Monday, 26 September 2011

Using All Your Resources

Work experience for graduate jobs isn’t always easy to find, but that also depends on how well you look for it. Are you using all the resources around you or just expecting a periodical browse on the internet to produce the right leads? To increase your chances you must think more entrepreneurial. Who do you know that is successful? How are they doing it? Do any chains of connecting friends or colleagues lead to the right people? Perhaps a friend is taking holiday from their work – offer to fill in. Maybe you hear in industry news that a company has just expanded or taken on a new client – send them congratulations and offer yourself as a work placement to help with the expansion. Perhaps joining your university Alumni or LinkedIn will connect you with the right people. It’s time to brainstorm - sometimes job searching is not always obvious.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Don’t Spam Graduate Employers

Do you read Spam? Probably occasionally by accident and you can be almost 100% certain it will go in the trash as you’re not interested in something so irrelevant to you. It’s a busy desk working as an employer, getting applications sent left right and centre – how can you be sure your applications are not being treated like Spam in this hectic environment? Well if you are firing 20 applications a day all saying the same thing in your Cover Letter and CV then psychologically isn’t that likely to get treated the same way? Customisation, detail, relevance and personalisation – these are the most important characteristics of a good application. Experienced Recruitment Consultants or HR staff can spot a generic application from a mile away and if you give the impression that you don’t have time for them, they won’t have time for you.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Work Experience Ammunition

One key interview survival skill is the ability to call on detailed examples of experience at any given moment.  You can’t put a price on good preparation but it can be made even easier if your experience is already well documented in your head – how? By documenting it well at the time.  If you are currently in, or have recently finished, a work placement or position of responsibility then make sure you create a journal of your day to day activities like what you learnt, your progress, your mistakes and what you would have done differently if you had the chance again. You will soon find that practical examples to use in interview questions can be created out of many scenarios you may have faced at work. Writing things down will imprint them in your memory and having them to call on will make “umm’s” and “err’s” in an answer a thing of the past!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cover Letters That Deliver

Cover letters are an increasingly important way of painting a well-tuned picture of yourself and why you are perfect for a role. Think of it as a movie trailer to your profile; you need the key points to stand out and be memorable, it needs to read in a clear, concise order and leave them wanting more. Looking at the two ends of the spectrum, never write a whole page detailing your life in text-heavy paragraphs and never write two sentences just saying that you think you are good for the job and your CV is attached - that’s not a covering letter!  You need to be looking at 200-300 words that get straight to the requirements listed in the job description. Be friendly, but no casual language or excess exclamation marks. Always use professional openings that address a name if one is present and signatures that include your contact details.