This is it, your education is now officially over and you are right in front of your professional career! A little bit frightening, right?
Now it’s time to take control of your future and go job hunting. Don’t be reckless and start contacting hundreds of companies at once, but make an elaborated plan of your approach to get in touch with the professional world.
1) Start Early
You don’t want to wait until September to start applying. Because in September, companies are flooded with CV’s of recent graduates. If you want to stand out, reach out early to the vacancies of your interest. Not only will you be positively noticed by future employers you’ll also have more chance to land the job before anyone else does.
Make a list of all the job openings you are interested in and start applying. Always make sure to adjust your cover letter to each specific company. Only then employers will take you seriously and consider you as a potential candidate. (read our previous blogpost “CV and Cover Letter” and take a look at the tips and tricks)
2) Pick Your Moment
Although it’s good to start applying to all your companies of interest, make sure you do it at the right time. Some consultancy and law firms handle their applicants in certain periods of time. It’s important to send your application between November and March. If you write at a later date, you will be left out the recruiting process and you’ll have to wait until next year. It’s different with the so called Big 4 (the big consultancy firms) and SME’s: most of the time they hire during the entire year.
3) Be Assertive
Don’t wait until companies start to spread their vacancies. If you really want to work at a certain enterprise, don’t hesitate to contact them, even if there isn’t any job opening at the moment. Employers will experience this as a positive sign. It’s very likely that you don’t get hired immediately, but you will be remembered and your cv will be put in their recruitment database. When there is a suitable job opening in the future, you will be among the first they might contact.
4) Plan B
Be flexible when it comes to your first job. Nowadays, it’s not easy to get the job that you specifically wanted in the first place. Don’t wait until your “perfect job” comes around, but start looking at alternatives. Maybe you fit in a different sector as well? Maybe you are suited for other functions that you didn’t even consider? Bottom line: don’t narrow down too much and believe in yourself!
5) Build your network
Companies are more likely to do business with recommended last year students or recent grads. So let everybody in your network know you are looking for a job, and don’t be afraid to ask for help in making new connections. Also make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated. It needs to show who you are, in a professional way. This profile will help you build your network, but don’t forget that career fairs, alumni events and conferences are great networking opportunities too. Next to that there is of course GraduAid. We have the largest pool of starterjobs in Belgium and you can find a personal matchingscore for every vacancy. Like this you have a first guide towards the businessworld.
6) Google Yourself
These days, it’s not an exception that recruiters will check your social media profiles. Think about what an employer will see when they Google you. Hint of the day: Make sure you set the right privacy settings! Do you want to know what information is out there? Check this website: https://www.nothing-to-hide.fr/
The Student.be Team