Summer is approaching, soon you’ll be graduating, and one of the most pivotal stages of your life is waiting for you – the beginning of your career.
Yes you heard it right, the way you start your career will most likely influence the rest of your life. Finding the perfect job, especially if you haven’t many experiences, isn’t easy and many times results to be incredibly frustrating.
Getting your first job is a long process that can take several months, and you must be prepared to receive many negative answers, if no answers at all. However, if you’re very motivated and willing to spend a good amount of time on yourself you will eventually achieve it.
Personally I’m not an expert, and I’m not the head of the human resources of some big companies as well. However, because I’m graduating soon, I’ve spent the last months researching and studying how to find the right job for who approaches the working world for the first time – so hopefully sharing my findings will be useful.
Writing a perfect CV is the first and most important step that you have to take in order to be successful. Remember companies receive daily an enormous amount of resumes from all around the world and so yours have to be interesting enough to stand out from the crowd.
- Be concise! maximum one page long – you don’t want any recruiter to think that you’re logorrheic, boring, or arrogant.
- Start with a personal profile. Here is where you shortly present yourself explaining to the reader what makes you different.
- Write about your academic career – that’s the biggest achievement you have so far. Furthermore, be sure to include relevant courses taken during your undergraduate studies.
- Write the three most relevant experiences you have so far – be sure to include tasks and responsibilities along with specific examples about each of them.
- Include one extra experience that, even if it is not directly related to you job aspirations, shows what you have been up to in these past years.
- Write about your competencies and languages, such as being advanced in Microsoft Office or fluent in Spanish.
- Include your community services but be sure to explain in-depth the role you played in them.
- If you have space left in the page include your hobbies, and be sincere about it – don’t write that you like art if you’re not ready to specifically explain in a interview why.
Cover letters, or also called letters of intention, are very important nowadays because they deeply explain what is written in your CV. Usually, you should write a cover letter for each job you apply for but you can always write a general draft that you can revise & correct depending on the type of job you’re applying to.
- Again, be concise – you really don’t want to be boring.
- Use the cover letter to explain in-depth why your experiences and academic career are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- Be professional and make sure to not make grammar mistakes – That would get you off the possible candidates’ list in a second
- Explain why and what makes you so interested about that specific role.
- Write about what makes you different from all the others who are applying for the same position.
SEARCH FOR VACANCIES WHICH ARE RIGHT FOR YOUR COMPETENCES
Don’t aim too high, we are just undergraduates looking for our first job after all. Depending on the company you’re applying to search for entry level vacancies such as: analyst, or assistant.
- Do not underestimate internship opportunities – usually in the end of it you’ll get a job offer and in big companies such as Morgan Stanley it’s what most likely you will get anyway.
- Work on your LinkedIn – that’s where recruiters often check you out.
- Use the career’s sites of companies to find available currencies.
- Use LinkedIn to find & apply.
I know, start in Google or Facebook would be great but it isn’t often achievable, and in some cases not even the best option. In fact, it is way easier to climb the job ladder in a smaller company which is less competitive than within a bigger one – and once you’ll get a relevant job title in a small company you can always apply to a bigger one and maintain there the same occupation!
A couple of years ago I asked to a friend of my sister who is really successful what was his secret. He told me that when he graduated, while of all his peers went for big companies, he decided to start small. After three years he became manager and moved into a very famous company while his friends still had the same role as three years before.
END UP DREAMING
Even though it is a good choice to start small I am not telling you to stop dreaming. Hence, go to your favorite companies’s websites, search for possible vacancies that would meet your competences & apply. It won’t be easy but trying costs nothing.
Furthermore, I know many people who have sent their resumes to enormous companies more as a joke and got lucky enough to be hired. Hence, the secret is to have in your list a good balance between big and small companies in order to be backed up.
SEND MORE THAN 150 RESUMES!!
Yes you have heard it right – send a ton of resumes. Unfortunately, as I said before, many companies will give you a negative answers, if no answers at all, and so to be successful in finding your first job the most important trick is to increase your chances as possible as you can. In fact, statistically & logically, the most resumes you’ll send and the most likely you’ll get job offers – it is simply common sense.
Another really important aspect of finding a job is to be as professional as you can be. Please forget about terms such as: guys, getting, bests, awesome, or cool. Be sure to stay professional either in writing and in person, even if your employer seem very chill – either it’s because they achieved a position in which are allowed to do so or they are simply testing you. In fact, it is always better in every situation to seem professional rather than not. Remember, Oscar Wilde used to say that you can never be overdressed or overeducated – and when it comes about finding a job I couldn’t agree more with that.
you can never be overdressed or overeducated
PREPARE FOR INTERVIEWS
Congratulations you got an interview! You can relax now – no just kidding. Once you get an interview and so you’ll have either a scheduled call, videoconference, or meeting with someone be sure to prepare for it as best as you can. Here some tricks:
- Check the company’s website.
- Find possible case studies or tangible examples about what they do and print them out.
- Study them until you will know about those examples & case studies more than the people who have actually worked on them.
- Memorize the company’s mission & goals.
- Check how it started – where, when, and how.
- Try to know everything that is possible knowing about the person who will interview you – this is very fundamental because it will help you to create a bond & show your motivation to the person who most likely will have the bigger impact on whether getting you or not.
- Write down a list of possible questions and exercise at answering them until you’ll master it – be sure to give specific examples for each answer you’ll give. For instance, if you say that you work well in teams make sure to bring up specific examples that back you up.
RELAX AND BE YOURSELF
Once you’re at the interview remember to be as professional and prepared as you can be, but at the same time do not try to be someone else. First of all, if you act you’ll be eventually caught either at the interview or later on and it’s something you really don’t want to happen. Secondly, the best version of yourself is always the real you because only when true to yourself you show all of your potentials and capabilities. Lastly, be relaxed! I know that it won’t be easy to do so, but it is pivotal to not stress out for two reasons: first of all, they’ll notice it and what any employer really doesn’t want is someone who can’t handle a stressful situation! Secondly, be relaxed really helps to get the best out of you – thing that you really want to happen during an interview.
EXAMPLES OF INTERVIEW’S QUESTIONS
Instead of writing possible questions that you’ll likely encounter during an interview ( which you can find a multitude online ) I decided to show you some of the queries that a consulting firm asked to a friend of mine during an interview he had a couple of days ago – hopefully a real example will be more useful.
- What have you been up to in these past years?
- Did you conduct any practical work for your classes?
- What type of professional experiences have you had so far?
- Why are you specifically interested to join our company?
- Why consultancy?
- What’s your favorite British brand? why?
- If you were to be a consultant for that brand what would you change?
- Are you a team player?
- How would you handle a situation in which you won’t be able to know the results of your work?
- How do you deal with different cultures?
- What are your hobbies?
- Which type of research is more important – qualitative or quantitative?
- Are you comfortable speaking in front of a large audience?
- And much more..
Remember to always bring very specific examples for each answer you’ll give – this is FUNDAMENTAL in order to succeed into the next stage.
FOLLOW UP WITH IT
Lastly, never wait for a possible recruiter or company to be the one following up with you, but be always the one who follows up first with everything that happens during the process. This shows your commitment and motivation and it is something which is truly appreciated throughout the entire working world.