Now that the festive season is well and truly over, it’s a good time to settle down to finding that all-important first job.
A recent 2015 survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that more graduates are now in work than previously. For the survey, 82,000 people who graduated in 2011 were interviewed and it was discovered that almost 88% of them are now in work. This is encouraging news for graduates, as it shows that there are plenty of jobs out there. However, it can still seem daunting and difficult to find that first job.
So where should you begin to find that first job?
Be active. Make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to search the internet on a regular basis. There are many job-search sites out there for both freelancers and those seeking more permanent posts. You will also find many posts being advertised via social media. If there is a particular company that you’re interested in working for, check their company website frequently so that you can be ready to get in touch as soon as a suitable post is advertised. It’s important to remember that there are also sites where you can register as someone who is looking for work. Then employers can get in touch with you. So be sure to surf the web and discover what opportunities are out there.
Be conversant. Though the internet is easy to access and can offer a wide variety of options for seeking work, it’s also important to scan newspapers, magazines, shop noticeboards and posters. This is particularly relevant if you wish to work locally. There’s no harm in dropping off your CV and introducing yourself in person to shopkeepers and local company managers. Also, ask your friends and family about any useful contacts they may have. It’s surprising how far your network of friends will reach!
Be helpful. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain valuable skills and experience. It also enhances your CV. Employers are always pleased to see that graduates have kept themselves busy and made themselves useful while job-searching. Volunteering can develop your self-confidence and your interpersonal skills. If you’re lucky, it may even lead to a job opportunity further down the line.
Be humble. Don’t forget that you can always seek professional and expert help if you are struggling to find a suitable position. For example, the National Careers Service is very useful and offers a friendly and helpful service. They can offer advice on skills, courses and job-seeking. There are also many recruitment agencies that may be able to put you in touch with local employers. Recruitment agencies may deal with temporary or permanent work opportunities, and some will specialise in certain sectors.
Be consistent. Finally, if you are applying for a certain post, make sure your CV matches it. A CV shouldn’t be a static document that always remains the same; it should be adapted for each job. The same applies to your covering letter. Try to select the skills that you think the employer will be looking for and then give real-life examples of when you have demonstrated those skills. Always portray yourself in a positive light and show that you are a rounded person with many life experiences and abilities.
Be positive. Finally, try to remain positive. It may take some time to find a job so keep yourself busy and active. Meet up with friends and network as much as you can. Most of all, believe in yourself and go for it!