It’s just under two weeks until the end of 2015, and many graduates will be thinking ahead to the New Year and what 2016 will hold for them. According to national statistics, approximately 40% of all workers begin the search for a new job or career move in the New Year. Whilst many New Year’s resolutions are broken after the first week, searching for a new job or career path can, for some, be a demanding task which requires planning and patience.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) released their annual ‘What Do Graduates Do?’ Report, which provides an insight into how employable today’s graduates are, and the rate at which these graduates are finding employment after university. The compiled figures highlighted that the rate of employment for new graduates increased from 75.6% in January 2014 to 76.6% in January 2015. This statistic alone highlights a positive outlook for 2016’s graduates, but it is still important to point out that jobs remain competitive in the current economic climate.
To help you out, Viking have listed a number of career tips for hitting the ground running in 2016:
1) Broaden your search
When you graduate from university, you may not know what specific career route you want to go down. Our main tip is to keep your options open and don’t just choose one particular avenue. Instead, use job search websites to investigate different angles and conduct some research into other vocations that may suit your skill set.
2) Take up a new hobby
It’s important to take some time out from the stresses of searching for a new job. We all need a chance to unwind once in a while, so you may want to consider taking up a sport or joining a local gym. This will benefit your general well-being and can help build your sense of confidence, which will benefit your chance in a job interview.
Make a list of goals that you want to achieve in the next six months. This will allow you to physically view your aims and, from this, you can then create a plan in order to make it happen.
3) Tailor your CV
If you have used the same CV template for a long time you may want to freshen it up. A good technique is to create multiple templates for the different types of roles that you are applying for. This will allow you to specialise in specific areas, and not worry about including unnecessary information. Although it may be time-consuming, the results will be worthwhile. This method will prioritise the most important information and you can then expand on your CV in the cover letter.
However, always remember to proof-read your CV and cover letter. Print it out and pass your CV to three other people, asking them to read it through to ensure the document has clarity and a solid layout. Ask your friends and family to highlight areas for improvement. Keep your CV to two pages maximum.
4) Secure your social media and be active online
If you are hunting for a new job, make sure that you secure your social media. You wouldn’t want a future employer to judge you by the photos from your boozy night out over Christmas, would you? According to statistics, 45% of HR managers use social media when they are recruiting, whilst another study concluded that 55% of recruiters didn’t hire somebody based upon the content of social media.
Social media has helped to open up the job market, so make the most of it! Engage in discussions surrounding the area of work you want to go into. You could also try following experts in that particular industry and keeping up-to-date with tweets related to new job opportunities.
5) Don’t be complacent
It may take a while to receive a positive response, but never give up. If you manage to bag an interview but don’t get the job, feel free to follow up and ask for feedback. This is one of the main methods of learning how to improve in an interview situation, and it also shows an element of professionalism. Don’t take feedback personally, take it on board and work on how you can improve for the next time. Be positive and persevere!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Viking!