Reading time: three mintues
Completing life as a student should lead to a sigh of relaxation, but often it’s an incredibly stressful time of job hunting in a very saturated market. Having just gone through the process myself, here are my most vital tips that helped me to land a job:
1. Make sure your CV is impeccable
It goes without saying, but it's amazing how many people underestimate the value of a well laid-out CV. Presentation is everything – make sure your CV is easy to read and all the important points stick out at a glance. One thing I like to do is set certain words in bold, like my final result at university and any skills I displayed in my roles (such as attention to detail or working under pressure).
When it comes to the bullet points on your CV, make sure you use active language and outline what you achieved in previous roles (rather than what you’ve learnt). In terms of how many bullet points, for older roles stick to one bullet point and for the most recent roles, no more than two. Try not to make your points too wordy – the more concise, the better.
Your CV is a snapshot of your professional achievements, not an autobiography. Treat it as such.
2. Reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn
It’s easy for your application to get lost in the sea of other applicants, so the best way to stick out is to reach out directly to the recruiter on LinkedIn. If you can’t see who’s recruiting for the role, go through the job description and see if you can find out which team the role is based in. Once you know which team, go on the company’s LinkedIn page and see if you can find a senior member of the team or someone currently in the role. After that, it’s just a matter of sending them a well-drafted message indicating your interest in the role and asking if they'd be free to have a quick chat.
Here's a message template you can use (make sure you tailor it to the specific role!):
“Hi [insert name],
I see you're recruiting [insert role] for [insert company name]. I believe I'd be a good fit given my [insert your relevant qualities, experiences and/or acamedic qualifications].
I'd love to learn more about this opportunity and discuss my suitability for this role. Would you be open to having a quick chat?
[insert your name]”
Pro tip: if you can’t message them because you’ve run out of InMail credits or don’t have LinkedIn Premium, send them a connection request with a personalised invite.
3. Always apply with a cover letter
I know how long and tedious it can be to write a cover letter for each role, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it. Use the cover letter as an opportunity to express your keen interest in the role and outline your suitability. If you’re applying for multiple roles that require a similar skillset, such as a paralegal role, then it might be worth writing up a strong cover letter template that you can use for all your applications. I tend to use my cover letter template for about 99% of roles I apply to. The only time I write a cover letter tailored specifically for a role is if I'm very interested in it. If you do decide to use a template, make sure that you review it each time you apply for a role – the last thing you want is to have the wrong company name or job title!
Good luck in your job hunting!