I am 20 years old and have only recently scored myself my first job. I have only been to a handful of job interviews and most of my work experience at present comes from my volunteer work in a charity shop. For a while I felt as if I wasn’t doing enough. That I wasn’t ‘putting myself out there’ or was being lazy. However, that isn’t the case and if you’re on the same boat then hopefully this post will reassure you and give you some tips on how to up your game when job hunting.
1) STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF
First of all, there is most likely nothing wrong with your CV. For the longest of times I thought that was the problem. I thought that maybe it wasn’t professional enough or that I had somehow missed a piece of vital information from it. Even after having used it as part of a college assessment, I was still unsure. Give your CV to a parent, teacher/lecturer or a friend who already has a job. If they say it’s fine, trust them. 9 times out of 10, you won’t get a job because they have received a huge number of applications and out of those many of them will likely have more experience than you. It’s mostly just down to luck.
2) KEEP GOING
Don’t give up. Keep applying. I know it can take what feels like years, especially if you’re applying online and are met with those dreaded questionnaires – they are seriously the bane of my life – but if you are actively trying to find a job then you have nothing to feel bad or ‘lazy’ about.
3) TURN THE NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE
So, you finally get an interview but are unsuccessful. Feeling down about it? Don’t! Use the interview as personal experience. The more interviews you go to, the more confident you will feel and you’ll also develop more of an idea of what questions you will be asked. Getting to the interview stage is almost as impressive as getting the job itself, so look at it as a positive whatever the final outcome.
There are a couple of factors that can help you get that first job. Here’s how I have increased my own chances on scoring job interviews.
1) VOLUNTEER WORK
This is an obvious one, but it honestly works wonders. Without any previous work experience, your CV can look pretty bland. One way to jazz it up though is if you can say that you have given up your time voluntarily, and not just for a few weeks. The longer you volunteer, the more employers will see that you are motivated and willing to help out with no payment. Giving up your time – even just for a few hours a week – speaks loudly to any company. I started volunteering in a charity shop during the summer and as soon as I hit the 6 month mark, the number of interviews I was getting increased dramatically. It’s not an exaggeration when people say that it helps.
2) YOUR AGE COUNTS – WAIT IT OUT
Another potential reason for my increase in job interviews is my age. Before I turned 20, I’d be lucky if I got an interview every 6 months. Recently I had 4 within the space of a month. When I expressed my surprise in this increase of interviews to my Dad, he confirmed this factor alongside the volunteering. It’s genuinely harder for teenagers to get a job. I applaud anyone under the age of 20 who has one. However, if you are still in your teens, don’t just give up. Keep applying to as many places as you can. It’s not completely impossible to get a job before you hit ‘adulthood.’