It’s that time of the year again, people are rushing feverishly trying to prepare for the festive season. However, it also means a new year is looming, and if you intend to look for a new job in 2015, now is the time to prepare for the rollercoaster ride ahead.
The start of a new year is an ideal time to look for a new job, you’re fresh with enthusiasm from making New Year’s resolutions and you’re ready to make changes to improve your life.
However, finding a job is a difficult task, especially for recent graduates with little or no experience and in a competitive job market.
It’s that catch 22 scenario that has infuriated graduates and job-seekers alike for years. You want a job in a particular industry, however, you have no experience, but how are you supposed to gain experience if nobody will give you a chance? You just need that one person to cut you a break, to see the qualities you possess and the value you can bring to an organisation despite having professional experience in that field.
As a recruiter, before we put you forward for a role, we assess your potential to add value to the employer as well as your track record, academic qualifications and work experience. Then there are the personality traits you need to display. A positive attitude, enthusiasm and knowledge of the role you want.
However, if you do not have required industry experience there are some steps that may help you open a few doors.
Regardless of how tough your job search is, it is absolutely important that you maintain a positive attitude during the job search process. If jobseekers aren’t mindful of the attitude they project, it can hurt their chances of finding their next job.
There will be times when you will get discouraged. It may seem impossible to revive that positive energy level as time goes on, however, you need to display a positive attitude, enthusiasm and knowledge of the role you want.
2. Job-Bridge Internships/Temporary Work
I had a mixed opinion on unpaid internships. While there has undoubtedly been some exploitation of schemes, I recognise that young graduates need to gain relevant workplace experience if they hope to find employment.
A lot of companies, especially SMEs, can’t afford to train new employees in, on the job. They require a person who will hit the ground running, so to speak. However, it’s these companies who can offer and gain the most through unpaid internships.
They are a chance to train in a potential employee, and equip them with the practical skills needed to complement their academic or work experience.
These are not just for students, they are now seen as the new entry-level job.
Find a placement that interests you and make sure it presents you with the opportunity to develop the skills for the job you really want. Finally, use it as an opportunity to network and make connections with people who might be useful in the future.
3. University Achievements
A mistake many people make is dismissing achievements while attending University as being insignificant. If you wrote a blog for college, organised a sports event or even fundraised for a charity, these can all be turned into transferable skills that are useful in the workplace.
Classes and lectures that required extensive research or a presentation of your findings are also useful in demonstrating competencies in aspects such as project management
4. Start at the Bottom
It may feel like you’re not qualified for a particular role, but if it gives you a chance to get your foot in the door with a company you aspire to work for it is worth a shot. Showing your willingness to work your way up can reassure the employer that you’re committed and passionate about both the company and industry.
You might also find that this opens up doors in a different direction for you and/or you learn a lot about the sector that will help you progress higher up the ladder in the long run.
If you are part of a company or you are taking part in an event, try and take on a leadership role. Employers like this and it will demonstrate your ability to take control of situations, be organised and able to handle a position of responsibility.
6. Learn how to master Social Media
I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep a clean digital footprint. You never know when a recruiter like myself or a future employer will be checking you out. So keep it clean and utilise the platforms to spread the word that you are on the lookout for a job.
Update your profile on sites such as Linkedin so that it looks professional and displays what your areas of specialism and interest are.
Make connections with professionals you admire and show them that you have done your research on them and the company they work for. Many job offers are made through successful networking.
7. Entrepreneurial Skills
If you have ever started a small business, tutored students or even sold items through eBay you can demonstrate your business like attitude.
Furthermore, it is even better if you can get testimonials from people you have helped or worked with in the past to back up your skills.
Article by: Fearghal Keane, CareerWise Recruitment
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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