Though the UK and Europe might no longer be on the brink of economic collapse, the employment market is as competitive as ever. Third-level qualifications and associated certificates will always distinguish candidates from their competition, but making your experience and skill-set stand-out from other candidates remains a perennial problem for graduates, even those with much to boast; if it wasn’t, attendance at CV workshops would be tiny; it isn’t.
The importance, then, of using online channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook pages and Twitter, as well as portfolio sites that turn up the volume on what it is that you have to offer a potential employer and that showcase your portfolio of work, your CV and, well, you, cannot be underestimated.
Here, then, are five channels, CMS’s, and general do’s and don’ts that can power-charge your career and take you and your lifestyle to the next level, post- graduation.
Never underestimate the power of a fully completed, well-resourced LinkedIn page: it can get you a long, long way. Not only is the ‘Apply With LinkedIn’ feature a God-send on online job boards, but a LinkedIn profile sent in advance to recruiters and employers can also cut out the unnecessary back-and-forth that can slow down the process from application to interview and speed up a previously slow process. To power-charge your LinkedIn, be sure to ask for recommendations from current and former employers and, also, to give recommendations where possible: what goes around comes around.
2. Be Wary of What You Post
It’s not uncommon for employers, recruiters and HR managers to copy and paste email addresses from Word docs of CV’s and search Facebook and Twitter to screen a candidate and pull more information on a candidate. As such, be very vigilant about what it is that you post up online on social channels; at the very least, clean up any online galleries and status updates that might be considered inappropriate and compromising by a potential employer or recruiter.
If you’re currently studying in any field that is portfolio-driven – design, photography, video, journalism – you cannot go without a website that faithfully showcases your work to potential employers and clients. With a back-end that is as user-friendly as a Facebook or Twitter page, WordPress allows anyone to build a website without having the need of years of experience in web design. WordPress powers almost 5% of the internet, and it’s easy to see why: the vast number of themes and plugins/widgets that one can use to customise a site are user-friendly.
4. Feature any voluntary work no matter how seemingly irrelevant
No matter how seemingly trivial, volunteer work always gives employers some insight into you and, more than anything, provides employers with the impression that end results and people motivate you more than salary and lifestyle.
5. Don’t be afraid to be creative, fresh and different
Are you studying in a field in which creativity and thinking outside the box are desirable qualities for an employer? If so, don’t be afraid to create a CV or an online profile that reflects these qualities. There are many, many apps out there that can jazz up your CV in minutes: check out CV Maker and Resumup to check out just a couple.
Just check out some of these profiles and portfolios to see how you can make your profile stand out: check out Jon Ryder, a copywriter who designed his CV in the style of a medication box; Philip Dubost, a Paris-based Web Product Manager who created his online CV in the form of an Amazon product listing page.