Tag Archives: social media

Reality of Job Searching in 2013

Long road ahead job searching? May not be as bad as you think...

Long road ahead job searching? May not be as bad as you think…

A big part of our job at the Careers Service is to keep in touch with our employers and find out about changes in graduate recruitment. We had a really interesting talk last week by Claire Adams, Relationship Manager for the Association for Graduate Recruiters (AGR). Here’s a summary of her key tips for students and graduates job searching in this competitive environment:

  • Don’t listen to the media

Whilst the headlines scream doom and gloom, the reality is less grim. Unemployment is high, but it is not as high as it has been. In fact, last year, 30% of AGR member organisations did not fill their graduate recruitment targets despite record numbers of applications, for 3 main reasons:

  • Candidates dropped out at the last minute after accepting job offers
  • Unable to attract candidates because of negative perceptions of industries
  • Late changes to business requirements- with rapidly changing demands, sometimes late requests come from different parts of the organisation to hire more graduates.

So the message is, stay positive and keep motivated. Employers are out there, and they’re still hiring!

  • Widen your search

Look beyond the jobs boards and websites. Job ads are really expensive and a lot of smaller organisations won’t be able to afford to advertise, and certainly won’t be able to cope with the influx of 200 CVs in response to a job ad. They love students and graduates contacting them directly- it saves them time, money and means they get the proactive, enthusiastic candidates who can be bothered to make the effort. Not sure who they are or how to approach them? Check out the ‘How to Research Employer’ pages and ourCreative Job search and Networking’ advice.

  • Use agencies

Some organisations will outsource their recruitment to agencies if they don’t have the staff or the expertise to hire. They also use agencies when they have a last minute changes in business demand and need to hire quickly. Register with agencies to broaden your reach.

  • Shout about your achievements

Never assume that an employer will know what is involved in certain achievements such as the Bristol PLuS Award or being on a society committee. Everyone has different experiences, so spell out exactly what you had to do, and the specific skills you’ve developed.

  • Capture your experiences early

Employers are keen to see what steps you’re taking from the word go to get involved. LinkedIn for example, can be a great way of presenting your experiences and projects so far. How about writing a blog about your job search like the one our intern Ciara has recently started?

Have the confidence to be social

Sara Whittam, Careers Adviser

[Image sourced from morguefile.com]

Your name in lights: how far would you go to get noticed?

What would you do to get your name noticed?

What would you do to get your name noticed?

This crazy festive job seeking story got us talking about some of the really creative ways people have tried to make themselves stand out when job searching.

From using social media  to infographic CVs, there are so many examples of how people are thinking beyond a traditional approach and using all the resources available to them to get themselves noticed.

However before you dive straight in and spend your Christmas break upgrading your CV with bells and whistles, take a moment to think about who you’re applying to. The examples below are successful ones because they are very tailored to the particular sector or employer, so crucially before you start designing, think carefully about your audience! What will wow one employer will be straight in the shredder by another more conservative sort. For example, Joe Kelso’s incredibly creative CV was successful but he admitted that it gained mixed reactions with different recruiters.

Speak their language

To demonstrate technical and marketing skill what better way than to use the social media platforms to prove your confidence? From a CV in the form of a Google Analytics page demonstrating online marketing confidence, to an innovative Google + CV, it’s a great way to put your money where your mouth is.

Thinking about your career timeline, Facebook has also been used as a template to demonstrate skills and interests. There are several excellent examples which have resulted in hiring success, again mainly in online and digital marketing. Claudio Ader was so successful he’s created a handy guide. If you need to prove your skills in getting your message across concisely then you may want to check out these Twesumes for inspiration. Ed Hamilton’s Google Maps CV got over 100,000 views, and is a really effective way of presenting  international travel work and study whereas Celine’s Magazine webpage CV clearly demonstrates her passion for the fashion industry and journalism.

Again, demonstrating creativity, Pinterest has become a good way to curate a lot of your interests and projects and even create a Pinterest CV. You can also see how Slideshare and Prezi  can be used as alternative online tools to present your career timeline to date in a more visual way. In his recent workshop on Social Media Branding at the Careers Service, Adam Lewis, a Bristol alumni, suggested splash pages as a way of creating an effective platform for your online presence. There are also websites like Vizify which curate your online feeds from Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to create a timeline for you.

Get Interactive 

Famously, Alec Brownstein went all out when he was looking for his next position in advertising by buying Google Ads to attract the attention of the people whom he was targeting. It workedas did Graeme Anthony’s interactive clip and Sander Saar’s crowdsourcing idea demonstrating technical ability and creative flair.

Whilst there has been some debate about having QR codes on CVs , this example shows how going one step further really demonstrates skills and ability.

And if you really want to show off your technical skills? Build a CV app to show your portfolio, or how about creating a highly sophisticated social media persona in an attempt to get noticed by Google! (Google didn’t take him on, but somebody else did!)

So how far would you go to get noticed?

A very Merry Christmas from all at the Careers Service and we look forward to seeing you in 2013!

Sara Whittam

Careers Adviser