Most of us tend to be quite modest and among friends I’ve heard comments such as ‘I’m rubbish at that’ or ‘you’re much better at that than me’. When it comes to job searching though, this won’t do! One graduate recently told us that there had been 120 applications for the job he went for and this is pretty typical. So what can you do to make yourself stand out from the crowd and be the one that gets the job?
Firstly you must sell your skills!
Be proud of what you have achieved and use your CV or application form as a marketing tool, bringing out your strengths and best qualities.
Think about what you can do that will make your application have something that others don’t. Can you do some relevant work experience? When I was at uni and wanted to work as a recruitment consultant I called every single agency in Maidstone until I found one that agreed to take me on for a week of work experience. When I then went for a graduate scheme in recruitment, one of the reasons I was shortlisted from the 700 who applied, was because I had that work experience on my CV. It showed my motivation to work in that career and that I had seen the job in ‘real life’ rather than just reading about it.
Think about what you can get from your part time job as well.
We recently spoke to a student who, rather than seeing her part time retail job as a way of making money, used it as a way to make her CV stand out. She worked incredibly hard and was promoted to supervisor and then when a manager from head office came to her branch she asked him for some experience at head office. As a result she was given a 3 week internship in the marketing department. Hard work and initiative pays off!
So what else can you do?
Can you gain skills from volunteering? What can you show from taking part in a society or sports team? Have you won any awards? The list goes on and there is no set path you need to follow. Think about your own career aims and make an action plan to gain the experience and skills that will make your application stand out from the crowd.