5 Job hunting essentials for 2015

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5 Job hunting essentials for 2015

2015 is upon us and it's time to find you lot a job. Whether you're looking for a career in Engineering or Marketing, there are a range of must-haves for getting your own graduate job. In 2015, despite finding out graduates are facing the highest level of vacancies for 10 years, it is still a hyper-competitive job market with graduates needing to pull out all the stops to try and secure that position.

This year, like years before, graduates will be pitting themselves against each other in the race for positions. However, graduates are getting smarter with their approaches to job hunting and mixing traditional tricks with new, digital ways of impressing employers to land themselves positions. Graduate employers are also starting to take advantage of online and digital developments available to them to sort out the graduates they want.

So if you to find your graduate job in 2015 take a look at the 5 essentials to job hunting in 2015.

1. LinkedIn

Although it has been around for years, you can be forgiven for it not being in your consciousness. LinkedIn is an essential presence for graduate job hunters to have. Simply put, for graduates it is a social networking site designed for people to sell themselves to employers. It is the first place employers will look to learn more about a graduate and so you've got to get it right.

A few things to remember about LinkedIn is that you have the option to write a lot about yourself. This is an option that should definitely be taken, so you can give employers as much information and insight into you as you can. Also, it is worth making it look smart, no naff pictures of you out on the piss and nothing that would make employers think any less of you.

To learn more about setting up an awesome LinkedIn profile, read this.

2. Personal Brand

A personal brand is very on trend at the moment and employers are loving graduates who are aware of what it means to have one and are especially excited by those who execute theirs well. But what is it?

A personal brand is nothing new in fact, but rather a concept conceived to sell an individual as a well-rounded product to employers. Graduates need to understand that this is something that is played out on all fronts with an overall aim and an understanding of their skills, experience and passions. Alongside this, a personal brand is a way to for you to sum up what you want and realise what your aims actually are.

If you want to show you're really aware of yourself as a personal brand, try doing something a bit different. A Video CV uploaded to YouTube might be a good idea or an online portfolio and blog are just a few ideas for job hunters to try and set themselves apart.

It can be a tricky concept to get your head around, but if you get it right employers are nearly always impressed.

If you want to understand more about what a personal brand is, have a look at this.

3. Being Commercially Aware

This is another concept conceived in recent years that has rose in importance among graduate employers. In 2015, it is vitally important that graduates understand the business they're going into. This doesn't just related to the type of company you are looking at applying to, but also where they sit in the market, who their competitors are both direct and lesser, as well as how they make their money and where they see themselves in the future.

Being commercially aware in 2015 is a sure fire way to put you ahead of the rest and it is essential for making employers say yes. If you can show you understand what's going on with the company and you've done your research it will show you to be ready for that company and ready for the position. It's not difficult, but that little bit of nous goes a long way.

If you want to know more about Commercial Awareness you should read this.

4. Interview Attire

In terms of mixing it with the old and the new, the changes to interview attire are developing rapidly and require a little bit of nous by graduates. Gone are the days of your bog standard two-piece suit for interviews. While I am not advocating sartorial elegance for graduates to attempt, because this can often go wrong, it is advisable to dress for interviews specifically to the company you're applying for.

While obviously with your large blue-chip corporations, the Consultancy and Finance types, you've got to look sharp, clean cut and above all professional. Unfortunately, room for individual expression with your suits is limited at these organisations, but would this work if you were applying for an artistic or design types, you've got to look sharp, clean cut and above all professional. Unfortunately, room for individual expression with your suits is limited at these organisations, but would this work if you were applying for an artistic or design agency? There is plenty online about the do's and don't of dressing for interviews and the majority of it will echo the rules of dark or grey suits and appropriate office wear. But graduates with a bit of nous about them will know what the company expects and what would be appropriate for working there.

5. Targets

Targets and aims are all the rage for 2015 and they should be at this time of year. So we're two weeks into 2015 and what do you want to happen by the time 31st of December rolls around? You would be well advised to set yourself some yearly goals whether it be as basic as "get a job" or "do an internship".

But more than this graduates should break down what they want even more specifically. This could be designating days to hunt for jobs, days to write CVs or days to fix up your LinkedIn or online portfolio. Setting yourself daily targets can be slightly trickier as job hunting should be approached on a case-by-case, role-by-role basis, not banging out 5 applications a day.

Motivation for these things can lag, but just remember it'll be worth it when you find a job you love.

So get applying today and make 2015 a life changing year!

By James Howell