How to stay positive with your job hunt in the New Year

beautiful-day-1374434_640-1December has been and gone and the cold, hard reality of January is now upon us all. It is rarely an easy time of year, but throw in the added pressures of a graduate job hunt and it can be particularly hard to get motivated, to stay motivated and to remain positive.

Of course, everyone’s situation is going to be a little different – some of you be dealing with the results of pre-Christmas applications that you made, others may be starting to think seriously about applying for jobs for the first time – but your optimism may well be challenged. What, therefore, can you be doing to ensure that you remain upbeat through the months ahead?

Formulate a plan (and stick to it!)
Before anything else, take the time to work out the steps you need to take and plan them. Goals are much easier to achieve if you have a methodical way of working towards them and ticking items off the plan will help you feel that you are making progress. A Careers Consultant can help you identify your next steps and put together a plan if you are unsure how to get started.

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Guest blog: How to find work abroad

Businessman holding Earth globe - Globalization concept

In difficult economic times such as these, UK graduates could find themselves struggling to find a job. Consequently, working abroad might seem like a more attractive and viable option.

But before you get applying, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Choosing a country

From a casual browse of the internet, you will find that there is no shortage of opportunities for employment abroad.  Therefore, the onus will be on you to try and narrow down the results to find the jobs that best suit your preferences.

Are you looking for a long-term position that would see you living in another country permanently, or at least for an extended period? Maybe you might want something a little more casual, something that could be incorporated into your travel plans? If this is the case, it might be worth focusing on the region you most want to visit.

Whatever you decide, be sure to always check the visa requirements before you travel. While some countries are relatively relaxed on employing tourists, others are not quite so forthcoming. In such instances, applying for a visa can be a tricky process, without any definite guarantees.

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Guest blog: Fine tune your job search process with these active job search techniques

keyboard-417090_960_720 (1)The fire and enthusiasm you have at the beginning of a job search process can soon fizzle out, especially if every application you send fails to elicit the desired response.

Often it is a failure to understand what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for and how they go about sourcing suitable candidates that causes job seekers to submit a poorly-put-together application or fail to find available opportunities.

In order to find the best talent available, recruiters use a myriad of recruitment tools that help source the most suitable candidates for a successful hire. Knowing what these are and how to use them for maximum benefit allows you to position yourself as a desirable prospective employee.

There is more you can do today as a job seeker than just scour job sites for available opportunities and send off copies of your CV to the relevant hiring manager. The introduction of newer job search techniques into the industry, both on and off screen, proves to be much more effective in speaking for your capabilities and worth.

Types of recruitment tools used by recruiters

The recruitment industry is as dynamic as it is competitive. Hiring managers have one end goal – to hire the best talent available for their companies. To achieve this end, they make use of multiple recruitment tools:

  • Job boards and job portals
  • LinkedIn and other social networking sites
  • Newspaper advertisements
  • Employee referrals
  • Job fairs

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Careers & Enterprise: Who we are

Whether you need help finding a part-time job, writing a CV or cover letter, or preparing for a graduate scheme, we can help.

Where are we?

queensThe Careers & Enterprise Centre is based in the Queens’ building (pic on left) on the Mile End campus, which is number 19 on this campus map.

We’re in room WG3, on the ground floor, near the Octagon and the Student Enquiry Office . From the main entrance, head down the corridor on the left-hand side and follow the signs.

What can we do for you?

We help QMUL students and recent graduates (up to 2 years after you graduate) with anything careers-related, from writing a CV to exploring your options after graduation. A career might seem a long way off if you’ve only just finished your first year, but whatever stage you’re at on your QMUL journey, come and see us! Even if you’ve never even thought about life after university, we’re here to help you …

Appointments with Careers Consultants

We offer 20 minute 1-2-1 appointments with a Careers Consultant, and these appointments can cover any careers query, including: CV & application feedback, finding and applying for jobs, or deciding what to do after graduation.

Job hunting

Whether you’re looking for part-time or temporary work, or a full-time role after graduation, take a look at our jobs page for a range of opportunities: careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs. We also have a range of industry-specific resources in our information room and on our website.

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The Basics: Job Hunting

Whether you’re trying to find part-time work, looking for an internship or getting a position after graduation, job hunting can be a bit daunting. But never fear! We’re here to help.

What is job hunting?

Ultimately we meaning finding work in whatever form – full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, internships, work experience etc. Learn to job hunt effectively for one kind of work (say a part-time job) and you will be able to use the same skills for other types (when you are then looking for a job after graduation, for example).

You may also think that we mean looking at vacancy websites – but there’s so much more to job hunting than that. It’s about finding work opportunities wherever they might be.

Where do I start?

Know what you want to do?

Then you are effectively doing a targeted, specific job hunt. You need to develop your industry understanding (known as commercial awareness)- find out as much as you can about how the industry works, the key companies (big and small) and how hiring is generally done. For example, jobs in finance are usually advertised on company websites and jobs boards, whereas finding work in the film industry is more common through networking and word-of-mouth.

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Graduate story: Gaspare Chirillo, Law

GaspareI am Gaspare Chirillo and I have recently graduated from Queen Mary. I have completed a Law degree with a first class and, also, I have been a recipient of the Principal’s Prize for outstanding academic achievements. In addition, during my third year, I have been awarded the Draper’s Scholarship by the Law School; thanks to it, I will undertake an LLM in American Legal Studies in the USA. Particularly, in order to secure this scholarship, I have received great support from the QMUL Careers & Enterprise Department and would like to share my experience.

My time at Queen Mary has been a great ride which equipped me with all of the skills and experiences that I believe would be significantly helpful for my future career. Thanks to the quality of the well-structured law degree and the excellence of the academic body, I have gained a significant knowledge of the legal and commercial field. Moreover, I have been supported by the Careers & Enterprise Department throughout my law degree, which I feel has made me more employable and has helped me in obtaining important results.

Since the first year of the LLB, I have relied significantly on the Careers service which is available to all students of all degrees. I attended many 1-2-1 sessions with Careers Consultants and learnt many skills, including how to make a job application stand out tips

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Using LinkedIn to network

LinkedIn is a professional networking site, and more and more employers are now using it to search for suitable candidates. It’s an effective way to keep in touch with recruiters or people you meet at networking events, and allows you to quickly build up your network of contacts. You can:

  • Showcase your CV, in the form of your online profile, which is searchable by employers
  • Connect with individuals working in your chosen field
  • Research people’s career paths
  • Search for jobs

Our suggestions for getting started:

  • Don’t be tempted to use LinkedIn as a professional Facebook page. Only write appropriate updates and comments.
  • Complete your profile. Make it easier for people to find you by including your name, location, education, skills and experience.
  • Have a profile image. A professional headshot is recommended.
  • Add connections. Begin by searching for people you already know. Invite past and current co-workers and, where relevant, classmates, friends and family to connect with you. More connections gives you greater access to other users, by expanding your network.
  • Get recommendations and endorsements. Ask people who have worked with you to give you a recommendation or endorsement, which is visible to anyone who views your profile.
  • Become an active member of groups, share content and engage in discussions. They’re a good place to get advice and find industry professionals.
  • Update your information regularly – you never know when recruiters might be looking at your page!

Top tips for using LinkedIn to network

  • Find the right people: Search for companies and job titles that you’re interested in.
  • Ask for help and be clear: Ask something specific like, ‘I’d like to know how you started out in your chosen career?’
  • Personalise: Why are you reaching out to this person? Do you have a shared connection or admire their career path?
  • Be considerate: Understand that time is very important and explain that you’d really appreciate as little as 10 minutes.
  • Follow up: You might not hear back straight away, but do politely follow up about two weeks later.