Picture the scene. It’s the end of university. Suddenly yawning beneath your feet is the great chasm of uncertainty that is life. A sense of nausea at the prospect of having to be a proper adult human being rushes over you. If you’ve been there you’ll know. It’s the inescapable feeling that you have no idea what you’re doing.
You should, of course, get a job. But what to get? It’s at this point that the realization dawns…you’ve never done anything remotely relevant to your chosen career. Kebabs and clubbing superseded internships and experience. However, all is not lost! Here’s our guide to helping you land your dream job without bundles of industry specific know-how.
What can you bring to the party?
Irrespective of how much time you have spent in a professional environment, everyone has a unique set of skills that makes you, you. Try to make a list of all your areas of strength and show how these can help your application for a particular place. In particular, try to think about ‘soft-skills’ such as communication, professionalism and friendliness and what you have done to prove such skills. Skills like these are attractive to an employer as many of them can’t really be taught and they can easily have been proven over the course of your studies. Remember; you’re only applying for entry-level positions, so no employer is going to expect the finished article just yet. Highlight your potential and the way you could grow to become an asset for the employer over time.
Why this job?
There must be a reason why you thought that this job would suit you. Write this out in your own language first and then go through and knock out benefits such as ‘good money’ and ‘near to home’ and stress the others to build a compelling case. So ‘good employer’ can become ‘a respected and trusted brand that I admire and would be proud to work for’ on your application. Pick out things from the company’s ‘about us’ and ‘news’ section and show how you fit into their ethos. This is something that can’t be taught or come from experience.
Ask for help
If you are worried about your job applications lacking strength, don’t be afraid to seek professional advice. Many companies will be able to offer you a personal tailored service that will allow you to find strengths that you never knew you had. Depending on the sector that you are interested in joining, some companies may also be able to find you a place as well as help with your application. Teachers, such as, or people looking for classroom assistant jobs, can use companies such as EduStaff to improve their chances of finding permanent positions. Graduates looking for internships, however, could seek the help of a company like Inspiring Interns. Whatever you are interested in, there will be someone available to help you, it’s up to you to name the right people and make a move.
Believe in yourself
Even if you don’t have years of work experience, you will still have picked up skills throughout your life that are invaluable in the work place. Try to think about what else you may have done that could prove your value to a potential employer – and make sure you don’t just focus on your studies either. Also, show you’re a proactive candidate by doing something productive with your time while searching for a job. Something such as setting up your own blog, such as.
In a highly competitive job market, it is important to stay as upbeat and positive as possible. Make sure that your job search is carefully targeted and focused towards positions where you can prove that you have the raw skills to succeed. Remember: employers will not be looking for the complete package just yet, merely someone who could become a key employee over time.