Job seeking and job interviews
Do you want a student job?
A job is typically not something you just get, so if you want a student job you probably have to send out some applications.
Because it can be difficult to make a good CV and a good application it can be a good idea to do some research before starting, so you are well-equipped when you start. First and foremost, you need to think about structure and content in your CV and your application; the two documents should complement each other and show off your good qualities.
The good CV
Typically, companies start by looking at your CV. If your CV is good they go on to your application. Therefore, your CV is most important. Companies don’t use many seconds on your CV, and therefore it is important that it is as clear and structured as possible, so it is easy to read.
Your CV is not the place for “the more the better”. Write only the most important things, and by the most important things mean the things that fits with the specific job. You may be happy about your job in a kindergarten, but it isn’t certain that it makes much sense if you are searching for a job in an IT company. Target your CV!
Nor you should have too many details in your CV – instead, unfold the details in your application. It can increase the clarity in your CV, and at the same time you won’t risk that your CV will be too long.
As a student, you typically don’t have a lot of experience. If that’s the case you can make what is called a qualification CV. In a qualification CV, you focus on your qualifications instead of your experience.
Specifically, a CV can be build the following way:
- Your personal information (name, e-mail address and so on). It’s also a good idea to have a picture of yourself. It’s important to think about which picture you choose. It should be a picture of a certain quality, and you should look presentable. Blurry photos where you are dressed as superman will most often be a no go.
- A short presentation of your professional profile: which relevant qualifications do you have.
- A section about your work experience and a section about your education.
If you don’t have much to write you can unify it under one headline for instance Career and focus on your competences.
- Mention relevant courses you have been on.
- Mention your language skills.
- Mention your relevant IT skills.
- Mention if you have any relevant references.
- Mention your hobbies.
The good application
If there is a job add read it carefully, so you know what it is the company wants. It will make it easier for you to write a targeted application. It can be a very good idea to do some research on the company, so you know what sort of place it is. That too will make it easier for you to write a targeted application.
The good application includes:
- A good and personal headline that gets the reader’s attention – and at the same time is relevant for the job.
- Motivation: why do you want the job, and what can you contribute with.
- Your profile: why you are the right candidate for the job: which relevant competences you have, and how you are going to use them in the specific job.
- Finish the application with a kind comment on follow-up and a “sincerely”.
Both CV and application should be written in a good and correct language with correct grammar, so for heaven’s sake proofread your application. How important it is probably depends on which job you seek, but you might as well do it, so no one can put a finger on anything. Also, get someone to read both: more eyes are better than two.
Preparation for the job interview
If you are so lucky to be called to a job interview, it is a good idea to prepare for it. If there is a job add, read it carefully, so you know what the job is about – job adds are not always that good or that elaborate, but get as much out of it as possible, and maybe prepare a few questions, if there is something else you would like to know. Also, look at the company’s homepage, so you know what sort of company you have an interview with. Preparation gives a good impression.
Before the interview, practise what you are going to say. Of course, you can’t know what they’ll ask; however, it is likely to be asked questions like “why are you the right candidate for the job?”. The more you practise for all conceivable (and inconceivable) things the safer and readier you will probably feel when you are at the interview.
It is like an exam, if you know the material, and you can say it out loud you are well prepared. You can do some research on the most typical questions to be asked at a job interview and rehearse them. It’s a stupid situation to be in, if the employer asks you to mention three good things about yourself, and you don’t know what to say. Prepare!
After the interview
When you have been to a job interview, and you are considering, if you can see yourself in the job, there are at least four factors to consider:
Can the job give you the experience and the qualifications that you want?
Sometimes you will think that what you are told at the job interview don’t match the job add, and sometimes you will be disappointed. Consider whether the job is right for you – can you get from it what you want; e.g. something that looks good at your CV. You can also consider whether it is possible to advance in the company; will it be possible for you to rise through the ranks, and maybe get permanently hired after you graduate.
Of course, you should also consider the salary: do you think that you will get the right salary for the job – and can you make a living from what you can earn. Experience, qualifications, salary and promotions isn’t everything, it is also important that you can see yourself in the company. Consider whether it is a place where you can feel comfortable. It should be nice to come to work, otherwise the risk of you getting enough and wanting to find a new job is too great.
If you get the job, your focus can be on how to learn as much as possible, and how to put yourself in a good light, so they can’t do without you – nor when you graduate.
You should also check out which rights you have at the company in question.