with creating the perfect CV, mistakes not to make in interviews, the best way to dress for an interview, behaviours to embrace when in the job and the list grows each day. Let’s look at how we can clear things up and get you on track for finding your perfect opportunity.
Your CV should be clearly presented with few complications, such as text boxes, chunky paragraphs and borders. Think minimalism and clean lines- leave enough space to allow a recruiter to find things clearly and do not let it exceed three pages in length.
Make sure you list your experience with your most current/ recent role at the top, this allows recruiters and hiring managers to understand where you are now, how you got there and where you’re looking to go. It also prevents any confusion of whether or not you are inexperienced for the role.
Look at your CV and read it carefully, then look at the job description for the role you’re applying for and then list your related experience in relevance to the job. If you have some work experience, such as internships or a sandwich year in your degree, that saw you involved in any special projects, or use specific systems that would be beneficial to the role, put these on your CV. Keep yourself relevant at all instances as to how you are equipped to handle the job and how you are a personality fit for the company and its culture.
Listing your academic record is important, especially in the early stages of building your career. Keep things clear and concise on your CV, noting down the name of institutions, location (the city that the university or college is located), the name of the qualification, grade achieved and list your examined subjects and results. This is a great opportunity for you to highlight your academic strengths and boast about those brilliant results achieved, showing your commitment to your chosen field of study and work.
You have a brilliant CV, highlighting how strong a candidate you are, you have applied for jobs and you are starting to book interviews. Prepare yourself for these interviews with these tips.
Think about the type of company you want to work for, the type of working environment that will allow you to grow and nurture your skills, helping you get from your starting point, to your end goal.
Research the company, or if you’re applying through a job board and don’t know the company, research the industry. Having some knowledge of the sector you’re applying to work within helps you to create a strong covering letter to assist with your application by allowing you to understand key points from your work and academic history that favour the industry or company.
Some interviews require tests such as Excel proficiency, presentations or data analysis. Keep yourself sharp and take some free online tests in preparation, to keep you in the rhythm of doing them and to not be too put off when faced with time restricted tests in interviews.
Keep up with current affairs- this sounds like an obvious thing to do, but you never know what is happening in the macro-environment that has a direct effect on a company or industry. If there’s anything beneficial such as changes to legislation, or competitor activity, it could come in handy to draw upon that in the interview.
It may seem difficult to remain optimistic when in an intense interview, so prepare honest answers to every question you would not want to answer. Interviews are designed to assess your ability to draw upon your positives with a level of humility and turn your negatives into positives.
Pick out and keep your outfit at the ready the day before the interview, make sure you come across clean and presentable. If the company you’re interviewing with operates in quite an informal environment- great! But, that does not mean you show up to the interview in your jeans, remember that it is better to be dressed up for these occasions, than dressed down.
The key to giving a good interview and knowing that you give strong interviews is all in the preparation. The first one is always the hardest, but try to keep calm and use it as a learning opportunity. If you don’t get the job, that’s not a problem, come out of the interview, reflect on it and think about what you would do differently in preparation for the next one and when you go into the next one.
You can find even more job search tips to get you interview ready here.Comments Off on Job search tips: Facing job hunting head-on