Figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life is an impossible task. No one can pinpoint a career path and say with absolute certainty: 'This is what I'll be happy doing for the next 50 odd years.'
However, if you do have a career in mind, or at least want some advice on how to go about getting a decent job, this might help. We talked to Paul Mullan, a leading Irish Career & Interview Coach, who gave us the lowdown on the following:
1. Recent grads getting on the career ladder
Ideally, decide what you want to do. BUT don’t panic if you don’t know. We can learn from any job experiences, both good and bad, and this can help shape this plan. Remember, your career is a journey, and your aspirations will change as the years pass.
2. Availing of online tools
Social media and the digital world has transformed how we look for jobs and manage our careers. Most new graduates are tech savvy, BUT it’s important to understand how to harness tools like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook effectively.
3. Practical steps you can take
You’ll need effective marketing material aka CV, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. It’s critical that this material sells you effectively, highlighting achievements, and that it’s focused towards the roles you’re targeting.
You must be able to sell yourself effectively at interview or in-formal situations. Also realise that 70% of jobs don’t get advertised - in order to access these, you must be proactive via real world and online networking.
4. Writing a successful CV
Your CV should be no more than two pages (circa 750 words). Insert a strong, professional summary targeted to the role you're applying for. It'll help grab the reader in the first 10 seconds. Ensure content is achievement focused.
Try to keep the layout clean and simple so that it's easy to find information quickly.
5. What contributes to an effective job search
An accumulation of many things are key to an effective job search. You must be persistent, learn from feedback and change approach. Networking, being clear about how you add value, helping others along the way and stepping outside your comfort zone are also important.
6. High expectations
There's nothing wrong with high expectations or goals. What's wrong is not willing to do the hard graft to get there.
7. Paying your 'dues'
It’s not written in stone that you’ll have to pay your dues. For example, some people have a passion to teach and once qualified they can enter this career straight away.
Generally, you’ve got to be prepared to sacrifice. Not everything's going to be handed to you on a plate.
8. Degrees versus experience
Degrees are essential for specialist roles, for instance if you're training to be a doctor. Degrees are important during application phase, especially for graduate roles, as potential employers will sift applicants based on qualifications. I personally value experience, attitude and personality over qualifications.
Paul Mullan has over 15 years experience working in Career Coaching, Outplacement and Recruitment. For more information on his expertise and services, click here.
Source of main image: Mentalfloss.com