Fed up of being another failed-grad statistic? Do you feel your career slipping away from you before it’s even started?
Well, I have news for you. A glittering career is still very much within your grasp. Don’t let a few early wobbles set you back. You are qualified, ambitious and very very employable. However, in order to make that all-important first break you may need to ask yourself “what is it that I am doing wrong?”
The fact is that if you are applying for jobs without success, something you are currently doing quite possibly needs to change in order to turn your fortunes around. Consider asking yourself the following questions:
Is my CV as good as it can be?
There is more to the craft of CV writing than simply listing your qualifications and jobs to date. Make sure your CV is making the sufficient impact, both in presentation and content, to alert recruiters of your potential. Are you taking time to tailor each application to the job? Are you sufficiently evidencing the skills that you claim to have?
Am I applying for the right type of jobs?
In a saturated market place you need to be playing to your strengths as much as possible. Be aware of your USP and how to use it to give you the competitive edge. Stay focussed and steer clear of ‘panic mode’ - applying for everything and anything rarely pays off. You are betting off spending time producing a fewer number of quality targeted applications.
Do I need to gain more experience?
Sometimes we have to be realistic and take a step back before we can move forwards. If the successful applicants are those with industry experience (which they often are) then you may have to consider temporary internships as a way in. Or use entry level jobs as a way of gaining the initial experience needed to boost your chances of graduate scheme success.
Should I be doing some more research?
It’s not just about what you can offer, it’s about understanding what it is that the employers need. If you are receiving knock-backs at application or interview stage it may be because you are not focussing you pitch on the correct skills and knowledge. Be aware of the competencies that each employers are looking for in the recruitment process. Prepare to answer questions to show you have a good understanding of the company, what they do that makes them unique, and who their main competitors are.
Am I networking in the right circles?
The old adage of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ still holds value in many instances. Networking is something that should start before your first graduate job. Think about your contacts from university. What are they doing now and can they help you? Make the most of social media platforms such as linkedin and twitter, and use them to start conversations with employers and professionals in your chosen industry. Be proactive.
Career set-backs are never easy to deal with but the reality is that few people have a straightforward path to job success. Try not to lose faith and motivation. Work positively to identify the problem, correct it and then reap the rewards. Good luck!