If you’re sending off CV after CV and not hearing anything, or going to interviews like it’s your favourite hobby and not getting a call back, it’s time to have a rethink. Follow these top 6 tips for things to do when you just can’t find a job.
- Rethink your CV.
If you just slap your skills down on a piece of paper and send it off, it’s unlikely that anyone will get back to you. If you’re using the same CV every time and not hearing back, it’s probably time to change it up. By not regularly updating your CV, you’re missing out on a vital opportunity to show off about all the cool stuff you’ve done recently.
You should also triple check for any spelling or grammar mistake, as this is a sure-fire way to not get a reply, remember the employer may be looking through tens of applications and needs to narrow them down, if you make a spelling error, it’s an easy no. Check out our other posts on what to include in your CV and how to make it stand out.
- Tailor your application.
You need to make sure that you’re tailoring your CV to each job you apply for based on the job description, never just send out your bog-standard CV because you can’t be bothered to switch it up a bit. You should tailor your CV and cover letter to the language the employer used in the job description. If they’re looking for someone to sell their product, show them your experience in sales. If they say they’re looking for a dedicated, experienced team player, let them know that you’ve played netball for the past 7 years. The jobs you’re applying to might even seem like they’re basically the same, but they’ll all use different language; use the job description like a check list and tick off the key words they use once they’re in your application.
- Check your social networks.
Your social media accounts are one of the first stops for a potential employer. Make sure your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages only show your best side and don’t upload that drunken club snap as your cover photo. This is also where is pays to check your privacy settings, private your Instagram if you’re posting anything that you wouldn’t show to your nan. Having said this, if you share industry relevant tweets or write a good blog, show this off on your CV to show an employer that you’re interested in the field beyond working 9-5.
- Do you fit the job?
If you’ve done everything you think possible and you still don’t get a call back, you might need to reassess your ambitions. If you’re in your first year of uni, don’t apply for graduate schemes, you just don’t have the qualifications or experience they’re after. Likewise, if you have a good degree, you might be able to set your sights a bit higher than a paper-round.
Try starting out in a more junior position rather than going straight in for CEO, you can still get your foot in the door and give you great opportunities for progression. You could also try looking at other avenues, if you have that big dream job, look around at other ways you can get there. If you want to get into fashion, just a weekend job in your favourite clothes store could open doors higher up in the company or will, at least, allow you to build up some crucial, basic skills.
- Improve your interview skills.
If your resume is good, your cover letter is brilliant and you’re applying for jobs you’re perfect for, you should be getting interviews. Well done on getting this far, you’ve made it half way. Now the real fight starts, you need to wow that employer with your confidence and winning conversation skills. If you’re not confident (most people aren’t) and you find yourself worrying about what you’re going to say, fake it til you make it. Tell yourself “I am confident, I am right for this job, I will do well in this interview”, it won’t take long til you start to believe it. Get to your interview on time (15 mins early is good, to show you’re punctual and to give you time to calm down and prepare), be dressed to impress and show that interviewer that you’re the one for the job!
- Don’t give up hope.
Post by Olivia Greaves
Olivia is a Politics student at the University of Southampton. Follow her on twitter @oiiviagreaves (https://twitter.com/oIiviagreaves)