When it comes to applying for jobs, there’s a lot to consider. Firstly you have to think about what kind of job you want to apply, then doing the application, getting an interview and being so awesome in the interview that they give you the job!
And that’s all before you’ve even actually started the job. So here are 20 top tips to help you get that dream job.
- Find out as much information as you can about the job you’re looking for – find out what the role requires in terms of qualifications and skills, as this will be important to the employer. You can use our Careers A-Z, which has all the training, qualifications and responsibilities your role will require.
- Note down all the relevant things you’ve done or have experience of that you can put in your application – having this written down somewhere will help when you write your CV, as you can order them and add in any details that may be relevant.
- Get the right CV template for you – it shouldn’t be anything too over the top, or with a crazy font. This is the first impression that your employers will get of you and what you can offer them as a company, so it’s important to try and present the best version of yourself.
- Research the company – if you know some relevant information about the company, such as previous projects or upcoming ones, you can mention this and then reference how you are interested in that particular work, or how you could benefit them with your particular skills.
- Make sure your CV has structure to it – there are many websites and services that can help with building CVs, but it’s important to remember that you need to be clear and organised with what information you’re giving. If you’re just starting out, put down your education and highlight the relevant subjects to that role, then you can put your relevant skills and experience, and then your interests.
- Think about what’s on your social media – it’s becoming more common that potential employers will look at your social media presence to see what you’re really like. So you need to carefully consider what sort of things people might be able to see.
- Set up some professional social media accounts – Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great for this, as you can build networks and relationships with people who are in similar roles or roles that you aspire to be in, and they’ll be able to offer advice, guidance, and who knows maybe even a job opportunity!
- Get some experience – if you’ve not had any work experience yet, it’s never too late to start! Our Matching Service shows you all the great opportunities available to you in your local area. You can then apply and contact them directly to ask questions you may have. Another great way to see first-hand what construction is like is by visiting one of the sites available through Open Doors.
- Check everything! You can never check your CV, covering letter and application enough – make sure that there are no spelling mistakes and that the grammar makes sense. You can find more on our Help with applying page, and get someone else to check over it as well; to make sure you’ve included everything you need to.
- Read the questions – if you have to fill in an application form, make sure that you read the questions very carefully, as there’ll be information already within the question that will help you to format and answer it.
- Be confident on the phone! Often one of the first stages in an application process is a phone interview, as this helps employers narrow down their choices for face to face interviews. It’s important to plan the call, making sure you have the right number, and to have some key bullet points written down of what you would want to say. It’s also important to think about where you’ll be taking the call, so try to go somewhere that’s quiet and has good signal strength – and remember to speak clearly and confidently.
- Don’t be afraid – it can be intimidating talking to a potential employer, but be confident and positive when you speak to them. It’s also ok to ask them to repeat or elaborate on a question if you didn’t understand it. They’ll appreciate your honesty and it can help you to have more time to answer with relevant information.
- Plan your interview – if you’ve been invited to a face to face interview, make sure you read through the job description again thoroughly and think about what kind of questions they could possibly ask you, whether they’ll be some specific ones about your skills or what strengths or weaknesses you think you have.
- Think about your outfit – you want to make a good impression when you meet a potential employer, so think about what you’re going to wear. Make sure it’s clean and comfortable. You want to appear to be professional but also let your personality shine through too. You could do that through a splash of colour, an accessory, hair and make-up or even some fun socks!
- Ask for feedback – if you get told that you didn’t get the job, ask for feedback to see where you can improve for your next interview. And remember to thank them for their time. This will leave a great lasting impression on the employer and you never know how that could become useful in the future.
- Don’t be late! When you land that job, you need to make a good first impression when you start, so on your first day make sure that you’re on time, and leave plenty of time in case there’s traffic or delays on public transport.
- Ask questions – you want to get know the people and place you’re working, so ask plenty of questions that will get people talking to you. If you show an interest in the work that someone is doing, you’ll be able to understand more about what they do and start to build great working relationships.
- Take notes – if there’s important information you need to know, like any security information or things you need to sign, make a note of it to remember later.
- Don’t get distracted – it can be really tempting to keep all your friends and family up to date throughout the day, but make sure that you only use your phone during your breaks and lunch.
- Enjoy it! Make sure that you enjoy your first day, it can be daunting starting a new job, but everyone around will want to make you feel as welcome as possible so have fun and make the most out of it!
So now you know how you can ace those applications, impress at the interview and have a fantastic first day – so what are you waiting for?
If you’re not sure what role might be right for you, try our Personality Quiz, or check out some of the useful links below:
- Careers explorer
- Help with applying
- Useful qualifications
- National careers service