How to prepare before applying for a job

How to prepare before applying for a job

Before applying for a job, there are several things that you want to be prepared for. The actual application itself can seem daunting but in order that you won’t be overwhelmed with it, the best thing to do is to prepare before applying. When I talk about preparing before applying for a job, it may sound redundant however if you envision that you will just find a job, submit your CV and that’ll be it, I’m afraid you’re sadly mistaken. Applying for a job can take hours out of your day if you want to do it properly.

Looking for a job

You know you need a job, unfortunately it is something that everyone has to partake in at some point (unless you win the lottery) so your best bet is to start looking. However, looking for a job can seem intimidating and there are so many different sites out there. The best place to start looking is on one of the mainstream sites like indeed. They have a wide variety of jobs available and you can tailor it by location and by part time or full-time requirements. It is a great site to use for any and all university students at any point in their degree. When going onto most job sites, you won’t be greeted with a long list of jobs that will be right for you, you will have to do a bit of hunting through.

How to prepare before applying for a job

I find the best way to do this is find key words that relate to what you want to do. For example if I want to write about history but I do not know in what capacity, I just look up history because even if there isn’t a job that is exactly what I want to do, there may be something I can do instead. When applying for a job, it won’t be your dream job every time, sometimes you got to pay your dues.

This is all about compromise. You may not be able to get a job designing clothes for Ralph Lauren but if the local hospital wants you design their new uniforms, don’t turn it down (this is a true example).

How to prepare before applying for a job

Applying for a job

When applying for a job, one of the key things you need is a CV. This stands for Curriculum Vitae which is Latin for course of life. This is a detailed description of everything you have done in your life. It is a place to put your qualifications, your skills, and your experience all in one place. They are very important as they can be the difference between getting an interview and getting ignored. With CV’s, particularly with ones that are for graduates, don’t put everything you’ve ever done in your career so far down. Only the relevant jobs are required, if a CV is too long, it will just be discarded before anyone reads it. At this point, your CV shouldn’t go over 2 pages. It also needs to be snappy; employers will be looking at 100s of CVs and so many of them will look the same so give them the information they need and nothing more.

The next essential document you’ll need to get familiar with is a cover letter. Cover letters can confuse people so the easier thing to do is find a template. My personal favourite one is by Reed. It is easy to understand, and the format can be used for any job. Cover letters can be described as letters of motivation. They make you significantly more employable and any job application which asks for a cover letter and you don’t give one means that you will immediately be discounted.

How to prepare before applying for a job

Being rejected

This can be hard when its your first time applying however it will happen to everyone at some point in their career. It isn’t fair when it seems like it happens for no reason however this is not the case. After hearing back that you haven’t made it, the best thing you can do is ask for feedback. This will help you when you’re applying for your next job and it does make you look pro-active to that particular employer which is helpful if you want to reapply at any point.

Ultimately entering the job market is hard and scary and you will face rejections, but all of those knocks will be leading you to something better. Being prepared before applying will set you on the right path but sometimes you can do everything right and still not succeed. It is important that you don’t take it personally, unfortunately there nearly always is someone better than you but presenting yourself in the best light will give you the best chance. All you can do is try your best and not let it get you down too much.


How to prepare before applying for a job

Helen Rodgers

Lifestyle / Employment Writer. Helen studies Ancient History at the University of Nottingham and writes a weekly article on balancing student and working life.