With another university year coming to a close, more graduates will be joining the clamour of today’s job market in the hunt for that perfect job. With so many people applying to so many jobs, how can you stand out online?
Create a website
Everyone has a website today, and with good reason. A website is a homepage for you and your work, and somewhere where you can showcase your talent in your industry. If you’re a photographer, having an online portfolio of all your best work where potential employers or clients can get a feel of your skills can greatly improve your chances of getting an interview, whilst a designer with a well-designed website and online portfolio will stand above a candidate without one. For more information on how a website can help you stand out, check out this post.
Get a name for yourself
Social media can be a great tool to market yourself on, though this can easily go either way as Emma Way found out when she tweeted that she hit a cyclist with her car. Whilst this isn’t the sort of notoriety you should be trying to imitate, take a look at any journalist on Twitter. They will regularly tweet things relevant to their industry/niche, retweet interesting things and offer opinions – all of which are a great way of earning followers and making more people aware of your name and work. You can also add a link in to your website, referring people interested in you to your website.
Check your social media
Not tweeting that you hit a cyclist and checking your social media channels often go hand in hand. Whilst you might not have caused a road traffic incident, tweeting questionable material, posting an unsuitable image or making reference to drug use are all reasons recruiters have given for not inviting an applicant to an interview. Making sure you have a professional social media presence is just as important as making sure your CV is correct, especially as a graduate – having just finished university there must be at least one status, tweet or image that you’re not entirely proud of. Don’t miss out on the perfect job just because of a drunken tweet!
Having one consistent tone of voice across your website, social media channels and job applications allows recruiters to get an idea of what you’re like as a person, and whether you’d be a good fit for their company. All companies have brand guidelines that they take meticulous care over and showing you can not only stick to guidelines but make up your own will play well with potential employers.
Applying for the job
So you’ve found the perfect job, deleted the picture of you that your mum had a go at you over and feel ready to apply for a job. How do you do it?
Writing a covering letter
A covering letter is where you expand on the points in your CV and make an employer want to pick up the phone. You can write about what you got from the experience you’ve outlined in your CV and detail why you’d be the best applicant for the job. A covering letter is a chance to make the most of your CV, and you can find a guide on how to write them here.
Extreme job hunting
For some people, a covering letter and CV isn’t enough. People like Adam Pacitti and Dan Conway decided that the normal methods of applying just weren’t doing it for them, so they took their job applications to the next level. They made their job hunts extreme.
“I was getting no results using the same old boring traditional methods that everyone else was using so had nothing to lose trying a different approach. What was the worst that could happen?” says Dan. Adam had a similar experience “I applied for 250 jobs the conventional way and only had two replies – both telling me I wouldn’t be getting the job. I thought I was doing everything right.”
After launching their own job hunts – Adam rented a billboard and pasted his face and website on it, whilst Dan started a website and ran different stunts in an attempt to find employment – they did both find employment. Although Adam faced some slightly unsavoury feedback “One guy threatened to burn down my house. He didn’t like my supposed self-entitlement or my big nose” they both say that extreme job hunting can be a good way of getting noticed “You have to have an edge that makes you stand out. Using extreme job hunting tactics can give you that edge if done right” says Dan.
For any graduate job hunter, Dan has some final advice “Whatever job or field you want to get into, start a website where you can showcase your relevant skills, experience etc. There are lots of cheap, easy to use self-make websites that are simple. Also use social media channels and a blog. Having as many courses as possible to drive people to your website is key.”