How to boost your employability and gain an interview
You’ve sent off a thousand job applications, a thousand more CVs, even a few begging covering letters that reek of ink and desperation – but all to no avail.
That’s enough, you think.I can’t do anymore to find a job!
But being ignored doesn’t mean you can put your feet up, whistle a jaunty tune and tuck into a Breaking Bad box set. Now is the time to regroup and consider where you’ve been going wrong in the application process.
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Indeed, jobseekers have upped their game over the past few decades – over 12 million people graduated from university in 2013, a steady increase since the beginning of the decade (according to government figures).
Meanwhile, thanks to the prevalence and increasing usefulness of the internet, applicants have become savvier, and more prepared for job interviews, referring to articles like this one to gain a necessary edge over the competition.
It means you have to, as they say; pull the finger out if you want to nab a decent position. But, aside from gaining an intricate knowledge of Breaking Bad, what can you do to increase your employability and gain that all-important job interview?
Make the right connections
Here’s a phrase that’s a cliché for a reason – it’s not what you know but who you know. You’ve seen those schmoozers carousing at dinner parties like Don Draper 2.0, casually slipping into the conversation that they could do with a new position, preferably on a beach somewhere, but they’ll make do with a sunny condo.
While you don’t have to be quite so unbearably smug, networking is essential to finding a position that’ll suit you. Use networking sites like LinkedIn to find execs and managers who could help you get into the field you want.
You can also use LinkedIn to find networking events in your area, allowing you face time with employees and peers without having your CV scrutinised.
Be a scholar for life
There’s nothing quite like a degree certification to pique an employer’s interest. Not only does it show a specific skill in your field of choice, but it illustrates that you’re willing and able to focus on and tackle a topic in-depth.
But if you’re struggling on the job-seeking breadline, on-campus tuition probably feels like a pipedream.
However, an online degree gives you the opportunity to apply for jobs while studying on the side. You’ll slowly build your skills and, eventually, have a degree that potential employers will really value.
Hone your CV
Your CV is the key to finding the job you want, but you’d be amazed by the number of people who fail to make theirs count.
Those twopages (and you should never make a CV longer than two pages) should be honed to perfection, detailing your past work experience, qualifications and triumphs that could make you an ideal employee.
Also, be sure that your CV is tailored effectively for the job you’re applying for. If you’re after a position in banking, for instance, it’s unlikely that an employer wants to read about the paper round you had when you were 14.
The same essential principles apply to your covering letter, with the only major difference being that, in this form, you’re selling your personality more than your experience.
Think of your CV as the brain and your covering letter the heart.
No matter how you structure your CV and covering letter, be sure that you don’t overstate your abilities (or, even worse, tell an outright lie). After all, you don’t want to show up to your first day at work with everyone expecting you to have a working knowledge of astrophysics!
Interview Preparation Resources
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