Having recently graduated, my mind has shifted towards finding a full-time job. There are a number of skills you can learn which will make the search for jobs easier, and these also apply to part-time jobs for students who’d like some extra cash, and searching for industrial placements for students on sandwich-year courses. In this blog post I’ll talk about how I have gone about searching for work and preparing in such a way that maximises your chances of securing a job.
Perhaps the most obvious piece of advice in this day and age is to present yourself in a manner that allows employers to come to you. LinkedIn in a great service that essentially acts an on online CV. You can enter in all your qualifications and experience as well as you’re preferred industry and availability, allowing employers to read about you.
The earlier you set up an account the better, as you’ll be able to add connections throughout your journey at university. Don’t forget to add a profile photo and fill out the different sections to make your page more appealing. I have been lucky enough to secure an internship this way, so I would definitely recommend it to others looking for opportunities.
It’s true what they say, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s far smarter to take a more diversified approach to minimise risk, and to always have a back-up plan. That being said, you don’t want all your baskets to be so empty that they’re not worth carrying. Before this metaphor gets any more ridiculous and convoluted, I'll explain this more seriously.
Some people might go down the route of applying to as many positions as possible to maximise the chances of a response, however this technique can lack sufficient focus. Rather, I’d recommend taking the time to significantly improve the quality of your application for a smaller number of key positions you’re interested in. If you don’t want a particular role, don’t waste resources by investing time into it, channel them into what you’re interested in instead. For example, optimise your CV for each position you apply for, showing only relevant experience and skills, rather than sending out identical information to all employers.
The key to giving a good performance when interviewed is preparation. The more questions you’re prepared to answer the more confident you will be going into it, and that confidence will show. Think about what questions you could ask if you were the interviewer from this employer. Think about the most difficult questions you don’t like answering, and memorise answers for them.
A couple of other tips: Always think of a couple of relevant questions to ask your employer as this shows interest and thought. In addition, take your time. If you’re are asked a question that you don’t know how to answer, it looks far better for you to take your time to think about how best to answer it, rather than rushing in and tripping over your thoughts. Slight pauses can show that you think things through carefully.
I hope these tips have helped you out somewhat; these are the techniques I used to secure my industrial placement during my business course, as well as an internship I am currently completing. Good luck to you all, whether you’re interested in a placement year, part-time job, or graduate career!
Talk soon people,