5 Steps To An Easier Job Hunt

In a bid to make your hunt for a graduate job as easy as possible, we've compiled 5 exercises to make you feel immediately more proactive. Follow it step-by-step and you’ll find they are all simple to do and very effective.

But remember - there is no substitute for hard work  - so don't go cutting corners!

1. Get a proper idea of what you want to do

Quite often, working out what you actually want to do can be the hardest part of the job hunt. Unless you studied Dentistry, Mechanical Engineering, Physiotherapy, or something else equally clear-cut, it's unlikely you’ll know exactly what to do with your degree and the skills fostered achieving it. However, there are certain things you can do to figure out your strengths and where they can take you.

Instead of burying your head in the sand, take a pen and paper and answer the following:

  • ● What are you good at/what do you enjoy
  • ● What are you not good at/don’t enjoy
  • ● What do you think these say about your personality?
Other important questions:

  • ●  What’s important to you/what motivates you?
  • ● What are your values?
  • ● What would you like a typical workday to look like?
You must force yourself to be structured and honest when dissecting and shaping your ‘personal brand’. As a result, you should find that your job hunt is both easier and more satisfying because of it.

Handy hint: Want to delve even deeper? You might find that psychometric tests are an excellent way to get to know a bit more about your personality – and it’s always good to get some practise in!

2. Exploit your contacts

Ok so your parents might not be in the industry you want to get into, but so what? Not many people's are! However, they might know someone who is, or knows something about it or who can provide you with some other relevant information. And don't stop there! Have a look through your Facebook friends; your LinkedIN connections, Twitter followers and those you follow. You are likely to come across someone you remember to be in this job or that industry who may well know someone you can talk to! 

Ask questions like:

  • ●  What websites are good if I want to get to know a little bit more about ‘x’ industry?
  • ●  What books should I read?
  • ● Is there anything I should subscribe to in order to get more information?
  • ●  What did you struggle with most on the job hunt and how did you overcome it?
  • ● What companies are known for what?
  • ●  Who should I follow on Twitter/like on Facebook?
Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and speak to lots of different people. This is a sure fire way to get some information first hand about the ‘real world’. And remember – everyone does it. Don't be shy!

Handy hint: Those boring family events you normally hate attending could well be a gold mine for networking!

3. Go online

As a student/graduate, you probably have an excellent understanding of online media and how to use it to connect with your friends - but what about employers?

Step 1:
    Create your online profile(s). Make sure the ‘you’ that people will see online is firmly aligned with what it is you want to do. So, if you’ve had work experience in the industry you want to get into, make sure it is obvious on your Twitter bio, LinkedIN page, wherever possible on Facebook and - if you have a blog - publish it on as many online networks as possible.

Step 2:
    Use LinkedIN, Twitter and Facebook in particular to ‘connect’ with as many people as possible that currently hold a position in your preferred industry/ies. Join networks on LinkedIN, like pages on Facebook and follow people on Twitter. 

Step 3:
    Interact! Tag employers or jobs boards using their twitter handle beginning '@', and ask questions. For example - @GradTouch any advice on how to get into the Recruitment industry?” . Our response: “Of course @BonnieCorbyn! Check out this interview! Any more questions, just ask!”  Start conversations where and whenever you can!

Handy hint: We will bring you a more detailed version of how to build your online network in the future – watch this space.

4. Send speculative applications

Making a speculative application is essentially sending a CV and covering letter to an employer enquiring about jobs or work experience without the position actually being advertised. An incredible 50-70% of jobs in the UK are NEVER advertised!

But don’t you need to be super confident to pull this off? Calling people out of the blue is pretty ballsy!  Fair point...

But consider this - by the time you reach this stage (if you have followed our steps so far) you should have:

    ●  built up a coherent understanding of the industries you want to be in,
    ● created yourself a personal and professional brand via as many social networking avenues as possible that represents what it is you want to be and do in the future,
    ● researched specific companies,
    ● got up to date with the latest news about the industries and companies you have researched, and
    ● hopefully chatted to your family and friends and got their vote of confidence.

Basically, you should feel pretty invincible! Why wouldn’t you be confident in sending speculative applications? What have you got to lose? The worse you can get is a ‘no’ and so what?! You try again!

Handy hint: Read this.

5. Get work experience and do internships

It might sound obvious, but have you actually done it yet? 

We all know that starting out on the job hunt is a daunting experience in itself without having to think about unpaid work experience. However, in the current graduate job climate it's pretty commonplace so if you can, do it, and as much as possible!

There is no point offering more time than you can afford to give, just make sure that the time you do give, you use wisely. Learn as much as possible about your role and about the company and make sure you can see how the experience is directly benefiting you.

Remember, your work in a pub, in retail or at the local library will have given you certain transferable skills and/or demonstrated desirable traits that employers look for – think organisational, time management, pro-active, self starter, determined, driven etc etc. We've compiled a list here

Time to put it into practice?

Related content -

The 7 Deadly Sins Of The Job Hunt

If you've got any questions or anything you would like to add don't hesitate to get in touch - give us a call on 0161 236 2932 or drop us an email at info@gradtouch.com 


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