Gone are the day’s where you could graduate from University and settle into a $50,000 a year job. The job market has been in a down turn for a while and you’re competing against at least 500 other applicants for a job. Whether you’re about to graduate or you’ve recently donned the cap and gown, here’s some tips to get in with a chance at your desired job.
Get As Much Experience And Be Willing To Work For Free
Universities often put students in placement programs, but often they aren’t in line with what you really want to do. If this is the case, then get yourself out there and start contacting businesses that you’d like to work with and see if they have any extra work, internships or volunteer programs available that you can do while you study. The work you do might only be one day a week, a one off or unpaid, but doing this kind of work shows your dedication and desire to learn. It will also build your portfolio and could lead to other opportunities.
Build Your Networking Group
Building an online and offline presence in your desired industry is key to building and maintaining relationships. Your online presence will be the first thing that potential employers will check out before deciding to take your application to the next step. This includes making sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and your Facebook settings are private (yes they check them). If building contacts is what you want, then get yourself out there by attending conferences, networking drinks or volunteering at an event. As daunting as it can be to follow up someone’s details, just keep it light and never be afraid to ask for help. More often than not the people that you’ve met have started right where you are and are keen to share their knowledge. Remember, the worst you can get is a no, so if you don’t get a reply, it’s not the end of the world.
Upgrade Your Resume
Rather than writing a generic CV that could apply to any job, target the career you want and tailer your resume and application to it. Try to leave out the jobs that are no longer relevant or are outdated. This means giving the flick to your first Woolies job, unless you’re going to a consumer related role of course. When writing your new CV, provide tangible evidence of your attributes through specific example either during work experience or at university.
Place Is More Important Than Position
Securing a job is your field may not be the one you originally desired. It might be below your skill level or might only be part time. But if that job is in the right environment and is known for growth, you can easily make connections and be ready when the right opening comes along. Don’t feel deflated that you didn’t get exactly what you were after, try to think of it as a learning opportunity where you can soak up as much knowledge as possible. It will also show your boss that you are willing to pay your dues to get a foot in the door. If so, you may get a chance to move up once you have proven yourself.
The most important thing is to not get discouraged if you are turned down for a position. But before you give up, remember that while it may not have been the right fit, there’s a world of possibilities waiting around the corner.