Getting Through Appliction Season
This post was written by Tomi founder of BWIS, with a few edits from me :)
Whether you're applying for a job or further education, here are some tips on surviving the application process.
1. BE PATIENT
Some people have the story that it has taken them years to get into their ideal job. I've been in this space between graduating and 'joblessness' jor just under 3 months and I fluctuate between frustration, boredom and stress. And those emotions aren't the most productive.
2. BE ORGANISED
You'll be told time and time again, that you should write a list of the applications you need to do and set reminders. And time and time again you won't. Little hurts more than your dream job passing you by and you didn't even take your shot.
3. BE SMART
Essentially, you're offering to spend a lot of your own time working for a company. Try not to apply for places that you can't/won't work. Something harder than getting a "we regret to inform you" email when you're desperate for a job, is sending one.
4. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It's better to have one good application done every day than 10 applications with mistakes and generic-sounding cover letters. Don't get stuck in the cycle of applying just because. You may burn out on that one job you really want.
Everyone has done it. You go through so many applications that it becomes a mindless routine. Taking an extra couple of minutes to triple-check there aren't a any mistakes could cost you an amazing opportunity.
6. BE PROACTIVE
Reach out to any contact you have, tweet out that you're looking for a job, speak to someone. Despite common belief, nepotism is alive and thriving *drops mic*
If you have time, contact the department and ask for a visit. Some places allow this.
7. BE YOUR BIGGEST CHEERLEADER
People reading these applications don't know the difference between you and applicant no. 298. Highlight all your relevant achievements boldly and don't sugar coat them.A good way to do this is try explaining your job roles to someone with you CV at hand and annotate the bits you may have undersold yourself.
Get the 'best' references you can. It may help if they have a reputation, even more so if that reputation is in your field.
Also, let your references know what kind of roles you are applying for and warn them to have a document reference ready for when they're requested.
If you are in uni, your personal tutor and dissertation supervisor are the best two people to ask as they should have some sort of knowledge about you.
Gaps in your CV are often questioned. Try and seek opportunities to further yourself and gain experience while you're applying. Take an online course, get a professional qualification, learn a new skill.
This can also help make you feel as if you're doing something productive while waiting to hear back from possible employers.
Don't shy away from volunteering. One day work experience is valid you just need to know how to word it well. Yes even in uni you can shadow, so don't be afraid to ask people.
10. CV AND COVER LETTER
Have templates ready for both. Just becuase you have templates doesn't mean you won't have to write more-indepth letters/CVs for specific roles. And remember, templates are templates: an outline. Try and tailor. Have a CV with ALL your achievements and roles saved and from that you can copy and paste according to the job.
11. BE AMBITIOUS
If you have the time, apply for roles you're slightly underqualified for but you hope to get to. Who knows what might happen?
If you are scared you are underqualified, try messaging a few people on linkedin asking for advice. You will be suprised the number of people that are willing to help.
(Please only do this if the role doesn't specifically tell you not to apply if you don't have certain qualifications. If in doubt email the job contact and let them know you're thnking of applying)
Now go out there and kill it !
Read more about her journey - https://www.thecatalystinme.com/post/career-profile-neuroscience
Learn more absout BWIS - https://www.bwisnetwork.co.uk/
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