Job hunting strategies
There are many different job hunting strategies, whether you look for an internship, a graduate job or a year in industry placement, and advertised positions are the equivalent of the tip of the iceberg. Most jobs are NOT advertised and come about through being in the right place at the right time, networking, being known to the employer and showing initiative. You, too, can use creative job hunting methods in addition to looking for advertised jobs.
Creative job hunting methods tend to be more successful in the long run, as you are not competing with other applicants. Before you start, remember that you can do this more successfully, if you have a career aim in mind. Once you have done that research (see What role might suit me on this blog) and updated your CV to incorporate key skills for your chosen field, you are ready for action.
Here are a few suggestions:
Networking in person: Watch the clip (2’39”) to get professional networking tips for students.
Networking with social media
Click here to access the special blog section for social media for job hunting.
The Creative Careers Search
Download and read the booklet called TheCreative Career Search, produced by the Careers and Employability Service (CES). You can also pick up a hard copy from their offices. The CES is located between the main bus stop and Keynes in Canterbury and in the Gillingham Building G0-05 at Medway.
The booklet contains a lot of useful information about using social media and networking. Click on the image to open.
2. NETWORKING WITH KENT ALUMNI USING KEW-NET
KEW-NET is an online mentoring and networking tool for all Kent students and graduates to meet, provide support for one another and help each other get ahead. This will allow you to tap into the whole of the University of Kent’s Alumni community, including past students from KBS. For more details and how to sign up click here.
3. LOCAL NEWSPAPERS AND YELLOW PAGES
If you have a special location in mind, for example, then have a look through the job vacancy pages of local newspapers. Here, you’ll find contact details of managers who are hiring now. They might advertise for someone more senior, but you could still compete to see if you can save them money by hiring someone capable, but less experienced. If they’re hiring, there’s work available, and there might be useful leads for work experience.
They may not hire for your ideal position, but you will find out information about companies in your area, and what they do, and this could be a first starting point for job hunting. You would need to produce a speculative cover letter (see below) and make direct contact.
You could also start your research into local businesses with the Yellow Pages online, then make contact with potential employers. You could telephone and enquire about the best person to contact. Click here.
4. BUSINESS/INDUSTRIAL/SCIENCE PARKS
Most small and medium-sized enterprises are situated on business parks at the edge of towns and cities, whereas city centres often have more retail businesses and restaurants. Why not take a trip around some of your local business parks (again, a method that can be useful, if you have a specific location in mind).
Investigate businesses operating there, find out what they do and consider going up to the reception desk to enquire. As you know what business role you want to pursue, ask for the manager’s name and email, so that you can then send a speculative application (see below).
5. TALK TO PEOPLE – ADVERTISE YOURSELF
This is David Rowe, a University of Kent alumnus and who took dramatic measures to get a job a few years ago. You can read more about it in the Daily Mail online.
However, the bottom line is that unless you tell people you’re looking for a job, they will not know about it. If you identify specific companies or a specific job sector that you are interested in, talk to people about it – find someone who works there. To do this, ask your parents and their friends about contacts they may have, consider the parents of your friends, any relatives and their friends, neighbours, people you may know from a part-time job and so on. The more you ask around, the better your chances of finding somebody who works in the company you are interested in. Then make direct contact with that person, aim to meet up for a chat (see information interviewing in the booklet above). Follow up with a speculative application.
You could try asking a current employer for a business placement. For example, if you work in a restaurant chain, you could ask for a placement in their head office. Another example from a recent success story is from a student who her work experience employer from 3 years’ ago and got a placement.
Key message: get out there and let people know what you’re looking for, whether this is an internship, a placement or a full-time job. If you don’t ask, you won’t get, so what do you have to lose?
6. MAKING SPECULATIVE APPLICATIONS
To ensure these are successful, you need to know what you want and always write to a named person, not an HR office or a department. Ideally, you would write to someone who has met you or who you have spoken to on the phone.
Here is an example for making an application for a Year in Industry placement, but could easily be adapted to graduate jobs and internships.Click here for the example.
7. NETWORKING WITH KBS PLACEMENT STUDENTS(for Year in Industry)
For contact details and employer names contact the KBS Employability and Placement team.