Back to Basics: JOB SEARCHING

The country is re-entering a month long national lockdown this Thursday and reports in the guardian about how job losses during the COVID19 pandemic are hitting young people the hardest. You can be forgiven to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic towards finding a student job or your first role at graduate level. The aim of this blog is to help you combat any barriers you have and help you with your job searching. There are some reports which provide a more positive picture:

Working as a Careers Adviser, I quote Derren Brown’s book: Happy, a lot. He was inspired by stoicism and regularly refers to using stoic mentality to help you become and remain Happy!

He suggests that people over worry about things when they are facing challenges or adversity, which unnecessarily impacts on your happiness and therefore your performance and success.

With the COVID19 pandemic we are facing many challenges and adversity, especially students and graduates trying to find employment. One of the things which regularly comes up in Derren Brown’s book is that you are only ever in control of two things:

  1. Your thoughts – How you think, how you chose to think about things
  2. Your actions – how you chose to act or react to situations.

You have no control over anything else and as such should try and not worry about them as they are beyond the limits of your influence or control. Applying this to COVID19 we can help prevent the spreading of the virus by our own actions. If we regularly wash our hands, wear masks when advised to and respect social distancing we will contribute to isolating the virus in our own small way.

We can also apply this to the current situation with the student and graduate labour market. You have no control over how many companies are recruiting or over how many people you are competing with for a job. What you can do is chose how you think about this and how you respond with your actions.

If you think negatively and allow yourself to worry about those things, it will affect your performance with finding a job. You need to think positively, accept the situation which is out of your control and be the best you can be at finding employment.

The rest of this blog will help you with the basics of job searching, if you would like to develop a positive thinking mentally further, you can complete our e-module on Positive Thinking on My Career Centre: and another one on Mindset: . Use your My Hope login details if asked to log in.  

Job Searching back to basics:

  1. Know yourself, understand your strengths, the skills you have and what motivates you. We have a number of self-assessments which you could complete on My Career Centre:
  • Read our Job Searching 101 blog for comprehensive advice on which job search websites you can use plus much more information about job searching:

  • Understand the role you are applying for through the job description and person specification.
  • Research the employer if you can. Some recruitment agencies do not share the employer information for competition reasons. In those cases you need to use the job description and person specification as a guide. We have a ‘The what, why and how of researching employers’ e-module on My Career Centre:
  • Tailor your application statement or CV and Cover letter to meet the requirements of the job you are applying for. Points 3 and 4 prepare you for this. No generalised or sweeping statements. Prove you have each of the required skills with an example of how you have used that skill to achieve a relevant outcome, in a relevant context (if possible) as concisely as possible.
  • Do not procrastinate, make yourself a plan and stick to it. Develop a job searching routine and set up a spreadsheet to write notes about which jobs you applied for, the company and the date. So you don’t duplicate your applications. Also keep a file of all of the applications so you can revisit what you said in the application if you are asked back for an interview. We have an e-module on Self-management on My Career Centre:

If you have left Hope and part of our Alumni and did not activate your access to My Career Centre before you graduated. You will need to email who will send you instructions to gain access for all of the above links to work.


One Comment on “Back to Basics: JOB SEARCHING

  1. Pingback: Focus on: the Business School – Careers and Employability

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