It’s time to take the future seriously. What are your career goals? Have you just graduated, or are you looking to take a career-based year out? In terms of finding a job, there’s a lot to think about before taking the plunge. Good job applications are not a complete mystery, but they do need a bit of your time and consideration, as well as a little bit of love to bring out your best.
Especially during economic downturn and unsettled times, it pays to show positivity toward your future plans and career prospects.
Here are 10 ways to boost your chances of job success:
- Take it seriously, or sink: If you’re not bothered about the future and you’re happy to apply for anything without much focus or thought, you put yourself at a massive disadvantage. Even a role you could perform while standing on your head may be beyond you if employers can see you lack true enthusiasm.
- Know yourself: If you currently have major passions regarding your future, well done. If, like the majority, you haven’t got your future ideas fully covered yet, it’s worth understanding where your vague ambition lies. Do you want to work at a specific company? Is there a particular role of interest to you? Do you have your heart set on a particular career? Would you rather give up the 9-to-5 completely and be your own boss?
- Study the market: Especially if you have a career in mind, it’s worth its weight in gold to find out what your future would consist of. Find out if any newspapers have a regular section to keep you informed and look out for magazines and specialist periodicals written for your chosen field of work. Check newspaper career and advice sites like those on The Guardian and The Independent. If you haven’t visited Prospects already, it’s a brilliant graduate careers site with jobs, careers ideas and masses of help. Also, use your career’s service at uni, whether or not you have a career planned out in your head.
- Bespoke applications: Make each job application unique and tailored toward the position you are applying for. Generic applications are either obvious, or not geared toward showing off your best talents for the specific jobs you apply for. By not singling out the most important qualities you have, how do you aim to woo recruiters? My advice would be to set out one or two generic applications and work from these as templates each time you apply for a new job. That way, you don’t have to start from scratch each time, but you can put some time in making each application unique.
- Do your homework: Find out about the company, research names, etc. Again, if you haven’t put the enthusiasm into the process, it becomes clear quite soon to potential employers. Even if you get through to the interview stages, you’re better equipped with background on the company you want to work for…and look at that, YOU WANT to work for them, so don’t you think it’s wise to get the lowdown on them anyway?
- Have relevant information, stories, anecdotes for interview…: Especially pick some stuff that backs up your CV claims and shows how accurate you reflect the company’s needs. Even if you don’t use any of it, you’ll have the confidence to know that it’s there for reference.
- Be enthusiastic: You may be nervous, but you’ve come from nothing, so enjoy the process as much as you can. The more you treat the atmosphere naturally, the better you can get on with the task in hand. That said, don’t be cocky, no matter how successfully an interview is going. As with most things, it’s about balance!
- Don’t lie: Untruth will not get you closer to a job. Untruth, or exaggeration, is likely to be found out or at least put you in an uncomfortable position later down the line when you’re expected to demonstrate your supposed talents…
- Remember, you are applying for a job that will change your life: Make sure you truly want the job in question. A common issue is to consider a job as a job. You go to work to earn some money and that’s the end of that. With such a limited attitude, you will lack the power to push yourself to greater goals and a winning future.
- Prepare good questions for the interview: If you get as far as an interview, have relevant questions ready. Ask about a general day in the role, query how the role has developed in the past, if it’s a new post you can ask why the position has been introduced, and you can ask about professional development especially if it’s a career-based role.