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How to get a job in 2017

Get motivation for your job hunt from The Apprentice finalist Claire Young.

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The New Year often brings a focus on resolutions, and for many people finding a new job will be at the top of the list.

I first started working as a waitress at 15 years old, and since then have grafted away in various roles before I started my own business.

There is fine art to job hunting; the joy of applying, interviewing and dealing with rejection before – fingers crossed – being successful. Hopefully my advice below will help you get hired (and not fired!).

Don’t be a job snob

Over the years I have worked in various roles; from 12 hour shifts in a petrol station, serving customers in retail, waitressing in restaurants and holiday repping, before I entered the corporate career ladder.

Each of my part-time roles taught me really important life skills, from working with the public, good sales experience and a strong work ethic, to being a great team player and the ability to manage my time.

When looking for jobs, don’t become blinkered. Look at ALL the opportunities available, put yourself forward and go for them! You never know where a job role will take you and what you will learn from it. Be positive, say yes, and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Be proactive and use your initiative

Opportunities are not going to land in your lap, you have to make them happen.

• Use job boards such as totaljobs.
• Use social media. I find Facebook really useful for joining groups which are related to the industry which you would like to work in. You can pick up topical information (useful for interviews) and make new contacts too.
• Use agencies and take the time to join their books. They can’t put you forward for an interview if they don’t know about you!
• If there’s a particular company that you would like to work for, pick up the phone and apply to them directly. Find the right person to apply to and send them a letter and email, and follow up with a phone call two weeks later. Use the three-prong approach! There is nothing wrong with being determined and showing them how much you would like to work for them.

Go out there and sell yourself!

This starts with your CV. In essence this is your own personal billboard, shouting about how great you are and why they should employ you.

• Keep it neat and tidy with no spelling mistakes. Use spellcheck and get someone else to proof read it.
• Be interesting! Nobody wants to interview, or hire, someone dull. Include hobbies, achievements, volunteering or anything which will make you stand out.
• Include a personal statement at the top of your CV, a short paragraph which summaries who you are and why they should meet you. Tailor your personal statement towards the role that you are applying for.
• Remember that your CV should be no longer than 2 pages long.
• Always take your CV to the job interview. It shows that you’re prepared, and you can read it on the way there so the information is fresh in your head.

Practice makes perfect

Interviews are like anything in life; the more of them you do, the better you become. Before you head off for an official interview have someone ask you questions as part of a ‘mock’ interview. This will both warm you up and help calm any nerves!

• Arrive early. It’s good to be keen!
• Look interested, smile and greet them with a nice, firm handshake.
• Dress smart. First impressions really do count. It’s always better to be over than under-dressed; it shows that you care and take pride in your appearance. Timpson offer a free dry cleaning service for work suits to those who are job hunting.
• Always prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. Write them down and have them ready; the interviewer will be impressed that you have researched the company, the role and are proactive enough to ask something.
• Be passionate and enthusiastic. Employers want staff who are driven, happy and keen to work.

Persistence pays

The chances are that at some point, you will get rejected from various applications and interviews. The general estimation is that for every job opportunity, an average of 90 people apply. On leaving university I received 76 rejection letters!

It takes a thick skin, lots of energy and a positive attitude to keep your head (and spirits) up, but this is probably one of the most important parts of successful job hunting. YOU NEED TO KEEP GOING. One day you will get a yes, you will get hired, and you will be glad that you never gave up.

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9 Comments

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  1. Jordan goodrum Saturday, 17 Dec, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Looking for retail shop work or warehouse but willing to try new things

  2. Cinzanna Fernandes Saturday, 17 Dec, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Looking forward for a job

  3. John Balikuddembe Saturday, 17 Dec, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I am searching for Work.
    I am ably fit to render my services and solutions to the company or Organizations.
    So, let your eyes not go over me please.
    thank you.

  4. Colin Mitchell Monday, 19 Dec, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Looking for suitable full time permanent office admin / post room / data entry / maintenance admin / light parts – stock roles in the local area, if any are available.
    Looking forward to your prompt reply, it’s appreciated, thank you for your time.

    • Martin Hofschroer Monday, 19 Dec, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Colin. You can start by looking at our admin jobs page: https://www.totaljobs.com/jobs/admin You can refine your search by location and job type.

  5. Ronnie Murray Monday, 19 Dec, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Hello there I’m looking for retail jobs

  6. Andrew Edwards Tuesday, 20 Dec, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Hello, Have you any advice for over 50’s regarding job search and applications please

  7. Ruth Sunday, 29 Jan, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Do you have any advice for a 55yr old women who last worked 8 years ago, in a admin role. I have since updated my IT skills, taken a sage accounting course at level 1 and have, last year volunteered for a 4 week admin position that lead nowhere. My references are from 8 yrs ago and the agencies that I’ve called wont take me on unless I have at least 6 months Current experience.

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