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Getting ready for work life – in 3 simple steps

Top tips for kick-starting your career after school or college.

Getting ready to leave school or college?

It can be really daunting! It’s easy to panic and stress about what you need to do to start your career. But don’t worry, here’s some top tips.

These three things will get you totally prepared to start out as a young professional.

1. Create your CV

Writing the perfect CV and cover letter is easier than you think. There are a few simple things you can do to make your job application the best it can be.

  • How long should my CV be? – around ¾ sides of an A4 page.
  • What should I put on my CV? – personal details (including contact details like your phone number and email address), education and qualifications, employment history, interests and hobbies, and references. You should also write a separate cover letter.
  • Wait, what’s a cover letter? – it’s a single page letter about you which should encourage the employer to read your CV. Make it interesting and write about why you’d be great for the role you’re after. Be super specific – relate your skills to the skills needed for the job.
  • What if I don’t have enough to write about? – don’t worry if you’ve not had tonnes of work experience. You’ve definitely got tonnes of life experience – and you can relate it all to the job. Use the skills from the babysitting you do every Friday, from participating in your local club, or volunteering at school.

2. Find your calling

Once you’ve got your CV up to scratch – start searching and applying for jobs. Choose the right one for you that matches things you’re great at, and you’re passionate about. Your passion will shine through and make you stand out from the crowd.

3. (Interview) practice makes perfect

A job interview might be scary but practice makes perfect. It will give you complete self-confidence to make a great first impression. But where do you start?

  • Research the company – make sure you're clued up on the business you're interviewing with. Understand what’s important to them. Know what they do and why they do it. This will help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Be prepared – know the job advert inside and out. Know the name of the person you’re interviewing with. Know how to get there – ahead of time. You want to be as prepared as you can possibly be – so there’s no last minute surprises. Don’t add to the stress, make it easy for yourself.
  • Know your strengths – it’s important to know your strengths so you can answer interview questions with confidence – you need to put modesty to the side and show off your skills. Spend some time thinking about what they are. Have a read through your CV and prepare some real-life examples of how you’ve used the things you’re good at.

Feeling ready yet?

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