With a new set of students graduating this summer, in addition to the current challenges facing our job market, it is important to consider how to best stand out to potential employers. While there are still limitations due to the ongoing pandemic, there are ways you can improve your employability from home for little to no cost. See below our tips to stand out :
Sign up to Steps Ahead Mentoring
The CIPD offers a free six session programme for adults aged 18-24, in which you are assigned a mentor to discuss CV and Cover Letter writing, interview skills, and refining your job search. While the availability for mentors has shrunk during the pandemic, the waiting time for a mentor is still approximately under 6 weeks.
There are a wide range of free and paid online courses available, which not only increase your knowledge of a job area, but also demonstrate to employers that you take initiative with personal development and have a passion for the field. Sites like Future Learn and The Open University offer a wide range of free Short Courses to spark further interest in a given topic. In particular, Future Learn has a course in Contract Management which may interest those wishing to enter into Financial Services.
Giving your time to a local charity is an excellent way to demonstrate your hard-working and self-starting attitude to employers, while also giving you the possibility to learn some new skills. CharityJob is one of the central hubs for finding volunteering opportunities in your area, from Graphic Design, to Business Development, or to Marketing.
Tailor your CV to the sector you are applying for
As recruiters, it is very clear to see when a candidate has not taken the time to tailor their CV to the role they have applied for, which may lead to a negative first impression. When applying for a role, consider how previous experience can directly correlate to the job at hand, and make sure to highlight these in your CV.
Ensure Social Media isn’t holding you back
Although we are generally more careful with how we display ourselves online, there may be ways where your Social Media is revealing more information about yourself than initially thought. Aside from ensuring your privacy settings are offering you the most protection, consider how Like pages on Facebook may look to an employer, as these are public and cannot be hidden. If there are any Like pages which may be considered offensive or rude, it is best to remove them. In a similar vein, LinkedIn activity is automatically set as visible to employers, so consider how your comments or likes on posts can influence employers, particularly about controversial topics.
Increase your knowledge in the sector
Specialist books can be expensive, however there are ways to read up without having to dish out a lot of money. In addition to going to your local library and browsing specialist books, there are EBooks online which can be downloaded for free. Project Gutenberg and Baen Free Library have collections boasting well over 100,000 works, while Social Media communities set up on sites like Reddit notify users of free EBooks on Kindle, Nook or Kobo.
If you are a recent graduate looking for a role, or are simply looking for new opportunities, please visit our Jobs page to browse the latest opportunities.