You have been dropping off your CV’s at various places that you fancy working in, you have sent emails to any organisation that advertises any sort of vacancy, all in vain. Your job search feels futile.
If this is remotely familiar to you – or resembles what your recently graduated teen is going through – read on for more tips to land your next job. It may not be your dream job, but it could be a stepping-stone to bigger and better roles. Remember, Rome was not built in a day!
Avoid mindless CV drop offs
Many young people think dropping off a CV counts as a job search. Sorry to break the bubble! Mindlessly dropping off CV’s it is the worst form of a job search. Most organisations just stack them up and trash CV’s that are dropped off.
Instead you need to research thoroughly, network, and make an appointment to meet an appropriate person to hand in your CVs.
Approach your job search like a project
A project requires clear research, planning, setting a timeline and of course a progress check periodically. Research your target organisations; do not apply blindly. Take stock of your skill set and qualifications.
Write down what kind of jobs you might like to do that are possibly available. Make a plan and execute that plan. Maintain a spreadsheet which will help you track your progress. Items that could be tracked could be: advert details, name of organisation, contact person, date of application, job applied for, interview date and time, follow up date, and details.
Have a reasonable idea of what your skills are. Some may like to talk and interact with people while others may like to work with numbers. Some of you might have specific skills that are scarce.
Most youngsters today lack self-awareness which leads to aimless job hunts and miserable entrepreneurial experiences. If you are unable to evaluate your skills, speak to a mentor – not a peer but a successful professional with a proven track record. He or she may be able to work with you to help you arrive at your top areas and advise you.
Spend time networking with professionals who can help you refine your job search. Organisations like Toastmasters can help you do that. Networking is the most powerful tool to land jobs.
Most private sector organisations do not even advertise. They have employees provide references and your network contact could be that employee who recommends you and hands in your CV.
Who you hang out with and who you keep in touch with matters a lot, so don’t waste away precious networking opportunities. It is not bad or devious to network. Make the best use of the opportunities to grow your career.
A well-written CV devoid of errors will catch the attention of any recruiter. Most recruiters/employers are looking not for a CV (a long account of your achievements and a chronological document of your career history) but a resume, which is typically a one-page document that gives the reader an overview of your skills, your educational qualifications, and your previous professional experience if any.
Your resume should be customised to the job applied for. Covering letters or emails speak volumes about you. Do not email the prospective employer all in small case from your phone – most often that is a sure shot to fail. Do not use abbreviations like “sum” “dat’ and a whole load of modern day linguistic shortcuts! Write professional covering letters or emails. Switch from “student mode” to becoming a professional.
With a focused and sincere approach you will gain confidence and you might land that dream job sooner than you think!