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Top 10 ways to land that first full-time job – The National Student

Top 10 ways to land that first full-time job – The National Student

by ednext
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Looking for work after graduation isn’t easy, there can be a lot of rejection and it can all seem rather frightening. That’s why Georgie Barrat, Generational Expert and Gadget Show Host, has teamed up with Gumtree to give you some tips on how to get your first full- time job.

It isn’t easy to leave the safety of university and enter the terrifying world of work, especially when you don’t know how to impress potential bosses and never feel like you’re qualified enough. Add not being able to afford the travel expenses or the right clothes for an interview and it can certainly feel like an uphill battle. 

That’s why Georgie Barrat has come up with a list of tips to help you secure you’re first full- time job and finally get a foot on the career ladder.

1. Look for jobs online

Your search will likely start online, so get savvy with hunting down the best opportunities. Setup notifications on job listing websites, search for keyword hashtags on Twitter and use LinkedIn to work out who to email directly. If you are cold emailing someone, try to keep it short but personal, with a link to where they could find out more about you. 

Always be respectful and make sure you check everything before you send an email or attach your CV. Spelling errors are not the way to make a good first impression, as they suggest you haven’t paid attention or worked as hard on the email or document as you should have. They are easy to fix and are a silly and inexcusable reason to lose out on a job!

2. Be aware of expenses

Money can be tight when you start out job hunting, so travel expenses are something you always have to consider when applying for jobs. Georgie’s advice is to start by looking locally, as it helps to refine your search and keeps travel costs down. 

If you do have to work further away, make sure to look for deals to help you save money. If driving is an option it’s always a good idea to see if anyone wants to carpool, as you can split the cost of fuel, making it an economically sound, as well as environmentally friendly, decision. 

If you need to invest in some interview-appropriate attire, see if you can source items second hand online from sites like GumtreeGeorgie and her housemates had the intelligent idea to set up a work wardrobe swap shop so they didn’t each have to fork out for a full work wardrobe before their first pay cheques turned up.

3. Always be prepared for interviews

Once you’ve secured that interview, preparation is key. Most people prep their answers to potential interview questions in advance, but not many practice saying them out loud! 

Sure, it may seem silly talking to yourself in front of the mirror, but rehearsing your responses in advance will make your delivery much smoother when it’s crunch time. It will also help with nerves and will make the first few interviews less intimidating.

It might also help to rehearse your answers with other people, as while a mirror is great it won’t give you feedback. There is always room to improve and rehearsing your answers with a close friend or family member allows for feedback on delivery, length of answer and other information you’ve missed which they recommend including.

4. Research your interviewer

If you know the name of the person that is interviewing you, make sure to Google them! Your brain doesn’t like uncertainty, so seeing a photo of them will help you envisage the interview. 

Also, if they have Twitter or LinkedIn you can get a feel for what they’re like and what interests they have. In a past interview she had, Georgie referenced a radio show that her interviewer was tweeting about, which instantly helped to establish some common ground between them.

5. Include links in your CV

Include links to your work in your application to illustrate your experience. Whether it’s a video, photo or website, try and have one showstopper piece that you can include. 

When she was trying to build up her career as a freelance journalist, Georgie started a tech blog and YouTube channel to show people the things she was passionate about.

 6. Take risks and look for those willing to give advice 

Everybody can suffer from imposter’s syndrome, especially if you’re entering a new industry. In fact, Georgie does a lot of work trying to get more females to apply for coding jobs, as they currently only make up 18% of the workforce. 

If you need a confidence boost see if there are any industry-specific organisations that can give you advice. For example, Code First: Girls matches women with tech jobs, whilst also running workshops and conferences.

Ultimately you may never fit all the criteria an employer is looking for, but if you don’t apply you’ll certainly never get the job. Sometimes it’s best just to take a leap and hope for the best, as the worst case scenario is the same as if you never applied. 

Once you have a foot in the door you can always reach out to colleagues and learn new skills on the job, so going in without ticking all the boxes is certainly not the end of the world.

7. Be aware of what’s online

Google your name and see what comes up. Think about what kind of image your social media accounts are portraying online; you don’t want future employers to see anything incriminating! 

It doesn’t matter if there are photos of you socialising (it’s ok to have a life!), but make sure any photos you wouldn’t want an employer to see are set to private. Photos of you passed out, running off with someone’s for sale sign, or clearly just drinking too much are all examples of photos we recommend you keep just between friends.

8. Know how far you’re willing to go

Work experience can be a good way of building up your contacts, but you don’t want to be working for free for months on end! Set clear boundaries in your own mind of how many days you are prepared to set aside and when you’re there, make sure to network.

You may not necessarily get a job at the end of it, but ask people if they know of anyone that they could put you in touch with. Whilst at university, Georgie did a month’s work experience at Blue Peter – they didn’t have any jobs to offer her, but after speaking with some of the production staff she was able to secure an interview to be a runner with CBBC.

9. Find a mentor

Ask someone more experienced than you to be your mentor. Their contact book will be full to the brim and you’ll be surprised how willing people are to help!

They will also be able to give you industry-specific tips on getting your foot through the door. One of Georgie’s mentors, broadcaster Ranvir Singh, even helped her get her first job on television.

10. Be willing to give different jobs a chance

Don’t despair if your first job is not your dream job. Use it to work out what parts of the industry you like and what parts you’re not so keen on. Georgie worked in TV production, online journalism and radio before going freelance. You have to start somewhere, so think of your first job as a stepping stone in helping you achieve the big dream. 




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