How does your bank account look? Funds running a bit low? Gainful employment always sounds like an attractive option, whether you’re a part-time student looking to supplement your income, or branching out into the workforce full-time – for the very first time.
Your first job will probably be nothing like what you’d actually like to end up doing. However, trying to land a role in a nurturing organisation, in the sector you’d where you’d like to develop your knowledge means there’ll be a lot of like-minded folk chasing that coveted position – so make your application count. It’s time to think about your options, and let’s take a look at some tips for how to get that first, all-important job.
Be creative. Make a board – actual or virtual – and pin all the areas you’d like to work in, add the jobs you would consider or really like to do. Then scout around and search the ads for what’s available. What matches your ideal job? Who pays the best? Who offers the best training? Where is the work located? What are the hours? Do they fit around your study time if you’re a part-time student? Consider ‘filler’ jobs too. Actually being employed, even if it’s not your dream job, can make it easier to get the position you’d rather have – and gives you a wealth of experience.
Make it professional – make it stand out. There are loads of free templates out there, a few clicks on your search engine and you’ll find the template you’re after.
Tell your story. Describe in detail your grades, your history, your hopes and aspirations. Give as much information as you possibly can. Your CV is the introduction to your experience and qualifications; a covering letter is about you, why you’d be idea for the role and what you can offer the company. Some applications only request a CV, in this case add two or three sentences about yourself to grab attention. Do remember that even if you’re not successful now, it might remain on file and be used again.
Think about the little details. Have a look at your email address for example. ‘HotGirl@freemail.venus’ might have been a hilarious idea a couple of years ago but it mightn’t necessarily attract the employers with the same degree of success as it did with the boys. Just a little thing, but, it’s the little things that sometimes count. Where possible get a name to send the CV too, and follow them on social media.
Be comfortable, but keep it on the formal side (just to show respect) after all you’re representing yourself, the company and they have to see you fitting in.
Find out the company dress code before you turn up, it is suits, casual but no jeans, is there a specific colour or material code? A brand new shirt might have you wriggling in your seat but that fleece onesie won’t cut the mustard. Something that’s ironed that says ‘I’m ready to work’ is the best choice.
But do remember this. There’s a world of difference between confident and cocky.
Arrogance will have you out of the door in record time. But well researched positions, and asking as well as answering the right questions will get you hired.
Calm your nerves, breathe deeply, and know your stuff (study the company and job role) before the day of the interview. Be interested, it might be the proud owner of the company who is interviewing you. They want you to at least know their story.
On this occasion, unfortunately…
We covered preparation. But also be prepared for rejection. Often, it’s because this job was simply not for you. Practice really does make perfect – so steel yourself for the reams of rejection letters that will all onto your doormat – but take heart that the right one will arrive – sometimes it just takes patience!
And finally – good luck!