Monday, 16 February 2015

Life of the unemployed - top tips on getting a job

It's a popular topic today, life of the unemployed and the hardships that they face. Especially young people. After reading an interesting article on the BBC website, it reminded me of the time when I was unemployed. After leaving university, I had nothing to fall back on. 
University prepares you for many things, but it doesn't prepare you for the rejection and disappointment of the knock-backs that you will inevitably receive. I had no money coming in, my contract with my part-time job at Wallis (Arcadia Retail Store) was over as I had to move back home. I was at a stage in my life where I felt well and truly lost.

I have always worked. From the age of 16 I have had a job. It's very hard when you are use to a particular lifestyle that you have worked hard to create for yourself, to then start worrying whether you have enough money to pay your bills. Having a job was important to me, not only for career ambitions but the dreams and plans that I had. I couldn't realistically expect my parents to fund me and they weren't in any position to support me (although if I was desperate enough I'm sure they would have done anything to help). But why should they? I was 23 years old. 

I started my job hunt quite early when I was in my third year at university. I wanted to be prepared for life after education and honestly it was the most stressful few months when I graduated and didn't have a job. I know I cannot compare my struggle to those that struggle everyday. But I do understand the hardship and stress even though I was fortunate enough to have a loving family to motivate me. 

If I could advise young people on anything it would be to keep searching. It is easy to say 'never give up' but honestly, something will come along. I had interview after interview, and eventually a company offered me an opportunity that changed my life. Which I will always be grateful for. 

I thought it would be a good idea to share with you my top tips on job hunting..


Now, if you're not sure what sector of the industry you want to work in, writing a few different CV's to cater to different jobs is the best idea. Make sure you put across your ambition and what makes you the best candidate for the job.

There are many recruitment websites that you can sign up to. Many of them have some excellent advice on how to structure your CV and covering letter. You can also create a profile and upload your qualifications which enables companies to view your details. 

You do have to be careful what you post on social media. Recruiters and companies will search your profile on Facebook to get a better inclination on what type of person you are. LinkedIn is the best social media channel to network with potential employers. It is a space to share your experience, your qualifications and also what your ambitions are. 

It is very unlikely that you will get a high paying job after graduation (Sorry to burst your bubble). Be realistic with your salary expectations. We all wish we were being paid huge amounts for the work we do, but that just isn't the case unfortunately. Have a look into what the salary expectations are for graduate schemes and work your way up from there. Experience is what you're being paid for. The more experience you have the more value you have.

Rejection from interviews is a natural thing. Many of us have been rejected for a job opportunity and although this may feel horrible at the time, use it to your advantage. Ask for feedback, where you could improve. Many employers will happily provide this for you and you can use this constructive criticism to make yourself better for the next opportunity that comes along. 

Good luck with your job hunt, I know that it can be a struggle but you only need one yes to kick-start your career. 

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