Job-hunting is difficult. It is even more difficult when you’re unemployed and have nothing to distract you from job-hunting. Here are five productive things to do while you’re looking for a job.
1) Volunteer somewhere- This shows that you haven’t just spent your time as a job-seeker at home. You made a meaningful change. Also, staying at home can get depressing so volunteering lets you make a positive change to someone which in turn makes you feel better. It also looks great when you can show that you did something productive without needing to get compensated in any way.
2) Learn a new skill- There are so many amazing online classes out there. I found some on Criminology and Management only to be distracted by the free Microsoft tutorials offered on the Microsoft Office website. (Fun fact- after I finished the Microsoft Excel tutorials I actually ended up getting a job that used Excel regularly).
3) Take time to perfect your resume and cover letter- A great thing about not having a job is that you have lots of time. Spend some of that time on tailoring your resume and cover letter for each position. This will maximize the impact of your application as well.
4) Network to get a job- Talk to people you know to see if they know anyone who is hiring. This was one of the best ways that I could get my CV out there and I definitely recommend it to others. You never know who knows who and where you could land up.
5) Take unpaid work or an internship – While working for no pay is not something most people want to do, sometimes the experience and lessons learnt are invaluable. You could learn skills that could be put to use in another field.
These tips are sure to help you be super-productive and ready to kick butt at your next interview.
I posted this before but I’m sharing again for anyone who needs cover letter help for the new year.
1) Personalize your letter for each application- even if you’re applying for the same position at different companies, it is important that your cover letter is tailored for each company. For example, your application for a fashion magazine and a newspaper should each mention what you could bring to the specific company and position.
2) Try to stand out- Standard introductions are boring. Remember that the person reading your letter goes through several other cover letters as well. Try to stand out in your letter to get their attention. For example, instead of starting with “my name is x and I am applying for y”, start with something out of the box like a quote or motto that you believe in.
3) Do not write an essay- a cover letter that is succinct is more successful that a three – page – essay. Ideally a cover letter should say who you are, what you can bring to the table and briefly list your experience or qualifications for the job.
4) Show what you can bring to the job- I’ve stated this before. This is just to emphasis it. The company has hundreds of applicants. Obviously everyone wants the job. Obviously they have something to offer. But what do you have? Stellar social media skills? Writing experience? Show that you stand out from others with your unique skills.
5) Stick to the format- a cover letter is just that a letter. So stick to the usual format of a letter. Don’t know the format? Google it! And remember to ensure that you have no typos. Nothing spells unprofessional easier than a badly-formatted, typo – riddled cover letter.
When it comes to internships, few people want to apply for a unpaid one. However an unpaid internship gives you the same experience you would gain from a paid internship. Just, you know…without the money. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider an unpaid internship:
1) For the experience: Personally I feel the experience gained from an internship is priceless. (This is obviously because I’m not paying for gas or any kind of bills but anyway). Internships can teach you so much that you never thought you needed to learn. Whether paid or unpaid, experience learned from an internship is ALWAYS valuable.
2) To gain networking contacts: An internship is a great way to make networking contacts for the future. You never know if a person knows someone who may be able to help you in the future.
3) To expand your knowledge of the field: You can learn alot from an internship. For example, when I interned at a local magazine I learnt how magazines worked as well as websites and social media. There’s no predicting how much you may learn in an internship or when you will use this knowledge.
4) To decide whether or not you want to go into that specific field: Interning allows you to see if a certain industry is a good fit for you or not. Taking an active role in the industry is a great way to find out whether or not you want to be a part of it in the future.
Interning without being paid for it may not be your first choice but it has tons of perks that shouldn’t be ignored.
I detest cover letters. Is there anything more difficult to write? Thankfully, cover letters are one of those things that get easier to do with time. Before I’ve listed a short guide to what your cover letter should look like.
Address to who you’re writing
(it’s always a good idea to know who’s going to be receiving your application and then addressing them here. It shows that you have done your research on the business).
Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself. State your name, where you go to school and what you’re studying. State why you’re applying. Make sure you catch the readers attention so that he or she is eager to continue reading.
Paragraph 2: Highlight anything important you think they need to know. For example, have you have previous experience in this field?
Do you have a skill that makes you excellent for the job? EVERYTHING is important. Jobs teach you skills that can be used in any field.
Paragraph 3: Make it clear that you will be an asset to them. Whether it’s because you thrive on pressure and deadlines or because you have amazing qualifications, show the company that they should want to hire you.
I look forward to your response
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