"A philosopher once wrote you need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship, two, a decent job of work, and three, to make a difference." David Brent

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tailor Your CV!

Everything up until graduation everything seems rosy until you started looking at what jobs were available, and more importantly, what they are asking for. It quickly becomes apparent that your expertise in everything to do with Proust, Nietzsche and Postmodernism might not be needed in the work place. Well first of all, don’t panic! In spite of all around you condemning you’re hard earned degree to the “dustbin of history” (that is a Trotsky quote, I have placed it this blog simply because it may be the first and last time I use my History MA), there are definite positives. Firstly, you have completed your degree, in spite of what the naysayers tell you, this is still an achievement. It shows you are committed. Simply putting your degree result on your CV will not suffice. However, when you stop to think about it, you will be surprised at what CV enhancing, transferable skills you will have picked up along the way. Upon completion of an Arts Degree, it is safe to say you have demonstrated interpersonal, presentation, communication and organisational skills to name but a few. Whilst these skills will bolster a CV, on their own they are too vague and wishy-washy to bowl over any potential employer. You need to think about what your passions are, what your natural skills are. After you have done this, spend some time in your University careers service, research different employment sectors for what would interest you the most and also what for which careers require the skills you possess. I also advise making an appointment with an advisor, they can offer some really great tips or contacts for getting into certain industries. If you are completely stuck there are some online tests you can take to help hurtle you down your soon to be chosen golden path such as Prospect's one found at http://bit.ly/qmvRE1 and TargetJob's one found at http://bit.ly/mXTlX9 . Once you have decided which career you want to take things begin to click into place. You can then begin to tailor your CV to suit the sector you want to work in. After all, the CV is the employer’s only glimpse as to who you are and what you can offer. You have to ensure that what you offer closely matches what he or she needs. If you lack the experience, get some, through scanning the Internet there are plenty of training sessions, internships or part time roles in the sector you want work in. If you cannot find anything online, be proactive. Email some local companies in your chosen field, explain your situation and ask if there are any developmental positions available. If you sell yourself well enough a lot of companies will offer you a part time role and you never know, if you appear to be keen and diligent and make yourself useful, this unpaid role could lead to something more permanent. Even if you only end up making the tea at the company, you can market your time at this company in a more beneficial light on your CV. You now, even if only through observation, have experience and knowledge that set could set you apart from your job seeking competitors. Also, any chance you get to meet people in the industry you wish to work in, you should grab it with both hands. Networking is an essential part of job seeking. The people with experience in the industry will undoubtedly have the best tips on things like how to get started, how the industry works and, if you have worked hard and made enough of an impression, which employers are taking on. You never know, you could even get a recommendation. Whilst finishing your degree can be a daunting time, it is also an uplifting one. You have a blank canvas, the world is your oyster (or lobster as a mate of mine wholeheartedly believed was the correct version of the saying). As long as you remain proactive, have a CV that is tailored to the industry you want to work in and take make the most of whatever opportunities come your way, it can be quite an exciting time. Thank you for reading, I hope you have enjoyed it, next week’s blog will talk about my own personal experience at the dreaded graduate assessment day.

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