Ok, so you’ve read through the articles and know how to wow an employer at interview and how to write a CV that Lord Alan Sugar would be proud of. Getting a job should be easy now, right?
Wrong! Unfortunately, in this current climate things are tough and there’s a lot more that you can be doing to get the right job for you! Statistics show that over 80 people go for each job. That makes your odds for getting the jobs you apply for pretty tough. But don’t despair! Follow the Big Academy’s top tips to stand a better chance of standing out from the competition!
Top Tip 1 - Persevere. It might seem that you are spending the majority of your days filling in application forms and tailoring your CV to yet another job, but applying for jobs is like a full time job in itself – you are working for yourself, marketing YOU! Try to get a routine going: get up at the same time each day and ‘work’ on applying for jobs. After all, there’s only so much daytime TV you can watch before insanity kicks in! If you persevere and spend a good amount of time each day applying for things, it should pay off in the end.
Top Tip 2 - Ask for feedback. With all the application forms you’re filling out, if there’s something you’re doing wrong that’s stopping you from getting to the interview stage, then you need to know about it! If you don’t hear back from a company by the date of the interviews, then take the bull by the horns and give them a ring. Ask them if there was a reason why you weren’t chosen for interview – the chances are it will just be the amount of applicants going for the job, but if there is a major mistake that you’re making, get it sorted!
Top Tip 3 - Be flexible. If you have been applying for jobs for a long time and haven’t managed to get anywhere yet, it might be time to rethink your strategy. You might be applying for the ‘perfect job’ in your eyes, but you could have to accept the fact that you’ll have to be flexible around what you are willing to do. It would be great to go straight into the job you want, but if it’s proving too difficult you could look for other things in the same area and be prepared to work your way up. Employment looks better on your CV than long periods of no work!
Top Tip 4 – Talk to people! It’s not what you know, it’s who you know – you might have heard this phrase banded about so make a list of all your friends and family and give them a call to see if they know of anything available. Get networking and talk to people– do what you can to see what’s out there!
Top Tip 5 – Don’t be put off by fancy titles. Lots of jobs have fancy job titles that you might skim over thinking you can’t do the job. Employers like to come up with these names to make the jobs sound interesting, but most of the time they just confuse people! Who would have guessed that a ‘data storage specialist’ is someone who does the filing, or an ‘ambient replenishment controller’ is actually a shelf stacker!? The chances are that if you take the time to read through the person specification and job description properly, you will be able to do the job and have a lot of the skills that they are looking for so don’t let the name put you off!
Top Tip 6 - Write to companies you want to work at. Trawling through the job ads can be disheartening when you see the same jobs time and again. Instead, put a letter together to send out to companies you would like to work at. Tell them all about yourself and why you are writing to them. If they have any vacancies, they may invite you to go in for interview, or at least keep your details on file, but don’t be discouraged if they haven’t. At least you know you are doing what you can to put yourself out there!
Top Tip 7 – Post your CV on job websites. The most up to date resource you will have for finding jobs is the internet. As well as the Big Academy website, job sites usually have a place for you to upload your CV, so employers can look through them and contact people who can do the jobs they have on offer. Do this on as many sites as possible – it really works!
Top Tip 8 - Quality not quantity. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the more job applications you do, the better your chances of getting a job - especially if you are rushing them or just sending out the same CV! You need to take your time with each one and make sure you mention how you fit the person specification and how you have the skills to do the job. It’s better to complete ONE brilliant application rather than a HUNDRED that don’t tell the employer what they want to know!
Top Tip 9 - Volunteer or do work experience. Don’t be afraid to ask employers for volunteer work or work experience. This is an ideal way to develop your skills and learn new things about business and it looks better on your CV than long periods of doing nothing! Ok, so it might not be ideal as you won’t be earning, but impress them enough and you never know where it may lead. Also, it’s a good way of getting references to go on your CV!
Top Tip 10 - Don't give yourself bad press! In this age of social networking, information about you is easily accessible. More and more employers are starting to look at candidates on social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, so if you don’t want your future employer to know all about what you got up to at the weekend, check your security settings and tidy up your profile! Employers say that they are most put off potential employees by provocative photos, references to drinking and drugs and bad-mouthing work and colleagues!