If you are hoping to land your first job, or you are wanting to make a big change in the direction of your career, you will need all the support you can get to increase your chances of success. Despite various obstacles in the current economy, the job market is more diverse than ever before. Though competition is on the up, remember that there are new ways to improve job prospects before you begin your next search.
Know the current climate
The job application process is not the same as it once was. You may often hear your seniors talk of how they secured jobs when they were younger. While some involved merely handing out their CV, it was also down to who they knew. These days, much of the application process has moved online – even for local pub jobs.
Make sure you are not going into the process blind. Keep up to date with how the application process evolves, but also note which kinds of job prospects are changing with the economy. For example, those seeking a career in medicine should note changes within the NHS, as this may impact working hours and pay. Staying in the loop may not only inform your career choices better, but will give you the upper hand when navigating the application process.
Attend a good university
The UK is home to some of the best universities in the world, with the Russell Group universities especially being known as the UK Ivy League. Attending a university like this hugely increases your chances of pursuing certain roles. Whether it’s a prestigious career in finance, government, or teaching, you’ll find more research-led teaching at these institutions.
The hardest part is getting there. From perfecting your personal statement, to pulling some impressive A-Level results out the bag, preparation for university begins years before you begin your course. When you’re there, try not to ignore the personal lessons you’ll also encounter. University is as much about the people you’ll meet as it is about your course, especially if you end up making some connections that may impact your future career for the better.
You can go to university at any point in your life, so mature students need not worry. Most universities will not only accept a large number of mature students every year, but they have special programmes in place to ensure they feel at home there.
Complete an apprenticeship
University is not for everyone, and that is not a bad thing. Instead, apprenticeships are a great way of gaining hands-on work experience and qualifications, without needing to incur large amounts of student debt. In fact, recent research suggests that there has been a rise in the number of people entering apprenticeships in the last few years.
Traditional apprenticeships can start from the age of 16, promising time split between work and the classroom. If you know your vocation early on in life, this could be a good way of responding to your calling. More recently, however, some of these apprenticeships will offer you the chance to gain a bachelors or masters degree at the same time as working. Those hoping for a career as a solicitor or accountant, for example, may find this route more useful. It is also good news for those wishing to gain these qualifications at a later point in their life.
Seek out work experience
Employers will struggle to employ anyone who doesn’t have any experience on their CV. It doesn’t matter how high your degree grade is if you haven’t displayed any flair for working. This experience is not only vital in securing you a job, but it demonstrates your transferable skills to employers in any field. This means that a part-time café role will still look better on an application to become a marketing assistant, for example, than none.
The most helpful thing you can do here, however, is to use your time to build up your experience. If you’re in education, why not offer to manage a sports team? If you are searching for a career in teaching, why not help out in your local school? There are plenty of ways to get experience, but it does require you to put in a lot of effort – both in finding it, and when you are there.
Perfect your CV
Although the job application process has largely moved online, most companies will still require you to have a CV that details your relevant experience and education for the role. A bad CV can severely impact your chances of getting a job, with some employers taking only a few seconds to decide if you are worth interviewing or not.
Bad grammar, using personal pronouns too much, and failing to use important buzzwords are all issues that can make an employee put your CV straight in the bin. To avoid this happening, here are some important tricks to bear in mind when you sit down to write yours.
- Include your passions outside work – but not too many.
- Make layout and design a priority.
- Avoid using loud colours.
- Use spell check.
- Mention reputable companies you have worked for.
Look outside the UK
It’s true that Brexit has instilled some fears over whether you can work outside the UK, but it won’t limit you too much. You may have always dreamed about working and living abroad; while the process is lengthier and more difficult to navigate, it is entirely possible.
One of the most popular options is working in countries like Australia, where many British people escape to every year on a Working Holiday Visa. With similar working conditions and a better climate, you can earn a solid wage and gain some valuable experience working out there. This is regardless of whether you choose to stay for the long term or not.
Those hoping for a career in teaching can also complete a TEFL course before going to teach English in countries all over the world. With Vietnam, Thailand, and Prague being some of the top locations for teachers, it’s easy to earn a good wage and build a life in these countries, due to the large expat communities there.