Monday, February 11, 2013

How To Get The Best Recommendations

A job seeker's secret weapon

This post was written by Susanna Cha, a Content Writer and MSc. International Marketing Graduate, currently writing about graduate jobs on behalf of Guardian Jobs.


So your university years are behind you and you've finally got that degree that you've worked so hard for. Now you find yourself in a competitive graduate jobs market. It's not impossible to get a job in the current tough climate, but it is tougher than usual. That doesn't mean you should give up, it just means that you need to be savvy about how you can give yourself competitive edge and know how to get the best recommendations.

1. Have you got some work experience?

Having a degree is great. But do you have any work experience? Hopefully you've been working during your university time and you can put that work experience to good use in looking for a graduate job. Think laterally, your part-time job might have been burger flipping or warehouse unloading. But think carefully about the practical skills you've demonstrated during your time there. For example, you've shown that you can work as part of a team. You've worked under pressure to meet tight deadlines. You have a good understanding of customer service. Analyse everything you've done and distil the skills from it. If you haven't had any work experience, don't despair, it's not too late. While you're job hunting, there's time to cram in some experience.

2. Have you considered volunteering or an intern opportunity?

If you're short on work experience (and even if you're not), then it might be worthwhile doing some volunteering. This will not only give you valuable experience, it will impress future employers. There's a possible added bonus that you might find yourself an opportunity in the field that you want to work in.

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