The summer can be a frustrating time on the graduate job hunt. Most big companies’ 2009 recruitment drives are over; and even the earliest of 2010 programmes are yet to open. However, plentiful opportunities for internships remain. If you find an unpaid position, don’t dismiss it – the work experience will significantly enhance your CV, and may even lead to the offer of paid work.
But how can you improve your prospects of landing one of those vacancies? Heather Collier, director of the National Council of Work Experience, has some great tips for making yourself stand out; and for accessing work opportunities that others won’t even know exist. Follow Heather’s advice and get your foot in the door.
- Do stay upbeat because there are places out there.
- Don’t just rely on the Internet – contact companies local to you, write to them first asking if there is a possibility you could pop in and talk to them.
- Ask your parents or your parents’ friends if there are any opportunities at their companies.
- Go to careers fairs, careers offices and job shops.
- Look at your local press.
- Get stuck in and show you are interested.
- Make sure you know what is required of you so there is no confusion.
- Regularly assess what you are doing – quite often students can complete tasks much more quickly than firms expect them to so keep them informed about where you have got to.
- Look at different jobs while you are there – what do people actually do?
- Ask if you can help or to work in different departments.
- Network! Get friendly with people while you are there, use your contacts.
- Keep a work diary so you can see your own learning curve.