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I'm ready to look for a job

Looking for a job can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Before you start, take time to reflect on your skills, passions and career goals. This will guide your job search and help you find opportunities that fit your individual situation.

Having a complete and well-crafted CV that highlights your achievements will help you stand out to future employers. Remember never to embellish or lie about your skills on a CV- you never know when you might be asked to perform skills you don’t currently have!

At the same time, remember to push the skills and abilities you do have- and don’t be shy or modest about what you can do. Remember that lots of skills are more transferable between jobs than you think- the people skills learned in a Retail or Sales Assistant role can still come in handy in an Administration or Managerial role, for example. 

Likewise, a cover letter should emphasise your enthusiasm for a role as well as your qualifications. It should complement and enhance your CV, and ideally include keywords from the job application. This will make it easier for the person or programme reading your application, as they will see that you have read and understood the job specification, and that you’re offering skills and abilities that are appropriate for the role.

It’s best to find out early on if you need specific skills or experience for the job you’re looking for – if you do, factor this into your job search, and consider looking into courses (there are many free options) that can help you get that skill set. Having exactly what an employer is looking for will give you a head-start over the competition and make you more marketable, as it makes their search easier, and you could be able to start in the role more quickly.

Networking is becoming an increasingly important part of job hunting, so do make the most of online platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your industry. Consider attending industry events and job fairs to further expand your network, to simultaneously meet local employers, learn about upcoming vacancies, and to practice your social skills.

Sometimes with getting work, it helps to know people- and while an employer may not have a vacancy for you immediately, if you made a good impression and passed on your contact details and CV, they could get in touch with you in the future about a different vacancy they think would suit you.

Job searching can be overwhelming. It might help to set small, realistic goals, like applying for a certain number of jobs each week or reaching out to a specific number of contacts. Breaking your job search down into smaller, more achievable goals can help to make it all a bit less daunting.

Remember that rejection is part of the process, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the first job you apply for – there’s something to learn from each experience, and most employers will provide feedback if you ask, which could be helpful for your next application. Remember not to take the rejection personally- you are not defined by your success in a job interview- there will be other opportunities for you to shine.