Job seeking is difficult. It requires a lot of your time and energy. Making an application for a new job can feel like a long and convoluted process. But in today’s job market, companies have to be so careful who they hire. There are many layers of legalities involved in the hiring and the firing process. This means that employers need to proceed with caution. The result is that average job seekers might feel like they have to jump through hoops to successfully find employment.
As a student or graduate who is new to the job market, you’re likely to find yourself faced with the conundrum of not having any work experience and not being able to get any. This is because few companies will employ you if you don’t have any work experience. There’s only really one way out of this problem: you need to have accomplished enough to pepper your CV with worthwhile activities, certifications, or anything you can think of that would boost your chances of winning employment.
So, if you’re new to the job market here are a bunch activities and experiences you can include on your CV to increase your chances of finding secure employment.
Start your own blog
Having your own blog will give you a strong online presence and can act as a portfolio or a space where you can present your body of work. If you make sure to create content and curate shared content that underpins your value system and personality, your blog can do wonders for the impression you leave with potential employers. You should think of your blog as an extension of your CV and your digital footprint. Also, by maintaining a blog you’re forced to remain current and ahead of the times in your areas of interest.
Blogging can also be another way to network. Being professionally active on social media channels and sharing content you could end up with a dedicated readership. Having followers is extremely impressive to a potential employer who might want to harness your online allure.
Do some volunteer work
Volunteer work can do wonders for your CV. It shows initiative and a willing attitude. If you choose to do volunteer work with a reputable well-known organisation then all the better. What’s more, you’ll be entering the job market with some real-world perspective gained from working in difficult environments.
Many young professionals choose to sign up with organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières for work experience, travel, and a volunteering opportunity. This looks exceptional on a CV and will definitely impress an employer.
Accept a dead-end job
So accepting a position that is a dead-end job, not within your field of interest or that pays terribly sounds like a silly idea. But while this feels counterintuitive it could put you in good stead to eventually land the job you’re after. Employers like candidates who are currently employed because this indicates an understanding of work ethic, a lack of laziness and a willingness to work regardless of what it is you have to do. So perhaps you need to continue in your part-time waiter position or the like, for a while longer. Or perhaps you need to apply and accept a call centre job for now. At least you are working and you’re making money and any type of work you do is bound to give invaluable experience and might come into good use later on.
Once you have a stellar-looking CV that showcases just how great an employee you’d make, don’t let yourself down by writing a subpar cover letter. Most employers expect a cover letter or at the very least a well-written and professional sounding email with your CV attached. Make sure you check your spelling, you know exactly who you’re addressing and make use of any references the employer has listed in their job listing. Anything less than this will leave a sour taste in the mouth of the person who receives your application and you’ll have to work 10 times harder to get their attention.
Furthermore, make sure your online presence, particularly on social media, doesn’t let you down. You might have a great personal blog, a smart looking LinkedIn profile, and a CV listing awesome achievements, but if your Facebook page shows less than savoury images of you then you’ll be out of the running. Photos of you in questionable or savoury environments or of you in an inebriated state will undo all the professionalism you’re trying to portray.