When you’re looking for a job, maybe your first since leaving education, it can be a daunting prospect. Here are six things you need to think about before you even start sending off your CV to potential employers, so that you can begin to prepare for whatever opportunities come your way:
1. Set your goals
It’s good to think about what you want from your future career – both in the short and long term. Ask yourself:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What am I good at?
- Where do my skills and knowledge lie?
- What characteristics of a job are important to me?
2. Clean up your CV
Every word on your CV needs to work hard:
Spring clean your education section. If you're a graduate, your degree eclipses your school qualifications, which can be relegated to one line in most cases.
Amend your CV for each application where that would help. Examine the job description and bring out your most relevant experience.
Be short and to the point. Employers receive a lot of applications, so lots of detail isn’t necessary and won’t make you stand out from all the other applications.
3. The Google Test
What would an employer find if they ran a Google search on you? Have you set the right privacy settings to ensure your private and professional lives don’t mix?
4. Take a class or volunteer
Boost your employability by taking a class or volunteering. Both demonstrate a strong work ethic and that you’re keen to take the initiative. They’ll also add to your CV, providing talking points at your interview and potential networking opportunities too.
5. Follow brands and recruiters on social media
If you already use sites such as Facebook and Twitter, check out the pages of potential employers and follow them. You’ll not only receive news and job openings, but you will also learn more about their company culture. You’ll get a great idea of what the current job market is like and whether you would actually fit in with the culture of the company you’re applying to. So make sure you follow our Facebook page too!
6. Make connections
People are more likely to do business with individuals they know or people that are recommended. Let friends, family, old school or university classmates and professional contacts know that you’re looking for a job, and don’t be afraid to ask for their help in finding connections. Your profile on LinkedIn will help you build your contacts, but don’t forget that careers fairs, alumni events and conferences are great networking opportunities too.