A letter to a first-time job seeker!

So, you have graduated/finished school, had that last Summer of fun, and now it’s time to get on the career ladder…

More people than you would imagine are unsure of what they want to do. For most of us, it’s trial and error to find a company and a job that you like, that might ultimately lead to a fulfilling career.

Despite what you have been told, (potentially by a parent) you don’t need a job for life – or even 5 years.

You just need that first job to be in the right place. Do that for a few years then move on, learn more, progress and eventually you will figure out what you love. At this point in your life you are navigating a lot so don’t pile on the pressure to find the perfect job, just start with a job!

Don’t worry if there are a few bumps on the road, keep learning and developing and you will be heading in the right direction.

To get started you need a CV. They are still necessary and based on some of the people I have been talking to recently – a real challenge.

So, here are my top tips:

  • Include all your education – A Levels & GCSEs or equivalent are still relevant
  • Date your education and work experience
  • Add your key responsibilities/achievements from your work experience so far
  • Think about transferable skills – if you worked at KFC then you are customer facing
  • List any technical products/platforms/programmes that you have experience of, algorithms and recruiters pick that up quickly
  • Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date
  • Try to keep it to 2 pages (since you are at the start of your career this should be easy to do)
  • Be visual where relevant
  • Add some personal things – hobbies, travels, passions etc
  • Ask family or friends to read over your CV to check for errors.

When you have done it, leave it for a day or two and then go back to it.
At a glance (and that’s sometimes all it will get by a potential employer) does it showcase you?

If the answer is yes, send it to the jobs you think you might be interested in or the companies that you would like to work for and see what happens.

Always ask for feedback if you are rejected, and always listen to advice.

Be brave, be bold and good luck.