So, you’ve done the hard work. You’ve graduated. Perhaps from a Bachelor’s degree, or a postgraduate degree like a Master’s. Congratulations.
Now, it’s time to look for your first professional job. Here’s our key tips for cutting through the job applications and standing out from the pack.
Make sure this represents your experience as well as yourself. 38 hours a week is a long time to spend with someone so it is worth including more about yourself to stand out. Include any sports or hobbies that you participate in (or have in the past), volunteer work you’ve done and any study completed overseas or at a different institution. This could be within an upfront summary or within your experience.
In terms of formatting, keep in mind that a lot of employers have software which scan your CV and automatically upload it into their system. So, sometimes being creative means a lot more work to ensure it has transferred correctly. If you have worked in a family business, make sure that you’ve included that and the invaluable skills you have learned about running a business. If you’ve had your own small business, for example an online store, include it, even if you didn’t consider it a success. It shows initiative and you can demonstrate what you’ve learned in an interview.
A cover letter
Sometimes cover letters are optional, but we Loders recommend you use one anyway as you’re able to summarise your interest in the company and role; as well as bringing your application to life.
These should be maximum of one page and be written with a smile on your face, summarising why you think you’re the right candidate – and why you want to do the job at that particular company.
Your digital job profile
Spend the time setting this up what you’re looking for, so that jobs can come to you.
Consider your social media footprint and make sure that anything which is public is showing your best side.
Make sure you include where you’re strong in ‘soft skills’, such as time management and collaboration.
It is important that you look back over your skills and experience; making sure that if they ask you about some experience on your CV, you can answer. Research interview tips online for your industry – and write out your answers, so you can review them just before your interview. Research the company, to make sure you know everything about them that you can. Make sure you have some questions for the interviewer to show you’ve thought the opportunity through – for eg, what would be the best next step for someone in this role, what development opportunities would I have, and what is the company culture.
What kind of jobs are you looking for?
Types of entry-level role titles you might like to look for include: Officer, specialist, assistant, administration, coordinator, junior, graduate, representative, internship. They could be Permanent. Contract, part time, casual or paid internships. Want to be pre-qualified for jobs that match your skills, experience and qualifications? Register for Lode, there’s over 500 employers waiting for candidates like you now.