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Feature: Top Tips for Job Hunting

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Looking for a job after you graduate can often be a daunting experience. Advice on how to write your CV and cover letter can be conflicting, and you now have to think about the impact of social media. The Careers Service at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has come up with a few tips to guide your graduate job search. Visit the Careers Service in room J3 and make a 15 minute appointment to see a Careers Consultant. The trained consultants will be able to help you understand your options and how to access the best opportunities to suit your situation and expectations. They will also advise you on how best to sell yourself and your skills to potential employers. The Careers Service also provides resources online, like this guide for job hunting. Set aside time to research your options. It’s important to choose the job that’s right for you and research industries that you are interested in working in. There are lots of information sources available and your Careers Consultant will be able to guide you through some of these and show you how to do all the research necessary to impress recruiters. Be specific and be realistic. Try to be as specific as you can in regards to which area you want to work in. If you are unsure about what direction you want to take, address this with your Careers Consultant. Bear in mind that you may be limiting yourself by only searching for the ‘perfect’ job role rather than one you can actually do. It is also important to be realistic about the types of positions you are applying for. Prepare yourself. “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”. Understanding your strengths, weaknesses and skills is key to your application. Make sure you update your CV and your online profiles, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, regularly. Many employers look for candidates through social networks so it is important to show yourself as a professional, rather than a student. Don’t waste time looking at loads of job ads. Spending hours every day looking for 10 jobs rather than applying to one is a redundant, and draining, task. Instead, seek a job role that you feel you have the skills for and take the time to properly research the company and craft your application. To make things easier, keep a list of your key skills and competencies at hand to match those within the job specification. Use different job search options. Sign up to industry-related job boards, attend Careers Fairs, and start talking to your contacts and networks and the St Mary’s Alumni Association. Remember that although we live in a digital age, the internet is not the sole provider of job ads. Don’t forget to source newspapers, recruitment agencies, trade journals, your local job centre and consider sending a speculative application. As anyone applying for a job can tell you, you will come face-to-face with rejection letters or hear absolutely nothing from prospective employers but don’t let this dampen your spirits. Be a ‘professional’ by applying early, always doing high quality applications and staying positive! For two years of continued careers service support after graduating, don’t forget to join GradClub. Happy job hunting!
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