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Promoting Yourself In To Work (Don't waste your degree!)



So many graduates are selling themselves short when it comes to finding work. Many find that having spend years studying their favorite subject at university that the job prospects in their chosen industry are not what they had hoped. Months of demoralising job-hunting and rejections might lead one to believe the only path into employment is to seek employment in other industries - this often leads to people working in vastly different industries than their qualifications suggest.

The most important skill you can have when job hunting is salesmanship. I know it's a cliche to say it, but in an employer's market YOU ARE A MARKETABLE PRODUCT. Considering that fact, ask yourself what big companies do when they launch a product? Press releases, advertising and huge amounts of promotions. Nobody is going to buy your product unless they've heard of it and know what it has to offer in the same way nobody will give you a job unless they've seen your advert. In the world of employment your advert often starts with your CV. Look at your CV and compare it to an full-page advert in a glossy magazine. Notice the difference? Colour, form, fonts, layout, design... do these even play any part in your CV? Now, put yourself in the position of an employer who's receiving dozens of these boring ADVERTS. They all look the same and contain roughly the same information about the same kind of products. I'm not saying make your CV look like the magazine (although some employers would LOVE it if you did), but rather to think about how the people who create those adverts and promotions try to make THEIR advert more attention-grabbing that all the others in the magazine - they pretty much all use different techniques and some work better for some people than others, so you'll have to find something that works for you.

 The employers next step after he sees a few interesting adverts is to call in the salesman to find out a little more information - the dreaded interview. About the worst thing you can do in an interview is to sit there and give adeque answers to all the questions that somebody asks. Gauranteed that you're not the only person who could think of some fairly decent answers to the questions being asked and so you probably won't stand out. Be polite but confident. Listen to everything that you're told and asked but (and this is the key) try to make your answers conversational - if you don't know the answer to something, then be honest and say that you don't know, but ask the interviewer to explain it to you.

 Finally, don't limit yourself to looking for work that's directly in your industry, but look around for how your skills might apply to another industry. To use myself as an example, my degree is in Internet Computing but I've combined my qualifications with my interest in advertising and promotions to work with an exciting new company as their in-house web designer. The website: Promotional Gifts sells all kind of promotional gifts and merchandise.

Don't let rejections get you down and always try to get some feedback about what they didn't like about you. If you've followed my advise in the interview then it's unlikely that the interviewer won't call you themselves to let you know either way.