Job markets are currently saturated with well-qualified entry-level candidates, seasoned professionals looking to change career direction and the 370,000 people set to graduate from UK universities this summer – a significant share of which have the same career aspirations as each other.
Teamed with the country’s high unemployment rate and the troubling news that 9% of graduates were jobless six months after completing their degree in 2010/11, it is essential to focus on being a more appealing candidate than the mass of other graduates gunning for a graduate position.
Your CV and covering letter
Mention the keywords related to the industry and the specific job description in your CV and covering letter. Employers often have programs to verify these documents and are likely to put your application through the shredder or to the back of a drawer if the keywords don’t appear.
Tailoring your covering letter to a specific job is very important, but jobseekers frequently forget to do the same with their CV. Strategically placing the skills and experience relevant to the job at the top of your CV will make you stand out straightaway as a prime candidate.
In your covering letter, don’t just tell your potential employer how awesome you are – make sure you explain why you want to work for their company in particular. A little bit of flattery goes a long way!
A couple of days after the application deadline has passed, call the company asking how far along they are with processing the applications and when the interviews are likely to take place. Not only does this demonstrate tenacity and enthusiasm – qualities prized by employers – but it can also get your application moved to the top of a pile of hundreds. Remember to be professional, showing persistence without desperation, as being overly keen can hinder rather than help.
Preparing for interview
If you land an interview, don’t skimp on the research! Knowing the company inside-out is a sure-fire way to impress and to convey to them just how much you want the job.
Be friendly, and smile. Employers prefer to hire people they like and feel comfortable with, simply because it is easier to work with and accomplish tasks effectively in a team with people you genuinely like.
Are you currently looking for a graduate position? Have you tried employing any of the above tips?