There’s a moment in any young person’s life when it dawns on them that studying will come to an end and it’s time to make the transition from the classroom to the world of work. Some people prefer to spend as long as they can enriching themselves academically – whereas others want to get straight onto the career ladder and earn some money.
But, if you’re young and ambitious how do you ensure that the job you go into from college matches your dreams and isn’t a dead end position that will dampen your enthusiasm for your career?
You need to put as much work and effort into a job search as you would your academic studies. That means researching the sorts of jobs you’re interested in. Find out who does these jobs, what qualifications and experience they have and how they operate. Follow people doing your ‘dream job’ on Twitter – they might post opportunities for internships, work experience or vacancies but will also give you a greater feel for what that job is like by what they say and do.
House in order
There’s no getting away from the fact that you need a CV. Ideally this will be smartly presented and packed with good examples of things you’ve done that showcase your skills given that you’ll have little or no employment history. A CV alone isn’t enough though – you need to perfect a good covering letter that sets out a compelling case – in a concise way – for you to be given an interview.
Think beyond these two things too. When you’re searching for a dream job your social media accounts become more than just a place to show your food photos and jokes with friends. Companies will look at this to gauge your personality so make sure you maintain a professional mindset with your posts (fun is still fine). This is your chance to show you’re interested in your chosen career and are an active jobhunter. Setting up a blog can be a great way to display your knowledge and passion for your field.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform to combine a digital presence with your job search. It’s an online CV – and the chance to connect with people in your industry and look for job opportunities.
All these are free and simple ways to show yourself in a professional light – and to be able to find positions. Grasping these with enthusiasm could open the door to a dream job.
Don’t get sucked in to thinking all the good jobs are in London. In fact the capital can be a pretty expensive place to go when you’re young and without any money under your belt. This is where your research comes in. Look at which towns, cities and regions are strong for your particular field of interest. Other big cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham have plenty of opportunities and even in Peterborough, Reading, Nottingham and Sheffield you’ll be able to find cutting edge industries with exciting opportunities.
It’s easy to say but it really is important not to give up. Every single person will be knocked back at some point in their career. The important thing is how you react. Learn a lesson from every application, interview and even rejection to become a better job hunter.
Don’t be afraid to contact companies with no vacancies either. Target firms that are doing well and tell them why you want to be part of their success story. The Recruitment Queen website sums this up as one of the ‘3Ps’ – be persistent, be positive and don’t procrastinate.
It’s not easy to go into a dream job at any point in your career, let alone the start. But, by doing your homework, putting the effort in to get your own house in order, staying patient and being focussed you can fulfil your ambitions. That may mean getting the first foot in the door at the company you want to work for – or a good ‘first job’ in the right direction, but this is all vital to securing a long and successful career in something you enjoy.
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