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5 ways students can get a ‘foot in the door’ when job hunting

Published: Wednesday 21st October 2020

There was a time when people would get a job right out of school and stick with it until retirement. Those days are gone and nowadays, people have to be agile and proactive with their job search in such a competitive job market. To help you here are some ways that students can use to get a ‘foot in the door’ when job hunting & keep your career moving onward and upward.

Internships and work experience options when job hunting

Hands-on experience in your field of work is invaluable for students and that’s because employers place high value on candidates who can hit the ground running. As a student, a short unpaid stint could be your way into learning the ropes and putting your existing knowledge and skills into practice. In turn, this will illustrate your determination to break into the business world, or even your genuine interest in a particular company.

Many large employers offer apprenticeships, internships or mentorship programmes, and even if the work experience available doesn’t directly match your dream role, this opportunity can be a great way to get your foot in the door and showcase your potential. If you’re just starting out, an internship or even a volunteer job can get you in the door. Don’t snub temporary or freelance work. They often lead to full-time opportunities.

young woman sitting on the city stairs and using laptop computer outdoors, job hunting.

Seek volunteering opportunities

Volunteering can be a great way to show prospective employers you’re a well-rounded candidate, winning you the chance to get a ‘foot in the door’. Moreover, voluntary work comes with the added benefit of allowing you to do something positive for the community or a non-profit organisation. It can also be a great way to get real work experience, hone your talents in a work environment and introduce yourself to your ideal employer, sidestepping the recruitment process.

Job boards, career & company websites

Job boards, such as Zoek, offer great job hunting tools as well as a wide range of opportunities across all sectors and job types. These websites have a far greater reach and a much quicker turnaround time. If you already have your dream employer in mind, you can also go directly to the career section of the company’s website. If you track openings on its site, there’s a chance you’ll find just the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for. As an extra job hunting top tip you could create a list of employers that you’d like to work for and visit their websites regularly.

young people are studying together in university. Students outdoors.

Virtual job fairs and networking whilst job hunting

Investigate any companies that interest you, update your CV and get ready to sell yourself. Consider any conversations with recruiters as mini interviews that can set you apart from other students and win you an interview as well as a ‘foot in the door’ when job hunting. In addition, networking, online or in person, and your alumni network are great ways to stay on top of what’s happening in your industry, including what jobs are open and where.

Finally, in such a competitive job market, students may have to pull out all the stops to land their dream job. Billboards, edible CVs, truck-sized CVs and other creative ways are just another way that job seekers can use to get noticed. These methods may actually work but be cautious. Be sure that your creative tactic is appropriate for the industry you’re trying to break into.

If you’re on the look out for your next job opportunity, get a ‘foot in the door’ when job hunting with Zoek! Search, match and apply from thousands of fresh UK opportunities across all sectors.

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