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your career

About to embark on your career and step into the scary real world? Well it ain’t that scary and I’m here to help.

I thought it would be appropriate to kick-start The Workher off with information that is useful for applying for jobs.

It can be overwhelming as someone new stepping into their career, you might not know what kind of job you want or you might be struggling to get any kind of job in your chosen industry – both situations are totally normal.

One thing to keep in mind is to stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on their own journey and everyone will get jobs at different times, so if it’s taking you longer than some of your peers, stop freakin’ out. Just have your eye on the prize and believe in yourself – you will make it.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that it is hard work finding a job. You need to dedicate a good few days just for doing the research and applications. It’s not as simple and quick as one might think…

Here’s a starter guide to follow for identifying and getting your first job (assuming you’ve already chosen your industry and location):

1. Start by thinking about what kind of job you want. Though you probably know your field, you might not have considered all the different factors that apply to many different industries. For example:

– Do you want to be part of a big company or do you want to be in a smaller firm?
– Do you want to be in a serious and conservative environment or something more fun?
– Do you want to be in-house or do  you want to be in an agency?
– Do you want to be a corporate or in a more creative setting?

Or if you simply don’t mind, you just want to get out there and get into a job that feels right at the time, that’s totally fine too! Also create a list of dream places you want to aim for – whether it’s a media company, a boutique clothing brand or a killer agency, write them down, research them and find their contact details. Even if they aren’t looking, you can send them your application to have on file.

2. Get on job sites such as seek.com and create a list of the places, in something like excel or word, that are advertising for positions that suit you. Include the web-link to all the job ads and make notes about each one – including contact details where available.

3. Before applying for any positions, research their website and get a feel for the company. Have a good look at their social media platforms too. Then structure your list in order of preference.

4. Send personalised emails to each one, with your CV and cover letter. I highly recommend tailoring each cover letter to the specific company – make sure you answer the brief they might have provided about the position and include the company’s name in each letter.

5. When sending your information to each company DOUBLE CHECK all the content before you hit send. I know someone who once put the wrong company name in their cover letter – and not only was it the wrong name but it was the name of the company’s major competitor. Needless to say she didn’t get that job. But it was a huge learning curve. So please proof read, proof read, proof read and take your time!

These tips also apply to those of you looking for internships and I definitely recommend interning first. It’s such a great way to test out what kind of job you want. Plus, if you’re finding it’s a tough job market, you could fill up your spare time by committing to an internship for a few months. Be open with them that you’re looking for a job (so if one does come up in the time of your internship, you can let them know). And you never know where it might lead – many companies hire interns because they might be looking for someone. Or at the very least, if you do a good job they might have a role to suggest in another company – and they can be a referee on your CV. Business people have contacts, which they are normally happy to share in return for your hard work.

Feel like I missed something out? If you would like extra advice, such as how to write a CV and cover letter, please just let me know.

Next week I’ll provide some tips for the crucial part – the job interview!

Laura is the Founder & Editor of The Workher. She is an award winning Public Relations professional, who loves blogging about surviving and thriving in the workplace as a young woman.

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