How to make yourself job ready

It can be a shock to start work after full-time education. But as thousands of students leave school, college and university, now’s the time to get in practice

By Tim Gibson

As the summer beckons, students up and down the country are preparing for the end of their time in education. Undergraduates will be nervously eyeing degree results. College students will be preparing for A-Levels or vocational assessments. Younger pupils will be wrestling with GCSEs.

    “It can be a major shock to start work after years in education,” says Ellen Dalena, a consultant at Just Recruitment...  

For many, this period spells the end of their time in education. Once the final exam is sat or the last piece of coursework submitted, they’ll head out to the big wide world, hoping to find a job that makes the best use of their talents.

We’ve written elsewhere about the best way to spend your time while looking for a job and about finding the right opportunity for you.

But how do you get yourself ready for the lifestyle change involved in moving from full-time education to a working environment?

“It can be a major shock to start work after years in education,” says Ellen Dalena, a consultant at Just Recruitment Group Ltd who specialises in first-time appointees. “Although it’s by no means a walk in the park to be at university, college or school, you tend to have more flexibility about your time, and fewer expectations about things like what you wear, when you take breaks, and even when and where you work.

“The nine to five can come as something of a surprise if you’ve grown accustomed to the flexibility and informality of student life.”

The trick is to start building routines into your life even before you pick up your first job. “I always advise candidates who are leaving education to start behaving as if they’re already working while looking for the right opportunity,” Ellen continues.

“Set an alarm and make sure you’re up and ready to leave the house by 8.30am. Dress smartly, rather than slopping around in joggers and a hoodie. Eat a proper breakfast and do something proactive. You may spend a couple of hours visiting recruitment consultants to register your details. Perhaps you’ll do some internet job hunting in a cafe. Or simply spend the time reading the news and engaging with the world. That’ll ensure you have something interesting to say when you’re interviewed.”

Another tip is to identify gaps in your CV and use the time before you start work to fill them. “I’m always happy to give candidates advice about the things they need to do to enhance their employability,” says Ellen. “The most successful candidates are those who ask how they can sharpen their skill set while job hunting. They show a hunger for work and a desire to improve their profile.”

    “Set yourself some projects that are relevant to the sort of job you hope to secure,”...  

Ellen Dalena also says you can use the time before starting work to get in the right mindset.

“Set yourself some projects that are relevant to the sort of job you hope to secure,” she says. “For example, I had a candidate who wanted to work in a manual role. While he was looking for the right opportunity, he decided to make wooden garden furniture that he could sell to friends, deliberately working a seven-hour day in his dad’s workshop.

“The benefits were twofold: he had a bit of money coming in while he looked for work. But more importantly, it got him into the habit of working throughout the day. When he started his first job a month or so later, he was accustomed to early rises and long days. It all felt perfectly natural to him.”

A further benefit of being proactive is that it sends a positive message to employers. “A common complaint among employers is that younger people don’t have a good work ethic,” reports Ellen Dalena. “If you can go into an application process with evidence of your motivation, diligence, and general get up and go, you’ll immediately stand out from the crowd.”

So there you have it. You may feel as if completing your studies is a liberation. But if you want to find the job of your dreams, it’s when the hard work really begins.

Published: 6 June 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you liked this article, you may enjoy – All you need to know about interviews

You may also like – How do you choose the best recruitment agency for you?

Jobs currently available

Driver
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £18,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909015
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a driver to join a large and well-established business, with multiple branches across the UK.

This position will be based at their Chelmsford branch.

The role involves delivering various items to locations in and around the Chelmsford area.

You must have a full clean driving licence and have experience of driving either transit or LWB vans.

Working Hours:

  • 45 per week Mon-Fri 7:30 - 5 plus 2 Saturday mornings (8am-12pm) per month - paid at overtime rates!

Bonuses:

  • Salary Negotiable.
  • Attendance bonus scheme.
  • Company pension scheme.
  • Shared profit scheme.
  • Uniform and PPE provided.

Duties will include:

  • Deliveries in and around Chelmsford
  • Assisting with various warehouse duties
  • Proving a friendly service to customers and other staff whilst out on the road and within the branch as and when required.
  • Working with the team to ensure the branch runs smoothly and customers are delighted with the service.

In order to be considered for this role you must have worked in a similar role, have excellent IT skills and a good telephone manner.

This is a great opportunity to join an organisation that promotes from within, provides extra training and development and further company benefits.

Read more
Workshop Technician/Mechanic
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £17,500 - £27,000 per annum
Location: Hadleigh
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909014
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Workshop Technician/Mechanic on behalf of a leading independent parts specialists based on the outskirts of Sudbury, Suffolk.

Salary;

  • £17,500 - £27,000 depending on experience.

Great working environment in a high-spec workshop with heating and insulated flooring, to ensure employees are comfortable all year round.

Duties include:

  • Repair and refurbish motors and gearboxes.
  • Stripping down engines.
  • Disassemble and fix parts.
  • Complete root-cause analysis.

Benefits;

  • 23 days annual leave, plus bank holidays.
  • Free parking.
  • Profit share scheme, available after probation.
  • Medical scheme, available after probation.
  • PPE provided including boots and company branded tshirts / fleeces.
  • Training courses.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a great company offering lots of progression and excellent benefits.

Candidates must drive due to the location of the company, and will occasionally be required to drive company vehicles.

 

 

Read more
Business Development & Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Witham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909013
About the role

Are you looking to work for an exciting new start-up business offering a great opportunity for you to grow?

Have you worked to targets, and enjoy selling?

Just Recruitment  is delighted to be recruiting for an Account Manager for our client based in Witham.

The role of the Account Manager is to build and develop relationships with new members, working with them throughout their one month free trial and ultimately upgrading them to a paying member.

There will be no cold calling in this role, all leads have come to express their interest!

If you love working in a team, talking to new people, have worked in sales before and have good verbal and written skills then this could be the role for you!

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday – Friday.

 

 

 

Read more
Legal Secretary
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Clacton on Sea
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909000
About the role

Just Recruitment is excited to be recruiting for one of the East of England’s longest established Legal Firms.

Operating for over 250 years, they are a full-service law firm, which has doubled in sized over the past four years, and they are looking to expand further by hiring a new Legal Secretary for their Clacton branch.

They are looking for someone with experience of;

  • Electronic diary management.
  • Telephone liaison.
  • Front of house/reception duties.
  • Digital transcription systems.
  • Using accounts software.
  • Various other clerical and administrative duties.

The ideal candidate will have experience working as a Legal Secretary, with a genuine passion for building a career within the law.

They must also have fast typing speeds and the ability to multi-task effectively.

In return you will receive;

  • A competitive salary.
  • 20 days holiday + bank holidays.
  • Contributory pension scheme.
  • As well as a whole host of other benefits.
Read more