Struggling to get a job after finishing education?

by | 27.07.20

Finishing education can feel like a scary time, now is when you are going to try to enter the big wild world of work. Gone are the days of getting up at 11am or spending a total of two hours a day in studying. Looking for a job once you have completed school, college or university can be stressful and finding a job in this market is going to  be tough, so here are some tips which will get you prepared.

Prepare a fantastic CV

On average you just have 8.8 seconds to stand out, so you need to be able to sell yourself on paper. Submitting a boring CV means you won’t get an interview.  Make your CV interesting, informative and a little bit difference.

Don’t apply for every job you see

We know looking for a job is tedious but don’t apply for everything you think you may be able to do, instead find five or ten roles which you think will suit you and tailor the covering letter you send with your CV to suit each individual role. 

Always add a personal profile on your CV

It’s hard to write a personal profile, especially during your first job search. A common mistake is regurgitating what’s on your CV. Instead write about your strengths,  soft skills are what get people jobs now days, tell a story about yourself and the value you can add to the workplace. 

Clean up your social media

Without doubt a savvy employer will Google any candidates they are interested in and will check your social media profiles. So make sure you review your profile and untag any unwanted photos to ensure they are impressed with what they see.  Partying with your mates is not a good thing for a potential employer to see 

Showcase yourself on social media

Use social media to your advantage, utilise it is a showcase of yourself, try to post  a blog  showing what you want to achieve in your career now you are out education or post relevant tweets that show you follow current affairs of the industry you want to work in. If an employer believes you are in control of your personal brand, they are more likely to trust you with theirs.

Bulletproof your CV

Your CV should be perfect, there is no excuse for spelling mistakes, poor layout or lazy presentation. It should never be produced in a fancy font, it should be very easily read. Don’t get overly creative and we would strongly advise you not put a photograph of you on your CV – someone might not like the look of you – and very few of us are really photogenic.

Consider changing direction

It may have been your ambition throughout education to enter an industry which is now suffering because of Covid 19, ie: the travel or leisure sector.  So you may have to consider other areas.  For instance if the world of travel has always been your thing why not try consider going into event management or the customer service sector

Re-educate yourself

There are two areas or employment which are buoyant at the moment.  One is teaching, the other is nursing.  If you have a degree you will still have to go back to University and do a post graduate course to be a teacher or a nurse.  But if you have finished college and have  ‘A Levels or a BTEC National Diploma and GCSE’s in Maths, English and Science you can go straight to university and do a degree in either education or nursing.  Only consider this move it is it something you really fancy.  Both of these careers are vocational and won’t suit everyone.

Consider an apprenticeship

I know they are not glamourous and some people look down on them as a ‘last resort’ option but they are a really good option at the moment.  You will spend 80% of your week at work and 20% at College.  You will earn salary and your College fees will be covered by your employer and the government.  There are a wide range of apprenticeships out there with all sorts of employers.  It’s a double whammy really, we earn a salary but most importantly you get experience which will help you get your next job.  Apprenticeships typically last between one year and 18 months.  They really are worth looking at the moment.

Have realistic expectations

The reality is that it takes time to kick-off your dream career and find the perfect job and this is a terrible time for anyone to find themselves on the job market so be realistic.  But this doesn’t mean you have to settle for something you don’t want, but also don’t rush to reject an opportunity that just isn’t 100% perfect. You may gain more of the experience you crave once you’re in the door and impressing people.

So to summarise it is important that you prepare yourself for the workplace, have the right mental attitude and tools that will open doors for you. Think of your first job as a stepping stone to your long term career goal and don’t let knockbacks dent your confidence.  Be flexible, it is unlikely that you are going to walk straight into your dream job, you may do but probably you won’t.  You will have to work really hard at the moment to find the right job so roll up your sleeves and get going!!


Happy Job Seeking