If you’ve been applying for jobs left, right and centre, but not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to change your strategy. With 2015 lurking around the corner, why not make a fresh start with your job search strategy, and make 2015 the year you shine!
Be clear on where you want to go
If you haven’t been getting anywhere with your previous applications, take a loo at the roles you are applying for. Do they suit your skill set? Do you meet the criteria in the job description? If not, you could be wasting your time applying for the wrong jobs.
Take the time to really think about the role you want, and that is realistic and achievable. There are some great careers planners available (TargetJobs and Prospects are two we recommend), which can really help you understand the jobs that you would be suited to.
Once you have identified a suitable area, undertake lots of research into companies and the industry to get insider knowledge that will really help your application stand out.
Target your applications
This is something we tell students time and again – tailoring your CV and cover letter for each application is one of the most important things you need to be doing when job searching. It shows that you have taken your time to research the job and the company, and will give you the opportunity to demonstrate to the employer how you will fit into the job role.
If you have to decide between applying for lots of jobs with a standard (non-tailored) CV, or applying for a few jobs with a customised CV, always choose the latter. Quality over quantity wins every time!
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Interviews need to be prepared for just as much as your application – if not more so! Get ready for all of those invites coming in by looking at the different types of interviews you might be faced with (for example, group interviews, assessment centres, etc.) and learn how to prepare for them. You can also research common interview questions for your sector and prepare your answers, using examples to really show how you have used your skills in real-life situations.
Getting a good collection of examples together at this stage means that you will be able to walk into the interview knowing that you will be able to give some strong answers to questions that are likely to come up.
If you struggle with nerves, arrange a couple of mock interview with the careers service before your interview, to gain some experience and some feedback on your technique. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a mock interview.
Don’t be afraid to follow-up
So you’ve applied and been for interview, but haven’t had a response – frustrating, right? Following up applications and interviews with a phone call or email shows that you are a keen applicant and that you are still interested in the role.
It may be difficult to ask, but if you have been unsuccessful it’s always a good idea to ask for some feedback on what you did well, and what you could have done better. This way you will be better prepared for your next interview.
Remember that the careers team is here to help you from the day you arrive at University, all the way through your studies, and for up to three years after you graduate too. We can offer application and CV feedback, as well as mock interviews and general careers guidance. Email email@example.com to get in touch.