Top 10 career tips

We've put together our top 10 career tips that will help you excel in your applications, interviews and overall career journey. 

Utilise all the available resources around you, this can be anything from a careers service to online CV templates. They are designed and put in place to benefit you. Plan around what you want to achieve and seek what is on offer, you will be surprised at all the free resources online and offline. 

Your CV will usually be the 1st impression you make to a potential employer, so it is important that your CV is clear and concise. Ensure you CV demonstrates your key skills, achievements and experiences whilst also expressing your interest. Make sure it reads well and is kept up to date

An employer is not only interested in your skills but also what experiences you have, so gaining some work experience is always a bonus. This could be anything including entry level, weekend, summer, or voluntary roles and doesn’t even have to be in your desired industry, it is important you can demonstrate a good work ethic. Remember whatever experience you gain is significant and can be transferable to any future jobs.

Exposure into industry can be a great way to land that first graduate job or get you in to your desired field. Many companies provide internships, work experience and voluntary opportunities, utilise these options and get involved. Not only will you gain relevant industry experience, it will also give you an insight into what to expect and can also help you make choices if you are still undecided

This may seem obvious, but the more planning you do, the more beneficial it will be. Learn about your industry and stay up to date with current affairs that apply. You can learn a lot about a company just from visiting their website as well as their competitors. If you are invited to interview, ensure you thoroughly research and can demonstrate you understand the role and company.

You’ve made it to interview, Great! Now its time to get preparing. Firstly, make sure you understand the job and company, familiarise yourself with the job specifications and identify how you meet the criteria. Sit through some mock interviews to practise answering questions and also to understand the process. Research different interview techniques and adapt one that works for you or consider using the STAR approach as this gives depth to your answers. Think of relevant examples that you can give to support what you are saying. Some employers may invite you to a digital interview beforehand, treat this like a face-to-face interview and ensure you take the same approach. 

This is becoming a standard part of the recruitment process for trainee roles, so it is equally as important you plan and prepare for assessment centres as you do for an interview. Research into the different types of activities you can expect, this can range from role plays to presentation, so try practise these beforehand. Stay in regular contact with your recruiter, who can provide you with useful information that can help you prepare. Look into online forums or platforms where previous applicants have left feedback that you can use. 

Never underestimate the power of networking and what doors it can open for you. Reach out to friends, family, classmates, colleagues (this list is endless), who may be able to get your name out there. If you can pick up some work experience from one of your contacts or even an update when a potential position comes up, it’ll definitely be worth it. Consider setting up a linked in account which will allow you to connect with other professionals as well as finding out about opportunities. Attend networking events, insight days or even join online communities this will allow you to meet like-minded individuals and as well as open up any potential opportunities. 

Having a realist approach ensures you stand a fair chance and that way you know what to expect without any disappointments.  Be realistic, apply for jobs that are suitable to you and your skill sets. If you’ve applied for a few positions and haven’t heard anything back, try not to take it personally and remember there are other opportunities and there a number of reasons for why you haven’t heard back. Ensure you understand job application processes that way you can manage your time and expectations accordingly. 

This is a key attitude to have and should be adapted to all communication you make, whether it is your cover letter or language during an interview as it gives the best impression of you. We all face some level of rejection at some point as we are up against competitors so it is important you focus on what you can offer them, rather than what you can’t. Always ask for feedback from any rejections as you will find you can learn a lot from this and can help prepare with any future opportunities.