Today I thought I’s share with you my top tips on getting a job. Now I obviously don’t claim to be a recruitment expert, and I clearly haven’t had lotssss of jobs, but I’ve learnt some tips along my journey that have helped me significantly.
But first let me tell you a little bit about my background and experience. When I turned 16 I knew I wanted a part time job, up until then I was getting a monthly allowance from my mum, and I was very grateful for that. It wasn’t alot, but enough. But of course a shopaholic like I was back then always wanted more money to spend. So I handed my CV out to over 30 shops in my local town, even if they didn’t have vacancies. I had no experience in anything so had equal chance at all, I thought. Now out of all 30 that I handed my CV to, and 10 or so I applied to online, guess how many responses I got… That’s right, 1. But that’s all you need.
A lovely man called Jim called me up and asked me to meet him for a chat at the shop as soon as I could. As I was still at school, I went straight after my last lesson of the day. I was still in my school uniform and had no makeup on. He told me that he really liked my CV and after answering questions about myself, he said he was impressed and would like to offer me a job. However, he didn’t have anything available. So he said he will be in touch when a vacancy became available. Well a few days later he called me up and offered me a Saturday job in the linens department, as someone had handed in their notice. And that’s how I became a Saturday girl at Reeds Homestore. I was a Saturday girl their for nearly a year until I left to do my apprenticeship. It was a very nice job, easy hours and friendly colleagues. The only thing that I struggled with was standing up all day, my feet killed!
Anyways, that leads me on to my apprenticeship. After my Grandad told me about an apprenticeship open evening taking place at one of the biggest factories in King’s Lynn, I decided to go along for the hell of it really. I was extremely unhappy at sixth form and wanted to get out. (I’ve spoke more about that in my other post, click here to find out more).I attended the open evening, fell in love with the idea of an apprenticeship and working for a big company and applied the same day. I wasn’t hopeful in the slightest but, after getting through each stage (6 stages in total), getting closer and closer, I was really excited about the fact I could be in with a chance! I still remember the very moment when I got a phonecall from Bespak; I was at sixth form in a Physics class. They offered me the job! They told me to think about it for a couple of days but I instantly accepted, I wasn’t wasting such an amazing opportunity! At that’s where my career began.
It may seem that I had it super easy, just applying on a whim, no effort, handing out CVs willy-nilly, but it’s not the case, I still put in alot of work, so these are my top tips:
- Have a life outside of school and work! I think this was a very important factor for getting both my jobs. I been in the Scouting organisation since 2012 and once I was too old to join in, I volunteered as a leader. I got involved in lots of active things and experiences things you never do in school. So take interest in things, develop your personality and be different. And then, write about it! Share your favourite memories and the skills you have learnt from them.
- Keep your CV up to date… Now, that’s quite rich coming from me who hasn’t updated one since I got my apprenticeship, but when you’re actively looking for jobs it’s vital! Add every grade you get, experience you’ve had, skill you’ve learnt, your age, your address, phone number, email address, they may be small things but that make a massive difference.. Imagine handing in your CV, the person wants to offer you a job, they go to call you and… BEEP BEEP NUMBER NOT RECOGNISED, they ring an old number that the line is now dead on. Gutted.
- Create a LinkedIn account. Since I discovered LinkedIn my professional online persona has grown and improved immensely. LinkedIn is basically an online site (or app) where your profile is your CV. Lots of employers will search for you on the site, and some may discover you on the site. The more information and detail you put about yourself, your qualifications, skills, experiences, voluntary work, background, hobbies, it all creates a brilliant display of your achievements for anyone to look at. It’s a self promo page, don’t be afraid to talk about yourself on it! My profile is here if you want to be nosey… LinkedIn – Kirstyn Johnson
- Research the company! This made a massive difference for me, having common ground to talk about and showing interest in the company and learning about it before hand makes you look keen, engaged and gives you confidence and understanding when talking about the company. You don’t need to know the details, but key facts, or pieces of information. For example, What do they do? Where are their sites? How long have they been around? What are the products made from, and how are they made? Have they won any awards? Are they listed on the London Stock Exchange? It’ll make a big difference and shows interest in the job and the company you might work for.
- Have confidence… In not only yourself, but what you are saying too. When they ask you about yourself, speak with pride about your achievements and excitement about the future. If you do not know the answer, say you don’t know, don’t blag it, it will bite you in the bottom! Just be confident in who you are and what you do and have ambition. If you don’t have a particular ambition for a career, or just want a job anywhere, don’t let that show, this might be your only chance so talk as if it’s the only job you’ve ever wanted! It’s not lying, it’s showing interest and enthusiasm, and that will give you great confidence when talking about the job. In every interview I had I was SOOOOO nervous and just wanted to cry if they asked me an awkward question, but I didn’t let that show. I stayed the best side of myself and presented myself in a way that it didn’t matter if I answered ‘wrong’. I was honest to being true to myself.
And they are my top tips based on my experience! I hope you can put them to use and apply them in future.
Do you have any top tips? Comment below and share them with others!