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Career tips

How to Better Your Chances at Snagging a Job

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by Shell Bongares

10 days ago

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Sometimes you'll be browsing a job board, actively seeking for ads that may catch your attention when you spot bullet points stating you need X amount of years of experience or have graduated with an X degree or acquired knowledge of X systems, and you wonder how is it even possible to obtain the role, let alone be considered for it, if you don't possess any of the aforementioned qualities. Job-seeking is hard. Discouraging at the best of times, and completely demoralising at the worst, especially if you receive rejection email after rejection email. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is hope on the horizon of the Jobseeker Journey. Besides having a presentable and concise resume, here are a few ways that can help increase your chances at snagging a job:

Study Hard, Play Hard

I’ve always believed that if I worked hard enough, I could be anything I wanted to be, and although it may sound a little naïve, I still truly believe that to this day. One of the biggest motivating factors for me was to study hard and complete my tertiary qualification, bringing me one step closer to finding the right job. Although I didn't end up going down the route of becoming a Psychologist, I knew I could proudly state that I'd acquired and graduated with a university degree. Sometimes certain jobs may want you to have completed a higher education degree, and others may state it's advantageous but not a necessity. The last point is true in that many companies nowadays would rather favour relevant work experience rather than multiple certifications under your belt. However, it definitely would not harm a job application if you do. In saying that, studying is not for everyone. And that's okay. Even just doing workshops and training can help not just your resume, but gaining practical experience.

One Degree of Separation

The fastest and most practical way to obtain a job is through connections. How many times have you applied for a role and received a call back stating they've found someone internally? Probably not a lot, but it's definitely not uncommon. That's not to say for you to immediately jump on your Linkedin and send 100 connection requests to complete strangers in the field you'd like to work in, but instead using your existing connections to seek out possible job opportunities. Maybe your best friend's dad has an opening for an Admin Assistant at his organisation? Or an ex co-worker has informed you one of their team members at their new company has resigned? The first proper full-time job I attained was via a friend's referral. I had only recently graduated and had absolutely no relevant work experience, just a keen mind and hunger to learn. Through my friend's recommendation, it gave me the chance to finally start my journey into the workforce. So get talking, get networking, and ask people you know if they're aware of any vacancies at their respective companies.

Step Right Up and Volunteer!

It's not just actively going out to organisations and asking to volunteer, but doing internships where you gain the relevant experience for you to get a foot in the door. Between two equally skilled graduates with no employment history, but where one has had volunteer experience, a potential employer will most likely go for the latter. Even if it's in your local community or a private non-profit organisation, being able to volunteer your time and effort will pay off even if you won't actually be paid. You'll not only gain practical experience in a "real-world" environment, but those skills can become transferable to when you have an actual paid job. Most especially if you gain certain feats and achievements while volunteering, for e.g., organising an event in your community to donate blood, rallying up to 100 people from marketing out the event on social media and word of mouth.

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