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Looking for jobs can be soul destroying. You spend hours on application forms and updating your resume. You craft a beautifully worded cover letter that highlights your skills and experience. And then silence. You don’t even reach the interview stage. There are countless reasons why you weren’t shortlisted, but it’s hard not to take it personally. What can you do to boost your employability and land a job?
Education And Training
Having a strong academic background is always an advantage when you enter the jobs market. Choose your college course wisely so that it provides you with a clear route to employment. If you’re unsure of your career path, opt for courses that provide access to many different careers. Psychology is a good example. You can find many examples of psychology colleges & jobs related to that field online.
It’s never too late to obtain qualifications. Even if college wasn’t an option for you, there are many online and evening courses that will boost your CV. Employers like to see evidence that you keep your skills up-to-date. So, having a section on your resume for professional training, etc. will be an advantage.
If you feel that your work experience is a little thin, consider working on a voluntary basis. This can be part-time and fit in with your current job or studies. It will enhance your skills and demonstrate your willingness to give your time for free. It’s a great tool to get those sought after skills on your resume.
Updating your resume is not the most interesting task. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of concentration. But it’s a vital part of your job search. You shouldn’t have one resume that fits all jobs. You should alter it each time you apply.
Begin your resume with a strong personal profile. This is a summary of your skills and abilities. You should also add a sentence or two about your next steps and career progression. Next, add a section for your employment history. This should be in date order with your latest position appearing at the top. Separate your achievements from your day-to-day duties. Employers like examples of where you have made a difference or excelled.
After your employment history, you should add your education and qualifications. This could be followed by a section on professional training. i.e. training completed after school and college. If you’ve just left school or college, your education should appear at the top above your work experience.
As a general note, don’t write in the first person. i.e. don’t use the word I. Resumes should be written in the third person. This adds trust and is more professional. Use strong verbs wherever possible. For example, delivered, performed, exceeded, implemented, established, etc.
Always check your grammar and spelling carefully. Then check them again. If this isn’t your strong point, find someone who will proofread for you. If you’re completing an online application, write it in Word or similar first so you can spell check before submitting.
If you reach the next stage of the process, you will be faced with an interview. This can be daunting, and feeling nervous is completely natural. Try to view it as a two-way interview. You’re also interviewing the company to see if it’s a suitable fit.
Though there are a lot of unknowns, you should still prepare as much as possible. Do your research. Read as much as you can about the company so you can demonstrate your knowledge and interest. Look for common interview questions and prepare your responses carefully in advance. Be confident and friendly. Don’t overdo either.
Have we missed anything? What factors have helped you land a job in the past?
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