7 things you can add to your CV in 7 days
And on the eighth day he got a job...
When looking for work it’s easy to feel as though you’re swimming against the tide - going nowhere fast, stranded on your sofa watching Neighbours in your pants while you wait to hear back from job applications.
But fear not, there are things that you can do. Seven things. Which, rather conveniently, works out at one per day for an entire week.
So get up. Put some clothes on (preferably). And spend the next seven days making yourself every prospective employer’s wet dream...
1.) A website
How: When the internet first came into existence two decades ago web design seemed like the reserve of computer geeks who had spent years learning their own indecipherable language. Fast forward 20 years and, well, not much has changed. However, thanks to sites such as Wordpress and Tumblr you can now produce a professional looking site with a personalised URL with little to no expertise. For more information check out our story on making yourself stand out online.
Why: The real question is why not. As we said, it’s now so easy to do that you can create a site in just a couple of hours. Most companies have some sort of online presence these days, so a grounding in how to put a website together can be invaluable, particularly in the media. It can also be a great way to present your CV.
2.) Work experience
How: OK, so without a TARDIS you’ll struggle to do a couple of week’s work experience in a day. You’ve got us there. What you can do, however, is get it booked in. Email anyone and everyone who might be able to offer you work. It’s better to be able to say ‘I will be doing two weeks work experience at [insert company here]’ than having nothing to say at all.
Why: With more people graduating than ever before, degrees don’t set people apart like they used to. What matters in the current climate is relevant work experience. Without it you’re making a hard task (finding a job) infinitely harder. Getting it in the diary is one less thing to worry about. Click here for everything you need to know about work experience.
3.) Social media
How: Firstly, no, we don’t mean you should put a link to your Facebook on CV. This could go very wrong. Instead - if you haven’t already - setting up Twitter or LinkedIn accounts takes no time at all but can vastly improve your chances of finding employment.
Why: Social media is a great way of making contacts in your desired industry without even having to leave the comfort of your bed. If you can get people to know your name before you send them a CV then they’re more likely to take notice when you do. Knowledge of the various social media platforms is invaluable in the current job market. Here are 8 steps to getting a job through Twitter.
How: You don’t need to travel to the middle of the Amazonian jungle to volunteer - phone your local charities, drop in to the nearby nursing home, check up on your elderly neighbours - there’s always someone who can do with your help.
Why: It’s nice to be nice. OK, you may not have a job, but showing prospective employers that you’d rather help out other for no financial reward than sit around doing nothing will help you regardless of the sector you plan to go into.
5.) A blog
How: Both Tumblr and Blogger allow you to start blogging within minutes of signing up, even if you’ve got all the technical knowhow of your Grandma after one or two too many sherries. The great thing about this is that you can talk about anything you like - your course, your desired industry, your town, your dog - the world is your oyster.
Why: As well as illustrating a certain amount of technical proficiency, this is your chance to show that you’re an intelligent candidate who has opinions about the world you live in. You can also show knowledge of the industry you hope to work in - share your blog with the right people and who knows, you may even get headhunted.
How: Rather than a reference - which prospective employers will often not even check out - try to get actual recommendations to put on your CV. Like a newspaper review on a movie poster, let the kind words of others encourage people to take a chance on you. ‘Never before have I encountered such a hardworking, punctual, dashing young chap than...’. Or something.
Why: Contacting references can be a lot of work - including recommendations from respected former employers and lecturers is a much quicker and more eye-catching method of letting people know just how sh*tting good you are at what you do.
How: Using sites like vizualize.me you can create your own incredible infographics. Essentially this is just a highly original way of displaying the information that everyone has one their CV. You don’t need a design background to make them, and if you spend a few hours playing around with it you can make something truly stunning.
Why: Because you’re looking for every possible advantage. The more impressive (and different) your CV looks, the more attention it will get. It also shows that you’re someone who thinks outside of the box to get what they want.
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