I had a dream, (not in a MLK way) an actual dream while I was sleeping that I was making a job search tutorial. It was an interesting dream, where a group of people in a large room spoke into computer screens on the walls that recorded each tutorial. It seemed like a "video tutorial factory" a sort of "Brave New World" - an assembly line of fun-loving Vloggers. I may have envisioned the future of social media and YouTube, but likely just a result of my day job constantly being on my mind all-the-time.
Anyway, here are my tips for job hunting.
1. Who are you?
In the digital world we are in now, it can be a little daunting looking at job vacancy boards with all their technical words. The online job board says there are hundreds (even thousands) of jobs but what are they for, what do you actually have to do? Sometimes though, the words are just put there because someone is trying to be fancy. I see many jobs with wonderfully written headers but when you read the the JD and Person Specification it is actually for a sector specific "administrator." If you know who you are, what you're key skills are and what you can do, it is easier to find the jobs that you can realistically apply for.
2. What do you want to do?
Be realistic here because you may want to be a city lawyer or a brain surgeon but if you haven't been to law school or medical school it is not going to happen. Rather have a think about the type of person that you are. For example, if you like to meet people and talk a lot, a database clerk where you may be sat at a computer all day with papers may not be ideal. If you get queasy at the sight of blood, maybe don't apply to be a medical receptionist. Have a think about what you want and then move on to my tip number 3.
3. Do you need to update your skills?
We are in an era of new technological and scientific progression which is amazing but does also mean that jobs in real life change. Even my media degree from ten years ago is "good to know" but in real time it scores little today. Don't be afraid of doing adult courses to bring your skills up to date. What also adds to your employability is real work experience. "Catch 22" dilemma aside, volunteering options are available. Don't immediately block out something that is unpaid if it adds to you. Value as a quality is not just about monetary gains. There is that poster on London public transport where the zoo keeper started out volunteering. Building your skillset is key to improving employability.
4. Your CV
Your CV is like a personal ad on a newspaper dating page. This means that while your autobiographical account of your teenage years may be compelling to read, a CV is not the correct format to do it.
A CV, short for Curriculum Vitae of Latin origin is defined by many source as "... course of life..." And should be 2-3 pages that detail your work, education and training history along with other sector specific details that an employer must know. The information supplied on a CV must be tailored to suit the sector and the job applied for. If the employer wants "good IT skills," it should be clear from the skills, education and employment section on the CV that you do in fact, based on evidence have good IT skills.
There are many different templates that can be used but your CV must give a snapshot of who you are, what you offer an employer and why you should be chosen. Don't forget in the digital era, expect that recruiters will check your social media profiles so give that all a professional makeover too.
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Image credit: TTYA Long Tall Sally
Abi the fashion blogger