Starting your career in uncertain times

2020 was a year of turmoil for many, and, for more reasons than one! Thankfully now we are almost one year on, and we have all adapted to the practicalities of remote learning, working and communicating. We have also come to realise that despite the level of economic uncertainty, many companies are still hiring. Yes, there are many changes to the hiring process, but with research, preparation and a good plan, recent graduates can still find work in their chosen area.

Prepare, set goals and smash them

One of the most important steps is being prepared! Set your goals, what is it you want to do? Where do you want to work? Most importantly, why do you want to work there? You need to know how you are going to achieve this. Put a plan in place, a goal is only a dream if there is no actual plan to achieve it.

Work on you

Develop your soft skills. In times of such uncertainty, it is essential that you are flexible, adaptable and resilient. These traits will help you cope with some of the changeswe are experiencing. Also, such skills are highly sought after by hiring companies and will stand to you throughout your working life. Try new things, volunteer or just learn something new. Not only will it help you pass the time, it will also add to your CV. Maybe you did not have time to get experience or to develop an area of your studies in which you had a great interest. Do that online course, read that book, listen to that audio series. Do it now!

Do your research, understand what skills hiring companies want

Understand who employers want. You have the time now so use it wisely and research, research, research! It is essential you know as much as possible about the company you are applying for. Some of the best places to start your research are your  Career Services site, gradireland.com and, of course, the hiring company’s website and social media channels

Be smart in the application process!

Learn how to present the best possible you in applications! Focus less on bulk applications and more on quality applications. Put the time in, tailor each application to match a particular your role, curating your skills, experiences and education to that of the requirements for the position. You can find more info on how to best present yourself in applications here!

Prepare for aptitude tests!

Aptitude tests have become an increasingly popular tool in the application process, but many applicants fail this initial step due to lack of practice. One of the best ways to do this is by testing yourself. gradireland have a section on our site called the Graduate Benchmark, which comprises of a series of tests we have developed which are similar to those used by hiring companies. If you want to test yourself, the link is available here

Prepare for virtual interviews and assessment centres!

Virtual interviews and assessment centres can seem daunting, but with preparation and a little research,you are more than capable of making a good impression in both these scenarios. Like any other interview, research and think about the questions you may be asked and how you can best answer those. gradireland have a section on job interviews here, check it out and familiarise yourself with the interview process and possible questions! It is likely that platforms such as Zoom, Teams or Skype will be used during the interview, so become comfortable using such platforms, the gradireland Careers Fair Seminars has more info on this  here! 

Most of all be patient!

It will take time and you may not get the job on the first interview or application but that is ok, it’s all a learning process. Be patient and persevere. Continue to practice, refine your application and most importantly, believe in yourself, eventually you will land the job that’s right for you!

Fore more info on starting your career in a time of crises, check out the gradireland Directory here

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