Celebrating National Careers Week

Whether you’re looking for your first job, aiming to take your next step up the career ladder, or from seeking a new challenge in a different school, there are a number of ways you can boost your appeal as a candidate. To mark National Careers Week (5-9 March) we’ve put together a quick guide to the top six ways of boosting your employability and career prospects .

Top tips for boosting your employability

1. Have a clear vision

What do you want to achieve in your career, in both the short and long term? Having a clear vision will enable you to set goals more clearly.

List your goals, and then think about what steps you need to take to achieve each one. Refer back to this list regularly. This process will encourage activities that will help you achieve your goals and turn your vision into reality.

2. Be in the right place at the right time

Once you’re clear about where you want to get to, make sure you are in the right place at the right time to keep in touch with the best opportunities. One way to do this is to set up job alerts, so the vacancies find you. To do this just join Eteach; registration is free, and once registered you can receive email alerts according to the criteria you set. You can also choose specific schools where you’d like to work even if there are no current vacancies, by joining their Talent Pools. Learn more about these here.

3. Use social media to its best advantage

Consider other ways you can immerse yourself in your chosen area. If you use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, join all the relevant groups and take part in conversations to stay tuned in. It’s also worth seeing which organisations relevant to your specialist areas you could become involved with, and stay abreast of all the important issues by regularly reading up on the latest news.

When you’re using social media, bear in mind that employers are becoming increasingly ‘social savvy’: a recent survey found more than 90% of recruiters visited candidates’ online profiles on sites like Facebook, so it’s critical to be concious of what your profile says about you. For hints and tips on using social media for jobseekers, take a look at guide to social media blog post for more information .

4. Stand out from the crowd

Once you’ve set your objectives and actively started searching for opportunities, think about how you are you going to make your application stand out: can you gain extra experience, or additional qualifications so your application is moved to the top of the pile? Is there anything you could be doing to bolster your appeal – for example becoming involved with additional after school or voluntary projects? It can add to your workload, but not only could this add something extra to your application, but it will be an interesting talking point for any interviews – and really shows employers you’re serious about your aims.

Our ‘How to look good online’ guide also explains in detail how you can use our digital tools to show your best face to potential employers. For example you can create a job seeker’s profile that evolves over time to reflect new skills and accomplishments. Find out how to do this here.

5. Create a winning CV

A strong CV is an important tool. It can take time to get it right, but if you’re serious about a new role it’s worth putting in the graft. Your CV is a representation of you, so think carefully about the impression it will give.

There are a number of things to consider: it needs to be up-to-date, contain the relevant information for the recruiter you’re sending it to (it may need tailoring for different jobs), and be clear, concise and easy to read. It’s your chance to show you have the qualifications, experience and background your potential employer is looking for. Try and keep it to a maximum of two pages, and check it against the job description. Lastly – always use a spell checker! For extra help on writing a winning CV, check out our handy guide here.

6. Shine at interview

You’ve done it: you’ve got through the door. But what is the key to a good interview?

Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.

Invest the time in fully preparing and you will reap the benefits. Research all you can and show you really understand how the role will fit within the larger picture, as this will reinforce how committed you are. Demonstrate you have a broad knowledge and recognise what the employer is looking for. And remember, first impressions make a big impact, so dress smartly, arrive in plenty of time and take relevant supporting information with you.

Practice makes perfect, so spend some time thinking about likely interview questions and what skills and experience you want to get across. For extra help and guidance, including example interview questions for teachers, and what to take with you, read our Interview Tips guide.

And for some simple tried-and-tested techniques for getting in the right frame of mind and dealing with interview nerves, read our Interview Techniques guide.

National Careers Week is an annual celebration of careers education, information, advice and guidance. Its purpose is to promote and share good quality careers resources amongst career professionals, job seekers, parents and students. You’ll find more information and careers resources, at www.nationalcareersweek.com

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