From part-time work alongside your studies to full-time graduate roles, applying for jobs is a huge part of student life. Working during your degree is a great way to get experience in your chosen field or simply support yourself financially. The experience you gain whilst studying (both in the classroom and out) will help you when applying for jobs after graduation. Every recruitment process will be different, but here are HYBR’s top tips for tackling the job hunt and making your application stand out.
It’s great to have a CV that details all of your past work experience, but it’s important to remember that employers want to see why you want this role in particular. Make sure to take your time with your application and address the key points listed in the job advert in a cover letter. What are the key qualities the employer is looking for? How do you meet them? What have you done in the past that is relevant to the role? Show the employer how you meet the requirements of the role.
When applying for a role, make sure to look the company up online. Where possible, visit their website and ‘About us’ section. Glassdoor can help you get a better understanding of a company and offers detailed reviews from past employees about the work environment and typical salaries. Find out what you can about the company culture and explain why you specifically want to work for them in your cover letter. Maybe you hold some of the same values or passions. Maybe they offer great career progression and mentorship. Use your cover letter to tell the employer why you want to work for them!
Finding your first job can be difficult, as a lot of employers value candidates with relevant experience. Thankfully, there are other ways to gain experience to make your application stand out. Try volunteering for a local charity or organisation to the field you would like to work in. Sites like Do-it, Indeed and the Government website can help you find the best volunteer programme for you. Alternatively, completing online courses can be a great way to demonstrate your passion for a subject - there are a lot of free courses available on sites such as FutureLearn, Open University and Google Digital Garage. You can use these experiences to gain new skills and refer to in future applications and interviews.
Being rejected by an employer can be disheartening, but it’s important not to take it personally. A recruiter might be considering someone internally, or another candidate might just have a few more years experience, or the employer might think you were a better fit for a different role. You might have even felt a little nervous in the interview - which is completely fine. Navigating the hiring process can be intimidating and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. Take the opportunity to learn how you could improve for the next application - ask if the employer has time to give you some feedback, or maybe take part in practice interviews with friends and family to boost your confidence. Try to remain positive and remember - you’re one rejection closer to finding your next job.
Try not to over-do it with job applications. It can be tempting to spend all day browsing through job websites and scrolling through endless advertisements, but it’s important to take time away from your screen. Make sure to take regular breaks from your job hunt, so you can maintain momentum in the future and not burn out too early.
Those are HYBR’s top five tips for applying for jobs whilst studying and after graduation. We wish you luck on your job search! For more information on how working part-time whilst you study can benefit you in the future, check out the article linked here.