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Career tips

Everyone benefits from a little advice, especially when they’re starting out. So, we've put together our top 10 tips to help you ace your applications and kick start your career in the best possible way.

Explore all resources available to you. This can be anything from a careers service to online CV templates. There are loads of things out there. So, think about what you need some help with and research what’s on offer. Our employability webinars are just one example.

Your CV is the first impression you make on a potential employer. So, make it a good one. Keep it clear and concise, showing some of your interests as well as your achievements and experience. Make sure it reads well (no typos) and is bang up to date.

Employers will be interested in your experience as well as your skills, so getting some work experience is always a bonus. It doesn’t have to be in your desired industry, it could be a weekend, summer, or voluntary role. More than anything, an employer will be looking for reliability and a good work ethic.

Like us, lots of companies offer internships, work experience and voluntary opportunities, through shadowing or mentoring to help you get experience of the industry you want to work in. Not only will it give you relevant skills and knowledge, but it’ll help you make choices about your career direction too.

It may seem obvious, but the more planning you do, the more prepared you’ll be. Learn about your industry and stay up to date with news and trends. You’ll learn a lot about a company just from their website, as well as from their competitors.

First, make sure you understand the role and the company, familiarise yourself with the job specification, and identify all the ways you meet the criteria. Think of relevant examples that will support what you’re saying.

Do some practice interviews to boost your confidence and try techniques to help you give great answers, like the STAR approach. If you’re invited to a digital interview, treat it exactly the same as a face-to-face one and prepare just as thoroughly.

Networking can open doors you didn’t know were there. Reach out to anyone who could help get your name out there, this could be friends, family, classmates or colleagues . If you can pick up some work experience or get a heads up that a position may be available soon, it’ll be worth it.

Set up a LinkedIn profile to connect with other professionals and discover opportunities. Networking events, insight days, and online communities are other ways to meet people and make new contacts.

Be realistic about the roles you apply for. Don’t go for any job you come across, apply to those most suited to your skills. If you’ve applied for a few positions and haven’t heard back, try not to take it personally. Remember there are lots of opportunities out there.

Whether you’re writing a cover letter or answering an interview question, keep it positive. Focus on what you can offer rather than what you can’t. And don’t let rejection get you down. Ask for feedback and you’ll find that you can learn a lot from it, making you better prepared when the next opportunity comes your way.