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Be realistic & authentic
Today, earning a degree is no guarantee of securing work afterwards. You will be competing against many of your peers -- often in the same boat as you -- and so presenting yourself as professional through both the application stage and interview is a must.
This doesn't always mean that the piercings have to go, or you need to subdue yourself in the interview room. If an employer thinks your personality would mesh well in the company, you stand a fighting chance.
However, it could take years before you land a role in your required role. In the meantime, anything to keep you in work can help. It may also be worth considering broadening your horizons by researching internships, opportunities abroad and free courses.
Links of interest:
Generation Y are well known for acronyms, emoticons and typos, but when you're sending an email to a prospective employer, email etiquette is key.
There are a number of ways you can improve your email communication, including:
- Check for spelling mistakes.
- Use a professional email address, preferably with your full name.
- Use the correct salutation -- Ms., Dr., Sir, or Madam are usually acceptable -- but not 'Hey."
- Punctuation is important.
- Stay clear of emoticons and exclamation marks -- unless they do it first. If you receive a response, tailor your reply to their tone.
- Leave signature-based profound quotes about life on Facebook and Tumblr.
- Make communication easy -- send along your telephone number.
- Keep it short and sweet -- there is rarely much time in the world of recruitment.
- Don't forget to follow up.
A further tip is to avoid copying and pasting messages in contact forms online. Sometimes, due to differences in coding, the message will arrive garbled at the other end -- rendering it unreadable and immediately deleted.
Links of interest:
Image credit: AJ Cann
Create your own website
The idea of creating a website to promote yourself and your skills was once a scary thought. However, there are free templates available online, free CMS sites including Wordpress and Joomla make updates easy, and even Google has got into the creative act by offering a new, web-based design facility.
By having your own web domain, you can upload a resume, document your background and skills, as well as explain the role you're seeking. If you are working as a freelancer, your own website is often a must to display a portfolio of your work.
If you also invest in an adwords campaign, then more relevant visitors may find themselves on your site.