I Finish Uni In 6 Months & Here’s How I’m Going To Get My First Job
If you're coming to the end of your uni degree and the pressure to land a job is giving you anxiety - SAME.
I am a semester away from finishing my dual degree of Media and Design at UNSW and if I have to hear, "So what are your plans for a job?" from one more person....
After studying for the past four years and receiving my fair share of interrogation, I've realised it's really not that simple.
During my time at uni I've tried to seize every opportunity I could when it came to professional experience - but is it enough to land me a full-time job? Watching my friends make the transition and secure a position, has me feeling those stress sweats.
But instead of making futile comparisons - their job search, is not my own - I've decided to be proactive and plan exactly how I'm going to get my first job out of university.
1. Get My Sh*t Together
It only takes a matter of months for your resume to get out of date. Updating my CV is something that I’ve been absolutely dreading to do, but I know I have a lot more to say than currently sits on one A4 page. I need to compile all my work experience, extra curriculars, education as well as links to articles I've written as examples of my work. Not to mention my LinkedIn and Loop profiles are also important to keep up to date. I still haven’t got a LikedIn profile picture…
I also want to perfect a unique Cover Letter for each position that I apply for. At the moment, I have general core points that look good, but aren't specific enough and that’s where I will ‘flesh’ it out. Check out these guides on experience and resume writing, which I found particularly helpful.
2. Be Realistic
When looking for a job I really need to familiarise myself with the different job forums and their search functions. The MTV Jobs page is an awesome launching pad as it's a refined search of all the major jobs sites for media related jobs. From there it can direct you back to other job platforms like Seek, LinkedIn and The Loop so you can further your search.
Firstly, I'm going to check in with contacts that are already working in the industry to ask them everything from applications to salary expectations. Understanding the kind of roles going and how much an entry level position in media earns will give me a realistic scope of what's out there.
3. Casting My Net
Finding a job is the eternal struggle between ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ and carving your career path in the right direction from the start.
When I'm applying, I’m not going to set my goals on that ONE dream job, that can set you up for disappointment with nothing to fall back on. It also leaves me open to opportunities I'm not yet aware of.
Instead, I will search far and wide through different media jobs, weighing up the type of company and roles available to find the best positions suited for my skills. While holding out for the one job may set you back, an entry level position in a new company may just be one of the stepping stones on your way to that dream role.
4. Thick Skin, Gonna Win
Easier said than done. I found applying for internships to be the biggest blow to my ego. For someone to tell you that you didn’t make the cut for free work can be pretty demoralising, but what you have to realise is that it’s not something personal.
Instead, what I’ve done is ask the interviewer if they had any suggestions for improvement. This isn’t a ‘Why wasn’t I good enough for the position?’ question, but a ‘How can I improve myself for next time?’ You’d be surprised at how useful it can be - I’ve learnt how to dress accordingly to how I can frame my experience more strategically to a role. If you do get feedback make sure you thank the person, as they took the time to reflect on you and write it down. Here's a helpful guide to the interview process if you want to read more.
Now it's time to put all that talk, into action. Good luck!
- Joseph Mastrangelo
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