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Common job hunting hurdles — and how to overcome them

09 Apr

Job hunting can sometimes feel as time-consuming as a full-time job itself. If you’re unsure where to begin, or feel overwhelmed by the process, then you can benefit from prioritising the key tasks and working through them in small, manageable sections.

The following guide can help you overcome these hurdles with practical advice on applying for jobs and acing interviews while exploring the career support available to you.

Writing a CV

Before you can apply for most jobs, you need to have a CV in place which highlights all your relevant skills and experiences. You can strengthen your applications by writing a killer CV which prioritises the most relevant information and delivers it in a powerful, concise and clear way.

You don’t have to do it all alone, though. If you are studying or have recently graduated, you can always get free CV-writing help through your college or university’s career services. Similarly, there are CV and cover writing advisers available at your nearest Jobcentre Plus. It’s always useful to get a second pair of eyes on a CV, so offer it to friends and family to proof check before you send it off.

Remember to support your educational and ‘hard’ skills with the transferrable skills you have gained through your studies, extracurriculars or volunteering. Studies have shown that a high number of employers value soft skills such as communication, interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team.

Applying for jobs

When you’ve decided on the type of job you’d like to apply for, you can begin your search by using online job boards which host a variety of job vacancies from multiple employers. Alternatively, you could apply directly on company websites for a specific company you’re looking to work with.

You might also learn about job vacancies through networking or referrals — ask around if you know someone who is hiring or attend career fairs to network evaluate your various career options.

When applying for a job, it’s highly recommended that you send in a cover letter on top of your CV which focuses directly on how you fit the job description. It’s also a good opportunity to further market yourself as a suitable candidate. Remember, you’re likely to get a higher response rate when applying for jobs that are the most relevant to your skills set.

Tackling interview nerves

The most important thing you can do to quell pre-interview nerves is to remember that your services are deeply valuable to employers and they are looking to impress you as much as you are hoping to impress them. In 2019, the UK faces its lowest unemployment levels since 1975 — helped by a record high of 853,000 job vacancies — so the job market is extremely candidate-driven. This means you and your skills are in high demand.

Try to view the interview process as an opportunity to learn more about the job, express your enthusiasm for it and talk through your interests and past experiences with someone who is also enthusiastic and experienced in your line of work.

A great way of combating nerves for an interview (based on the human fear of uncertainty) is by being as prepared as you can. You can conduct research into the company and types of interview questions you’re likely to be asked and practise answering them. Ask your friends and family to conduct mock interviews with you. If you get stumped on any questions — don’t worry, just take a deep breath and answer the question to the best of your abilities.

Securing an interview is a huge accomplishment in itself and should be celebrated. Your interviewer believes in your competence, so you can benefit from also believing in yourself and viewing an interview as simply a way to market yourself as the friendly and diligent worker that you are.

Begin your career with Travis Perkins

We at Travis Perkins are proud of our welcoming and inclusive culture. We take care of our employees and offer many benefits and career development opportunities. To join one of our teams, view our many vacancies here and apply for a role with us today.

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