Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guest Post - Preparing yourself prior to applying for your first job

Guest Post:

If you are a recent graduate you may find yourself in a competitive market where there are more applicants than graduate jobs. This article covers some useful tips that you may want to consider, prior to job hunting.

Check your social media behavior

Recruiters nowadays may check your online behavior by typing your name into Google or perhaps looking on your LinkedIn or Facebook profile, depending on the job you are applying for. In order to be safe, you should regularly enter your own name in the search engine and see which results appear. If you have even the slightest doubt that the search results might put recruiters off, you should ensure that it is deleted or hidden from the public.

In addition, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated correctly as this will give a good impression to the recruiter. LinkedIn allows you to fill in details about yourself such as the skills you possess, your educational achievements and previous work experience. Make sure to do this as detailed as possible. You can chose which items you would like to be visible to the public and which items you only show your connections. You can also do this with your profile picture.

Ask for recommendations

If you have got previous work experience where you performed well, see if your boss or a fellow colleague is on LinkedIn as well and invite them to write a recommendation for you. When you write them, make sure to personalise your message instead of the automatic message LinkedIn creates for you. When they have written the recommendation it does not mean that it will appear straight away on your profile as you can chose to reject the recommendation or to accept it. Also, if you would like recruiters to know that you have been recommended but don’t want recruiters to read the recommendation, you can also chose to “hide” the recommendation for the public in your settings whilst viewers still see that you have been recommended.

Do your research

When you start applying for jobs it is wise to do some research prior to sending them your cv and covering letter and to include this in your covering letter. Don’t mention things that are too obvious or are too general such as “I would be keen on working for X because of the numerous awards you have won in X” but dig deeper and see if you can find anything that isn’t easy to find.

Also, don’t just apply for a few jobs but send consider any job that you feel would be suitable for you. You will then receive more interview invitations which in turn will allow you to practise your interview skills and to familiarize yourself with the types of questions recruiters may ask you. This will also boost your confidence which in turn increases the chances of getting the job you want.


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