And with 40%
of graduates still looking for work six months after leaving university, and a
quarter still unemployed after a year, it’s crucial that you are making the
most of your job search. So here are some top tips which will help you clinch
that first step on the career ladder.
Get your CV and
covering letter into shape
Given that employers usually spend around 5-7 seconds
looking at CV’s, you need to make sure yours is looking as good as it can so that
it captures their attention instantly.
It’s important not to include too much detail, it all has to
be relevant and readable to the Hiring Manager. Bullet points can be a great
way of getting the information across to employers, who have to read through
hundreds of applications and who may not have the best attention span.
Now if you’re a fresh graduate, it might seem like you don’t
have relevant experience to offer, but this may not be the case. Employers will consider you if you can
demonstrate you have the right attitude to succeed. You need to give positive examples of your
personal attributes. Don’t just say “I am determined”, you need to give an
example of when your determination has had a positive outcome. It is worth
researching each companies values and emulating them on your CV with personal
Finally, you need to tailor your cover letter for each
vacancy. This might sound like a lot of work, but you need to ensure your cover
letter ticks the right boxes, so look at the job description and write your
covering letter so that it reflects as much as possible what the employer wants
in terms of experience and personal attributes.
Make your own
You need to be looking everywhere! Scour the net for relevant
jobsites, there are 1100 job boards in the UK so don’t think if you are
registered with one you will hear about every vacancy. Register and set up email alerts with three
or four big name job boards, and additional graduate and industry specific
sites. Increasingly businesses are recruiting using social media so ensure are
actively looking on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Many jobs never get advertised and are found by jobseekers
engaging directly with businesses. To find these positions use your own
networks of friends and family to find people who could potentially help. Also,
identify specific companies you would like to work with, find out who would be
the hiring manager from LinkedIn, and contact them directly with emails, and
follow up with phone calls. You can also
attend networking events in your area, where you can start introducing yourself
to prospective employers. It may seem daunting but it will give you the chance
to show employers that you’re dedicated, passionate and serious about getting
into the industry.
Clean up your
If your social media profile isn’t set to private, then
potential employers have every right to view your account. Your past few years
of studying may have involved some partying and subsequent embarrassing
pictures, it might be a good idea to make sure these images are not visible to
You will also need to ensure your LinkedIn account
corresponds with your CV as they may check your account for discrepancies.
Your job search should be your full time job! Get into a routine of searching job boards, emailing
businesses, searching social media, networking and completing
applications. A routine will help you
keep up the hard work, it’s easy to leave the job search for a week or so, but
who knows what opportunities could have been and gone in that time?
Getting rejected over and over again is tough. At times it
can feel like the job search is pointless, especially if you’re not even
getting replies. But the key is to not give up. It could be months before you
get an interview, but if you give up and become resigned to the fact that no
one will employ you, it will come across in your applications – you’ll start
spending less time on your applications. As soon as you stop trying potential
employers will sense it, and they want someone who is passionate so don’t let
that desire fade!
You can keep refining your CV, even if you’re not employed.
Use your spare time efficiently by brushing up your knowledge on the latest
industry trends. For example if you’re trying to get into Marketing brush up on
SEO, or you could even get to grips with coding. There are many free online
resources which will help you broaden your knowledge.
You may not have the experience, but you can demonstrate
that you have the right attitude by using your time wisely. Volunteering, attending work placements and
taking online courses are great ways to show you have a great work ethic, are
taking your career seriously and want to learn and develop. Employers will value these experiences and
give them confidence that you will have the right attitude to succeed if given
For more CV and interview tips visit our Job Seeker Zone and keep an eye
on our social media channels.
Published by: Sion Jones,
Publish date: 15th July 2015