Make a habit of regularly checking for job openings
Whatever job portals you are using to find vacancies, make sure to check them daily, especially during workdays. Apply for job openings as soon as you see them. Some employers receive hundreds of applications, and unless you are one of the first applicants, your chances of getting considered for the job can be slim.
A good way to start the day is to scroll through the latest job openings while having your morning coffee.
Not too broad, not too specific
When you are searching for opportunities in job portals, make sure to use the filtering options, so you can see all vacancies relevant to your interests. This will help you find suitable job openings quicker. Be careful not to make your search too specific, as this will bring you very few search results.
Tailor your CV
A common mistake made by jobseekers is that they only have one CV, which has all their skills, background information, and experience. Make sure your CV is tailored to the type of job you are applying for and include only information that is relevant to that field. If you are applying for jobs in different sectors, you should have a tailored CV for each one.
Depending on the job you are applying for, you can also add a list of your strengths or a portfolio.
Do not forget to include any relevant volunteering experience.
Be open to internships/traineeships
Internships and traineeships are a great way to start your career journey. They may not pay much (or at all), but they can provide you with invaluable professional experience, which you can then use to get a full-time job. Many employers also offer their interns permanent contracts at the end of the internship period if they have been happy with their work.
Use Europass and EURES to build your CV and apply for jobs
Use the Europass tools to build a strong CV and impactful cover letter that will make you stand out from the other applicants.
Polish your social media presence
Now that you are on the job market, you should know that many employers and HR officers look up applicants’ names on social media. Go over your accounts and remove/restrict any posts that you do not want your future employer to see. Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile too!
Networking is important for both jobseekers and workers. It helps you stay up to date with the latest developments in your sector, but it is also a great way to learn about new job opportunities. As a first step, you can go on LinkedIn and look up different industry groups that you could potentially join.
You can even ask a LinkedIn connection (for example, one of your former teachers, professors or classmates) to write a recommendation on your profile to make it more credible.
Accept the fact that your first job may not be your dream job
Very few people stay at their first job for many years. It is perfectly normal to change jobs when a better opportunity presents itself and you have no more to learn at your current job. As a new graduate, the most important thing is simply to start working, so you can start gaining experience and building your professional network.
Do not let rejections get you down
You may be the most qualified applicant for a job opening, but in today’s globalised world, you could be competing against hundreds of applicants just like you. Do not lose hope and keep searching. Everyone finds their first job eventually.
Although we are living in a digital age, many job openings are still not advertised publicly. Instead, they are filled through referrals and professional networking. Check out our tips on how to be an effective online networker.
In partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.
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- Publication date
- 4 May 2022
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
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