Floating around in around in cyber space somewhere are the dozens of CVs and cover letters I have sent to various places. Yet again, I am anointed into the adult world, this time through the experience of Job Hunting. For the past few weeks I have been on the prowl, scouring the Internet and various noticeboards alike for summer positions that will help me in achieving the experience and 300 hours I need for my practical work course. As I’m not the kind of person who will have a job for the sake of having one, I really, really, reallyreallyreally hope that something fun, interesting and dynamic is heading my way. I want pizzazz and excitement; I want to be busy.
I’m sure that many of you are in the same boat I am. So, as per my usual fashion, I have devised yet another handy list of things to look out for when job hunting.
Send your files in Microsoft Word format
Duuuuuuude, I had no idea this was a thing. Silly old me assumed that sending files in PDF format would be easiest for the recipient, because anyone can open a PDF file anywhere. It turns out, that the employer is very likely to use a computer to analyse your resume. In order to do so easily, a file in a Microsoft Word format is recommended. “There is a 90+% chance your targeted employer uses an ATS (applicant tracking system). This means they are digitally importing your resume into a candidate database to analyze against the job description. The parsing tools work best using MS Word,” – Barton Staffing. Of course, if you have been given specific instructions, follow them.
Do your research
A few weeks ago I had a job interview for a health food company, and they were very impressed by the amount of background research I had done. Because I had familiarized myself with the products and the values the company held, we were able to talk about so much. Over time, it stopped feeling like an interview but more of a conversation about something we were both interested in. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job. They gave it to a girl with more experience. But, I received an email for the interviewer saying she was very impressed with my presentation and preparation, so I still see it as a success.
Get some experience
The amount of jobs that require some form of experience, and rightly so, is in the vast, vast majority. My heart drops a little whenever I see things like, “minimum of 3 years’ experience required.” So, honey, especially those still in high school and have time on their hands, get some experience. Look for jobs, network, get out there and gather some references. I know it’s next to impossible to find a job as a high school student, trust me, I’ve been there, but try and find somewhere you can volunteer. Try and land anything that will give you an advantage over all the other people with no experience, whatsoever.
Get yourself some nice interview clothes
I was disappointed with myself. After scouring my closet, I found a mickey mouse denim jacket, a camo jacket, some ripped jeans and an old pair of sunnies. Not a blazer to be seen. Desperate and with no money to spare for a last minute blazer purchase, I borrowed a friend’s. Clean, professional interview clothes are a must. It is always, always better to over dress than under dress for an interview. It’s better to come off as an overachiever than someone who doesn’t give two ducks.
Do what they tell you
Every so often, I look at the “apply online” button and think, “I really want this job. Should I just visit them in person?” But alas, my wise careers advisor told me that when they tell you to apply online, that usually means, “don’t pop in unannounced, we’re busy.” So, here I am sitting and waiting, hoping against hope something bites. Oh, this anticipation and suspense. What a wondrous feeling.
So many more points can be covered; such as how to not turn into a potato at an interview, how to write a CV, and how to send a thank you email post-interview. I have attached some links for your perusal that I found to be very useful in my job hunting process. Good luck, and may the force be with you.