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Securing your first job - step in the right direction

Posted on from Robert Half

Getting your foot on the career ladder is never easy. By taking steps to create a compelling CV, expanding your skill set and gaining experience, employers will be far more likely to see that you are an enthusiastic and talented candidate.

No room for error

Although there are signs that both the economic climate and the job market are set to improve, new graduates who are looking to acquire their first position still face many Challenges; employers are increasingly selective with many companies preferring to hire on a temporary basis before extending a permanent offer meaning that candidates have less room for error. Employers need assurances that new hires will be able to contribute to the business from the outset and therefore seek applicants who are polished and have an attention to detail. Furthermore, the job hunt has grown in complexity in recent years as new online tools, such as professional networking websites, have become increasingly popular.

Individuals looking for their first job out of university must take advantage of opportunities as they arise and be ever more determined to put their best foot forward in an increasingly competitive job market.

A targeted CV

A CV is one of the first things a potential employer sees in the recruitment process. When crafting your CV, tailor your content to each company and position so that it speaks directly to the potential employer’s specific needs, rather than creating a standard document for use with every opportunity. Doing so may take extra time and effort, but submitting a targeted CV demonstrates your knowledge of and interest in each position and will help you stand apart from other job candidates.

Check CV for mistakes

Also, always check for mistakes. Employers see typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes as a sign you lack professionalism and attention to detail; use the spell-check function and ask friends and family to proof read the document before you send it out.

Get yourself noticed

Job seekers should use all of the tools available in their search. Use your network to spread the word about the type of position you are looking for, including to family members, friends and professors. Events run by your university which potential employers may attend are a good way to get yourself noticed and can also be a place where you could meet useful career contacts.

Use your social networks

It’s important not to forget social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook which enable contacts to be made quickly and easily. However, be sure not post anything publically that would appear unprofessional to a hiring manager or recruiter – use your privacy settings when posting personal information.

Try, try and try again - perseverance

Lastly, perseverance is key. Start looking for work as soon as possible, as well as spending your time productively during the search; employers will ask what you’ve been doing while you have been job-seeking and will be looking for those who have taken initiative. Seek out additional training, temporary work and pro bono projects that show your willingness to expand you skill set. If you can’t find a position immediately, consider an internship, part-time position or temporary work, which can lead to full-time employment.

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