Job Searching and Applications: Are you Ready?
We hoped you enjoyed Brighton Works Week. A week full of events, webinars and Q&As with our specialist careers staff and employers. All sharing advice and ideas of how to be more employable, make great applications and enter the world of work.
With my colleague Liz Vassilakes, our events officer we ran a session: Job Searching and Applications: Are you Ready? It was a live conversation with Liz asking me questions related to the subject.
As an employment advisor, my main role is to help students and graduates find jobs and to make applications. I often talk to students about getting ready to make applications. This is part of the process that people often forget about and one that I wanted to highlight as part of our Brighton Work Week.
I want to share with you ideas and advice that I shared as part of the session, to make sure everyone is up to speed on getting organised with their applications.
The first thing to consider is Why should we plan to make applications?
People tend to jump in headfirst. Head off to find jobs, write a CV and not really consider the wider knowledge you can gain to help you be successful in your applications. If you take time to get organised it can help keep you focused, motivated and help you develop confidence in what you have to offer.
- Know your Industry sector
Starting with the bigger picture, one of the first steps before applying for jobs should be researching a chosen industry.
- Read up on industry news, job prospects, know the employers in your sector.
- Use Twitter to follow companies and LinkedIn to get involved with groups and follow companies.
- Use Careers information sites such as Prospects and Targetjobs to get updates on your industry and understand how potential jobs roles fit within it. Check out job profiles to gain a better understanding of what people do in a chosen job; what you would do on a daily basis, what skills do you need to have to be successful and how you fit into the organisation.
- Keep on top of labour market information https://luminate.prospects.ac.uk/
On our Careers website, page What Career is right for you, you will find links on different sectors within the Step 2: Research your career options section.
Careers Information websites – research sectors and roles here
- Understand what you have to offer
Next thing is to think about what you have to offer. Confidence is a big part of why this is an important step in the process. If you don’t understand what you have to offer, how can you convince employers about this in your applications?
- Think about your degree and your experience
- Use our Careers Skills Workbook to help you recognise and communicate your skills
- Mind map skills so you can refer back to your resources to help develop your content for applications
Download the Careers Skills Workbook
Check out Targetjobs articles on Skills and competencies to get a better understanding of skills, what employers are looking for and how you demonstrate them in your applications.
3. Organising yourself
It can be a big job doing applications. Here are some practical tips for getting started and organising yourself.
- Get yourself a new email address so you can use it just for jobs. There is nothing worse that getting distracted by random email when trying to focus on your job search. Set aside specific time in the week to look at this email.
- Create a spreadsheet and note down what jobs you applied for, who you sent the information to and when, and contact information.
- Save all jobs; adverts, person specifications, and information can be lost when a job closes so save these on to word documents, or save as PDFs, so that you don’t lose the information and you have everything to work with if you get called for interview.
- Plan your time; build your job search into your weekly routine.
- Save your CV as a PDF to send to reduce a chance of anyone tempering with it and to ensure the employer seeing it in the format you have displayed it in. Also, save your applications using a file name that includes your name and the job title, so it is easily recognisable for you and the employer.
- Only approach one application at a time. I appreciate this isn’t always easy to do but quality over quantity really is the way to approach your applications. If you do find a few jobs you like the look of, find out the deadlines and plan time into your schedule to work on them one at a time if possible. This allows you to be fully committed to each one, which will reflect in your application and the process can become quicker once you get into the mind set of this.
You can also find more information about how to approach job hunting and understand the difference between the various types of graduate jobs on my other blogs.
If you would like to discuss how to get ready to make applications please contact the Careers Service at email@example.com to book an appointment with your campus’ Careers Development Advisor or with me as Employment Advisor. You can also find out more about making applications on our website https://www.brighton.ac.uk/careers/looking-for-a-job/careers-advice/index.aspx