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7 Simple Hacks to Help You Land Your First Job

7 Simple Hacks to Help You Land Your First Job main image

 Sponsored by EU Business School 

Starting your first proper job hunt can feel a bit like you’re freefalling into an uncertain future. Most people start looking for work with a very vague concept of their dream job and a bunch of unanswered questions. Sure, you’ve been told you should use social media to “engage with employers”, but what does that mean? Just slide them a DM?  

Erm, no.  

Fortunately for you, there’s no need to panic. We’ve teamed up with EU Business School to provide you with a genuinely useful guide on how to get those job interviews stacking up. 

Structure your day like an office job  

If you’ve already graduated and are worried about staying sane during your job search, it might be a good idea to structure your day like a normal nine-to-five. Spruce up your desk and pop the radio on. Take an hour for lunch. Some people like to split their time evenly between preparing speculative applications, networking emails and job applications, but you’ll find a way to structure your day that works best for you.  

You might want to start a spreadsheet with a record of every job search email you’ve sent, so you feel a little bit more in control and can keep track of each applications. This way, you’ll know to send follow up emails at the right time.  

Make sure to take wellness breaks in between job hunting sessions. These could be anything, from going to the gym to watching an episode of your favorite TV show.  

Dress up your CV and LinkedIn profile  

If you’re not sure what to put on your CV because you’ve never had an actual office job before, focus on including university projects you’ve been involved in, internships, volunteering experience, as well as student jobs and hobbies (no, Netflix doesn’t count). Make sure you explain how each activity has helped you overcome challenges and mention the new skills you have picked up along the way. 

Some recruiters actually prefer to hire recent graduates because they know they’ll find someone who’s dynamic, comfortable with new technologies and has up-to-date market knowledge.  

Make use of your university’s career fairs, workshops and alumni network

Most universities organize career fairs, where students and graduates can connect with companies and discuss their CV, prospects and skills. For example, the EU Business School career fair, which takes place in Barcelona every year, is attended by recruitment experts from some of the world’s most exciting brands. They are often looking to screen potential candidates as well as offer career advice.  

If you’re lucky enough to have a large bank of successful alumni at your disposal - such as EU Business School’s network of 26,000 professionals working around the world - you should make full use of it. You could reach out to a senior professional who attended your school and is now working in a field you are interested in. Ask them whether they would be interested in meeting you for a coffee near their office - your treat -  to give you some “career advice”. Don’t assume they will give you a job and do remember to send them a thank you note after the meeting. You never know, they might put you in touch with someone who has a vacancy to fill or remember your name when an opportunity arises in the future.  

Don’t freak out if you don’t have a dream job in mind 

Some people aspire to become engineers/astrophysicists/Richard Branson (delete where appropriate) from a very early age - and there’s no diverting them from their true paths in life. But if you’ve only got a very abstract idea of your dream job, try to keep an open mind, it will come eventually.  

Use Twitter, GlassDoor, Quora and LinkedIn to research employers 

If you already know what industry you’re hoping to enter, a basic search on sites like LinkedIn, Quora, GlassDoor and Twitter might help you spot companies you think are doing well, rated positively by their staff or share your values. Managers and CEOs will often publicly put in their own two cents on websites like LinkedIn or Quora about the company, industry issues and even recruitment -- and any insider knowledge about where the company is headed will give you more to talk about during your interview and mention in your cover letter.  

Don’t be afraid to follow up and learn to accept rejection letters gracefully  

Once you’ve applied for a job and logged it in your spreadsheet, move on to the next thing. It’s important to remember that recruiters receive hundreds of emails every week and are likely to miss some. This is why it’s important to follow up about a week after your initial email, attaching your CV and reminding the recruiter of your application. Don’t push too hard and remain courteous. Accept that the majority of recruiters will not get back to you, but if they do, reply to rejection letters gracefully.  

Consider going back to school

Maybe the working world isn’t quite ready for you yet. Have a long, hard think about the pros and cons of going to grad school to do a specialized master’s degree or MBA. From increasing your earning potential to improving your skillset, grad school has many advantages, but you need to make sure you are prepared for it. 

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1 Comment

This was a very useful piece of information. Thank you.