Securing your first job after school, college or A Levels can seem like a daunting task; the key is to go in with confidence, create adaptable CVs and make yourself a sought-after candidate.
We’ve collated five tips to help ease you into the world of job hunting.
1. Create yourself an adaptable CV:
It sounds simple but creating yourself a stand-out CV is the first step in helping you to get hired.
A CV is a place to sell your skills on paper. If you’ve not yet compiled a CV, then we would recommend sitting down and brainstorming. Start by scribbling down all the useful skills and experiences you’ve gained. You might include information about certain school projects you’ve conducted that required leadership skills, any volunteering events you’ve attended, or awards/certificates you’ve received.
Think about how the knowledge you’ve learnt in school transfers to the workplace. For example, if you studied business studies, then some of your skills will undoubtedly transfer into HR skills, customer service or sales.
Naturally, any work experience you’ve had before will come in handy. Whatever the experience, it’s good to mention it. From babysitting to your Saturday job, any exposure to the working world demonstrates that you’re an active go-getter, with the enthusiasm to bring into your first role.
The key to writing a strong CV is to keep it short, sharp and succinct. Start off with a quick sentence about yourself at the top, tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for, and quantify your skills.
Check out our ultimate job seekers guide, for all our inside knowledge on CV tips and tricks.
2. Transferable skills:
Transferable skills are a new job seeker's best friend. They move away from the technicalities of a role and incorporate instead the ‘soft’ skills you can offer an employer, such as teamwork, communication and time management.
These skills demonstrate to an employer that you have the ability to excel in your chosen job role. School provides us with a plethora of skills, from our academic achievements to leadership roles in team sports:
Communication: verbal, written and essential listening skills.
Time management: completing tasks to a set deadline and managing your own time and workload.
Problem-solving: the ability to find solutions to tricky situations and problems.
Supervision: demonstrating leadership and management.
3. Don’t panic about the industry:
When hitting the job market, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choice. The important thing to remember is not to panic about your choice of job. Your first job will not define your entire career and can only be a good thing in making you an employable candidate in the future.
Have a scan through a few of our industries on-site, to see what stands out to you:
4. The interview stage: get your questions ready:
Your first interview can be a nerve-wracking notion, but like all experiences, once you’ve done one, you’ll get fully into the swing of things.
Prepare yourself by researching the role and company, planning your questions, and practicing your technique.
Before you go in, relax, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s a two-way process. An interview is about you reviewing them, as well as them reviewing you.
The art of a great interview is being personable, prepared and engaging in a conversation with your interviewer. Our main advice is to come with questions in hand – if all your questions have been covered within the interview, then don’t feel afraid to ask active questions about your interviewer:
What do you enjoy about working for X?
What’s the company culture like?
How long have you been in your position? Where did you start out?
What sort of person would you say does well in this role?
5. Be yourself:
Being true to yourself applies across the board; in your CV, cover letter and interview. A little self-belief goes a long way.
Discover your first job, on Fish4Jobs. For more CV tips and interview advice, have a read of the Fish4 blog. We wish you the best of luck in your job search.