It is the end of semester (HURRAY!) and I imagine you are looking forward to time at home, quality food, Netflix binge and of course the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. There is so much to learn from the Star Wars saga, the films are packed with nuggets of wisdom, many of which can be applied to your quest to find an internship, industrial placement or graduate job.
- Do or do not...there is no try: Some sectors are more visible than others, with employers running high profile recruiting campaigns to fill hundreds of vacancies. This only represents a snapshot of the (graduate) labour market: other sectors and organisations tend to fill their positions through internal recruitment or speculative applications. Therefore, don't limit your job search to 'advertised' opportunities, instead connect with Alumni working within the sectors or organisations that interest you, harness social media, talk to family contacts over Christmas and consider speculative approaches. Don't leave any stones unturned.
- Great things can be found on small planets: in the Star Wars franchise, the hero destined to save the universe comes from a small planet. Likewise, SME's can offer excellent career prospects with early responsibility and a potentially faster pace of progression. Check out this excellent blog from the careers team at Warwick about starting your career in an SME.
- The Stormtrooper approach is doomed to fail: if you think the more jobs you apply for, the more likely at least one of these efforts will result in a job interview - you are wrong! The scatter gun approach is doomed to fail; truth is employers can pick out 'generic' applications that are lacking in focus resulting in an endless stream of rejections. Tell-tale signs include:
- Bland, generic statements proclaiming a desire to work for company x ‘because you are a global player, with a strong vision offering a fantastic opportunity for me to learn and develop’. Not only is this pretty tedious to read, but it provides no evidence of motivation, research or originality. And it breaks application rule no 1: don’t tell an employer what they can do for you, only what you can do for them.
- Liberal use of Ctrl+v! Graduate recruiters spend a lot of time sifting through application forms – you can’t fool them. It may appear that application forms ask the same questions, but there’s often a subtle nuance, or change in emphasis. Copy/paste will not save you time but it may cost you the shortlist.
- Find yourself an Obi-Wan Kenobi: sometimes with job hunting, the going can get tough... when this happens, talk to your tutors, placement officers or us in Careers. We don't profess to Jedi job hunting powers, but we can certainly help you stay motivated and focused! Why not book an appointment with one of our careers advisers and let us look at your CV, applications or help you plan/ rethink job hunting strategy. We are open over the holidays and information on how to book a careers appointment is available on our website.
- Feel The Force flowing through you: looking for a placement or graduate job is a full time job! Along with the pressure of your academic work; it can all get on top of you and you may start loosing confidence. Read over your CV and remind yourself of your skills and achievements. Focus on positive thinking - imagine where you want to be, rather than where you feel you will end up. Imagining a positive future for yourself is hugely empowering.
Finally, take time out to enjoy the Christmas vacation, we will be back blogging on the 5th January 2016. (We had to say this) May the job hunting force be with you! Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from the Careers team!