So – in amongst many hundreds of other students, you’re about to graduate. Your grades, practicals and assignments have been ‘OK’. How do you pitch your value above others – especially those with better grades?
Actually, it’s not just all about your grades. Yes – excellent grades definitely help. And often these will get you well over the line. So congratulations if you’re a ‘straight A’ student – but there’s more.
OK – so this is probably the most challenging employment marketing campaign of your career.
Market and sell yourself with ‘attitude’. What makes you different? What makes you stand out positively from the other 50 to 300 graduates all applying for the same role? What do you bring to the table?
Whether it’s on the phone, in a letter, or during an interview – your attitude will come through loud and clear. The tone and language you use to describe yourself and the benefits you bring says a lot about you. How you position yourself to the reader / interviewer is important, and may vary from company to company, hiring manager to hiring manager. Be prepared and have the ‘right’ attitude.
No two cover letters will be the same. What is it about your cover letter that will grab the attention of the reader? You think you’re unique – well guess what, so too does the company you’re hoping to join! So, make them feel unique. What is it about them that made you apply? Be specific. Make your letter compellingly communicate that they need to interview you now!
You may think that because you’re just starting out that a CV’s not that important or that there’s not a lot you can communicate. Actually your CV really does matter, and no less so than for somebody whose career has spanned more than a decade.
Part time jobs, volunteer work, clubs, awards, personal achievements; all of these will help the reader to gain an insight into who you are. It’s a bit like a Facebook timeline – but without the personal stuff you don’t want them to know about! If you’ve done some voluntary work; who benefited what from what? What did participating in a particular sport teach you? What benefits will you bring as a result?
I’ve written about interview skills before – so I’ll not repeat. Have a read of some tips here. Blogs and Articles
The key thing to remember is that you already have an abundance of experiences and achievements to bring to the table. Think about your key learning’s and transferable skills. e.g.
“My team lost the regional netball finals – and from that experience I learnt that preparedness, pace, objectives – to name a few, are important to being successful.”
Think how you may apply those learning’s to questions addressing task completion, time management, building relationships etc.
Marketing yourself effectively will be tough and you will succeed with commitment and a will to challenge yourself. Be different. Invest buckets of attitude. Ask for help.
Best of luck to all graduates and first time job seekers!
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