Personal Branding

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You know what the greatest brand in the world is?! That’s right… YOU!!

Graduate, job seeker, or industry expert going through a career change, although there may be a multitude of jobs out there, it’s not always easy to land that dream job. As some of you know, I graduated class of 2015, yet since then, I have been trying to forge a career. I find the whole process of job hunting possibly the most frustrating! Specifically, applying for roles online and having to almost write your whole life story, how much of a superstar you are and how amazing you’d be at the role; to then receive an automated thank you email super disheartening. Not cool.

Reject Online Job Hunting

I am not a fan of time consuming job applications and screening processes that are often used today. I think there is a massive over reliance on technology. Okay I digress. Back to personal branding!

Job hunting is hard but if you attack at all angles, you will have a much better success rate. Apply for jobs. Send emails. Network. Optimise your Linkedin & Google yourself. Competition is fierce and especially with social media and word of mouth, why not market yourself?!

Invest in Yourself

You may have the best qualifications, experience and be super likeable, but so are many other people. Which is why it’s so important to play to your strengths and use whatever skill or asset you have to your advantage. Good at Art or Photography? Create a portfolio. Great at Graphics? Build your own website. Love writing? Start a blog. You get the picture. Think of yourself as any other brand and project yourself in the best light possible. Now more than ever your online presence matters. Employers can and often will Google you and your social media profiles. If you want to keep social media private, double check all of your privacy settings to ensure there are no incriminating or embarrassing photos etc. Otherwise, link all your social media profiles together and cross promote.

Your next job might be a tweet away!

Take the plunge and go to networking events and collect business cards. Better yet, create your own personalised business cards, as it’s so much more professional to hand out a card. It can demonstrate to others that you take initiative, are organised and self-motivated. Stand out and you’ll be remembered.

It’s important to be authentic and passionate – do you! You’re great and no one can be you. We are all different with various skills and life experiences and that is why building your personal brand is essential.

So, what are you waiting for…. Go out and create your brand!

Disclaimer. I am by no means a career coach or guru, but want to inspire myself and others to take charge in their job hunting. To not be complacent and to actively go after what you want. I have been inspired by many successful woman who have created a brand around themselves! We got this! #GirlBoss

If you are job hunting I hope this is helpful, and if you have any tips, tricks or advice I would love to hear! Do you think you will start your personal brand?!

Good luck,

Love Career Girl

xo

New Mantra: Trust the Universe!

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So the past week, and, well, month, has been pretty shitty. I’ve been stressed, I’ve put a tad bit of weight on, have felt like an unmotivated, worried and depressed SLUG if I’m being perfectly honest. Those who know me well will know why… but it has enabled me to think A LOT about everything really.

It’s made me realise a lot about friendships, amongst other things. When the chips are down you find out who your real friends are, the ones who will defend and fight for you in your absence. The friends who, no matter whether it 3pm or 3am, are there for you when you’re crying down the phone, sad. They will tell you how it is, be brutally honest but unbelievably caring.

I have wonderful, quality, vivacious, inspirational and hilariously sarcastic friends who I am so lucky to have. Regardless of whether we text daily or whether we sporadically spend the afternoon and evening chatting away over a cocktail, or several, the fact I know they are there makes me so happy. Such a shame all my college and university friends are dotted all over the globe, but it makes me appreciate the fantastic friends that I have, of which I can count on my fingers, even more I guess.

Facebook friends aren’t the be all & end all

It’s remarkable how when I was younger and more naïve and consumed with wanting to fit in, I was obsessed with the number of Facebook friends I had – at one stage I had over 1000! I’m 22 and although I’m not exactly old, I feel like I have grown up so much since then. I have deactivated my Facebook and prefer to spend my time and energy on my ‘real’ friends, the ones who have been there through thick and thin. A year ago I made a conscious effect to abandon the negativity, the fickle friends and the ones who used me for personal gain, invites to parties or to bail on me at the drop of the hat for a better event, their boyfriend or whatever the flavour of the month was.

Only recently have I felt truly ‘myself’ you know? And I have my lovely, supportive friends to thank for that!

Ridding Fake & Fickle Friends

It hasn’t been easy letting go of childhood, fickle and horribly fake friends. There comes a time when there is no longer much say, less things in common and life goes in different directions. Sometimes, the one person who you thought would be there for you, you’re best friend, who once knew everything about you, is merely a stranger now.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes, things happen for a reason. The fickle friend teaches you to seek out better quality friends. That boy who mistreated who you makes you hunt for a loyal and loving guy, and working a job you hate can propel you to find your dream job.

Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, it may not work out now, but it will soon. So trust the universe!

Love Career Girl,

xoxo

So You’ve Graduated! Now What…

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Graduate or soon to be graduate?! Congratulations! Now the hard graft really starts!

If you are lucky enough to have already bagged yourself an internship or job – well done! But if you haven’t don’t worry. From my experience, I don’t know anyone who really achieved their dream job straight out of university.

Many graduates will post the perks of their new job on social media, portraying a perfect working life, but behind every beautiful promotion is a struggle which isn’t splashed all over Facebook or Twitter.

Finishing university with an amazing degree is life changing. University is a roller-coaster with many ups and downs with  friends for life made. Being a Graduate, you feel euphoric, you can conquer the world right?! Yet what many of my friends and I didn’t bargain for is the reality of life after Graduation and entering the big wide world of working 9-5.

Life After University

After all the Champagne Celebrations & Graduation Gown selfies, life after university is very different!

Being at university is definitely a surreal experience whether you enjoyed it or loathed it. However, the readjusting to living back at home with your parents (so lame right?) combined with societies pressure to ‘get a proper job’ mounting and university debt and lack of funds is a daunting prospect and a tad depressing.

The change of living independently on your own terms to living under the parents roof; with a dramatic change in social life (I live in a village and it’s hell!) and facing rejections from jobs you’d kill to have is challenging to say the least!

It’s not unreasonable to assume given you’ve spent 3 years studying your craft; gaining experience, knowledge and skills, that you’d receive a job matched to your skillset…. No?

Unfortunately, the reality for so many of my friends and I is that, unless you’re really, really lucky, for quite a while after leaving university, the jobs you accept might be far from desirable! Even if your first job after graduation is working in a bar, restaurant or even retail, at the end of the day, a job’s a job and it’s all vital experience!

I worked in one job that I hated but managed to pay off my (horrendous) overdraft in 2 months. There’s a silver lining to every shitty situation! Just kept hustling!

Love Career Girl

Xo

Staying Motivated & Positive Throughout the Job Search

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Don’t you just hate it when your parents & friends constantly enquire about the status of your job hunt?! “Have you had any interviews, how’s the job hunt going, got the job of your dreams yet?”

I’ve been there and it’s frustrating as hell. Gone are the days when you could just walk into a job and be set for life. Today, you’re battling with millions of other just as good, if not better graduates, combined with (pointless) online applications & selection criteria; in addition to horribly stressful interviews.

Psychometric tests & situational tests… for what?

I remember in my quest last year to get a job, I applied to work at a well know supermarket chain (so glad I didn’t progress!) Cue personality tests & situation tests, passing this a phone then a group interview. All to work for a little bit above minimum wage, essentially stacking shelves. Crazy in my opinion. There is no way you can gauge whether someone is fit for the role, intelligent or even passionate for the job if this is what you have to endure to get to the final face-to-face interview. I also read somewhere that CV’s are gone through a screening process (applicant tracking system) & often discarded way before a human has even seen them! Certain tag lines within your CV are scanned to filter them out. So take it with a pinch of salt if you apply online & never hear back.

Months and months of searching, applying & being constantly rejected can seriously take its toll. I have shed many a tear of frustration. I found it incredibly depressing, stressful and hard to stay upbeat & motivated!

So this is what I did…

Get a job, even if it isn’t your dream job.

Hey, it’s all experience and you never know, network and you could achieve the job of your dreams. It is much easier and less stressful to look for a job if you already have a job. Having an income is great and it gives you a hell of a lot more to talk about in your interview.

Network like there is no tomorrow

You never know who might be hiring so it’s always worth striking up a conversion, even with a stranger. Many companies and hiring managers do advertise; but a staggering 95% of jobs* are never advertised!!!

Dream Job Lists

Write down a list of company’s you want to work for or roles that you see yourself doing. Write some job goals, things you want to get out of that job, whether it is to save money or career progression. I desire a job where I’m always learning & constantly being challenged. Focusing on what you want will help drive you in the right direction. Trust your instinct and do a job that feels right for YOU!

Also, Linkedin is a great way to learn about jobs. It also has a great feature where you can instantly apply for a job, complete with your CV & Linkedin profile. Once you get Linkedin and know how to use it to your advantage, you’ll be fine.

Attend Interviews

It sounds insane & a waste of time… but hear me out! If you are offered an interview for a role – even if it’s a job you’re not interested in, GO FOR IT. If you can afford it, I highly recommend attending as many interviews as possible because gaining experience in a variety of interview settings will prepare you for so much!

Job hunting is stressful & tiring so don’t forget to treat yourself! Go out with friends & have fun. If you have a job, jam pack your days off with things you want to do.

*This stat is based on my own knowledge & experience!

Good Luck!

CareerGirl Xo

Ruthless Recruiters

jacob-nizierski-29120.jpgOne of the easiest traps to fall into is to rely on a recruiter and recruitment websites such as Higher the Talent. I don’t know about you, but graduating and having to enter the big wide world of full-time employment, to gain “a proper job” is possibly the most terrifying and stressful thing ever!

I uploaded CV’s & cover letters to just about every one of these sites thinking that was the way forward. I inputted my job requirements such as role, pay and location etc. The following day I received an overwhelming number of voicemails – all these recruiters want me!

I felt over the moon, seriously. Over the phone and face to face interviews scheduled, I thought I was going to receive the job of my dreams, with an insane pay packet – all based on conversations with recruiters. However, I made the very expensive mistake of trusting them, ultimately costing hundreds to attend interviews in London.

“OTE 40k!!”

I endured hellish interviews with recruiters, some of which were an utter waste of time. Many lie through their teeth about the job specification, or even salary and location, just to persuade you to attend. They receive X amount of money based on the number of CV’s they screen and candidates they push forward. Most don’t care about you. They will cold call and cold email you repeatedly – they don’t think you will be great for the job, they just need their pay cheque.

Sugarcoated lies

These ruthless recruiters seduced me by telling me how amazing I was, sugar coating job roles and promising the world with the opportunity to earn 40k in year one. Guys, if it sounds too good to be true… it is!

Some recruiters might be great and may find you the job of your dreams. Some may be lovely, but that will be incredibly exceptional! My advice? Stay clear of ruthless recruiters as the majority of them are charlatans. Apply for jobs from the source via the hiring manager or company website, Linkedin and by social networking but beware of the recruiter!

 

Good luck job hunting!

Love Career Girl

Xo

Overqualified & Inexperienced… What I’ve Learnt

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So I graduated class of 2015 and it was great. What wasn’t so great were the months and months after graduation when I was job hunting. I really do think our generation has it the worst. I naively thought graduating with a BSc Psychology 2:1 would ensure I would achieve the job of my dreams almost instantly, given my past job hunt and interview success rate.

Oh how wrong was I!

In fact, what most people don’t know or realise is just how depressing the job hunt can be! Honestly, I felt so unbelievably low, spending ages and ages writing pages and pages of ‘Why I should be Hired’ blurbs and cover letters, for what? Only them to be sent through the black-hole of the internet. To receive an automated, undesirable ‘Thank You’, don’t call us we’ll call you. Oh, and you’re lucky to get that!

Over Qualified & Inexperienced

It is so disheartening job hunting online. I did as every other graduate seems to do, I applied directly to companies and signed up to the likes of Milkround and Reed. Word of advice? Don’t bother, save your time and energy as it’s so saturated! I wish someone had told me that!

After a while I did have a few job interviews, all really good experience from group interviews, panel interviews and psychometric testing but unfortunately was pipped to the post due to being ‘over qualified or for lack of experience’ – If I had a pound for every-time I heard that….

Rejection, Rejection & More Rejection!

Anyway, being constantly rejected based on something you really can’t help is possibly the most frustrating thing ever. Nearly reaching the end of my tether and working in a dead end job I decided I drastically needed to do something… anything. Eventually, I decided to sort out my Linkedin as other people were getting into it and I thought hey, what the hell.

Surprisingly, I have had quite a few job offers through Linkedin and I would definitely recommend it!

Let me know in the comments your experiences tips and tricks to securing the job of your dreams!

Good luck job hunting!

 

Love Career Girl xo