Around about now, thousands of students are bursting onto the jobs market. The jobs market can seem a daunting place at the moment. This generation of students have known only negative economic commentary and conditions since their Leaving Cert days, and many are deflated by it all. But being deflated is not a viable action plan.
Young people get a lot of lip-service. They are told they are our greatest asset without really knowing what that means, if anything.
Every ‘next’ generation gets told they are the country’s greatest asset. Big swing. Being 20 is not an asset in itself: it’s how you use your ability, potential, education, wisdom, and countless other attributes that determines if you are an asset or not.
And to whom exactly are you an asset? And to whom exactly should you be an asset?
Your first requirement is to be an asset to yourself. Make yourself viable, make yourself relevant, get yourself on the ladder.
Ultimately, you are the one who most benefits from getting your stuff together. Therefore, you are the one who must take responsibility for it, and you can wail against the prevailing economic conditions, the political classes, the power brokers, the breeze that changed at half-time, the this, the that, and the other - but, when you’re done wailing, it will still come back to you to make your own moves.
So what should you do if you’re just leaving college now? Here are some simple tips. They are so simple they might be described as no-brainers, but it’s amazing how few college graduates have all of these things together.
1 Write a CV and cover letter that sells you.
2 Create/update your LinkedIn profile.
3 Take a job - even if it’s not in your exact area. Employers like to see a record of work. A worker is a worker is a worker.
4 Put the word out that you’re looking for work - tell your friends, their parents, your sports colleagues, your former teachers and lecturers, anyone who might keep an eye out for you. The hidden jobs market is still one of the key sources of employment: what starts as a random day or week in a company can lead to a great deal more.
5 Be available for eleventh hour call-ups. Newly qualified teachers understand this drill: frequently, they don’t know until the night before where they will be teaching the following day, if anywhere. But they are ready when the call comes: alternative plans are easily swept aside in favour of the day’s teaching that could lead to a lot more.
6.For the more imaginative types, look at creating a video CV, or an online profile on something like Rezoomo.com This is truly the era of creative job-searching.
In this way, you can use your time effectively. Make the job of getting a job a job in itself ( I accept you may need to read that bit a few times ). Go online to see what others did to get a job, and see what methods you can use for your own means.
Graduates can feel hamstrung by the rules. In job-searching, there really aren’t rules. There are vacancies and there are people who fill them. How you decide to put yourself in the frame to be the person who fills that vacancy is entirely up to yourself: people have done all sorts of things to prove their suitability.
Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Athlone (090 ) 6403003, Galway, Mayo (Crossmolina and Ballinrobe ), Dublin, and Limerick. Their services include CV preparation, interview training and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/athlone