Your CV is More Than Just Your Academic Record
Its most likely that one of the most common phrases you will hear as a graduate is that academic achievements alone cannot guarantee you a high-flying career. In fact, nothing can guarantee this type of success and it cannot be stressed enough that you need to fill out your CV with extra-curricular activities and work experience in order to demonstrate a number of valuable skills that prospective employers require.
The surprising fact is that a large percentage of students and graduates are ill-advised prior to both university and graduation and much more emphasis should be placed on aspects other than grades and qualifications. For example, have you ever had the experience of resolving an organisational issue or handled finances well? These small but meaningful skills which could be acquired in a part-time position or partaking in a society or a day spent volunteering, can all rack up and make you stand out from the crowd.
A Specialised Search is a More Successful One
We’ve all hit that point where we are fed up and frustrated with the ‘dream job’ search, often with rejection e-mails finding their way to us, or maybe no response at all. Time and again, the pent-up frustration leads to one thing; you, the job hunter, sending out a generic CV and cover letter to just about every vacancy that pops up.
It is 100% better to specialise your search as well as unique-ifying your CV and cover letter for the specific post you’re applying for. Highlight the skills and experiences that suit that specific position as well as a cover letter depicting your passion for the industry and so-forth; you’ll thank yourself for it later.
Be Smart in Your Job Search
The days when job vacancies could only be found in the jobs section of the newspaper are a thing of the past. New opportunities present themselves everywhere these days, including general and specific job websites, social media as LinkedIn and word of mouth by your fellow alumni.
When searching for that dream position, mix it up a little by utilising these avenues, while searching for different titles but with similar duties. Don’t be put off by an assistant’s job; it’s much better to work your way up from an assistant position, than have no position at all.
Networking & Social Media are a Job-Hunter’s Best Friend
The internet is everywhere, be it on a laptop or on a smart phone; it’s there. So why not use it? More often than not, we are hearing stories of successful individuals who have gained positions in a company by being a proactive job-hunter and employing the wonders of social media and networking.
The saying, ‘it’s not what you know, but WHO you know’ really comes into play here and particularly with networking – a skill used by professionals all over. It builds up contacts and a database of professionals – the least they can give you is valuable advice. Social Media is a great way of advertising yourself in a different light; an online CV if you will. Make your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts an extension of your CV, but steer clear of using Facebook in this way – that drunken photo from last weekend will NOT impress prospective employers.
Manage You Job Hunt in a Professional Manner
Attack your job search as you would an academic project; use spread sheets and keep notes of all the applications you’ve filled in, and the relevant responses. Organisation is key to a serious job search, as well as tracking your progress and planning each step.
Making your job search a 9-5 job itself can be good for some, but not necessarily for you. Take the time to relax and push the job hunt to the back of your mind for a while by seeing friends or going out for drinks. As with all things – too much is never a good thing.
Beat the Unemployment Blues
One of the biggest job hunting downfalls is allowing the stress and insecurities to affect it. The stress of the constant search, rewriting of your CV and sometimes financial worries are often coupled with rejection letters and a lack of response that breaks you out into insecurities, ultimately leading to a tired, stressed and hopeless job hunter.
The key thing is to remember this. Your job is out there somewhere but you can’t find it if you’re burying your head in the sand. De-stress, get in the right mind-set and plough on; you’ll get there eventually!
Source original text: GradMag34, page 64-65
- The Job Search (blog.grads.co.uk)
- Career Uncertainties, contact the careers department (blog.grads.co.uk)
- 25 Job Hunting Tips for Introverts (onlinecollege.org)
- How Successful Social Media and Job Hunting Are Alike (compellingmomentum.wordpress.com)
- Office of Career services of GSEB, VU University Amsterdam (studyinamsterdam.wordpress.com)
- Working in the Netherlands (studyinamsterdam.wordpress.com)