You’ve graduated, taken on board all the tips and advice on how to get your foot on the employment ladder, not just any employment ladder but the ladder to your ideal job. It’s been a few months now, application upon application and not a peep. What is going on?
Firstly have you checked out our website; www.careers4graduates.com? Still nothing seems right?
Ok, then maybe it is time to take a step back and see where the problem lies and how to fix it.
Being a graduate the chances of your CV containing an abundance of experience is going to be slim. Focus on the skills gained throughout your course, the projects you worked on, what challenges you overcame whether it was the project itself or working with difficult people. Just because you left university does not mean you won’t face similar challenges in the workplace.
You’ve already done this?
Are you tailoring your CV to the job you are applying for? Does you CV contain the relevant keywords in order for your CV to get noticed? As much as we dislike the idea, CV’s are still filtered with the use of specific keywords, don’t let your CV slip through the net because of a minor error.
Don’t forget to check the layout of your CV, is it easy to read? Too many font’s and over artistic CV’s can be pretty to look at from afar, up close it’s not so easy on the eyes. A recruiter has hundreds of CV’s to go through and wants to get through the information quickly; simple formats are understated and better. You’re worked hard over you’re CV and you’re protective over it, it doesn’t hurt to have someone else to give your CV a once over to pick up things such as spelling mistakes that you and spell check have missed.
Want to showcase your work, then have your CV contain a link to an online portfolio; don’t attach examples of your work with your CV.
Still not getting anywhere?
Did your application contain a cover letter?
You are likely to hear mixed opinions on this. Some recruiters will read them others won’t, either way if the option to send one is there it can’t hurt to send a well written cover letter along with your application.
You’ve worked on your CV, made a few tweaks here and there, but another week later and you’re still unemployed.
It’s time to re-evaluate your job searching approach.
Think of job searching like shopping, impulse buying is always a bad idea. You see a shirt you like knowing it is 2 sizes too small yet for some reason in the shop you think you look fabulous in it. Then get home and realise it makes you look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. The same can be said for job hunting, just because it looks fabulous doesn’t mean it is right for you. Do you have the skills, experience, is the job in a location that you could easily get to. All these factors and many more are important things to think about. Remember, in most cases you are a graduate with theoretical experience but not much physical experience. Aiming high is good but aiming way, way over the horizon early on in your career with nothing to back it up with is going to guarantee your CV won’t even get a look in.
Be sensible and selective with the jobs you choose to apply for. You’re search for the right job with the right company is just as important as a company looking for the right candidate.
This is a time where everything is shortened and recruiter’s don’t have the time to go through ‘fluffed’ up CV’s to find the hidden gems. So put all the overused verbs and adjectives aside and let the gem that you are shine through your CV.
Next time we’ll look at if you are effectively making use of social media.
This article can also be found at www.careers4graduates.