Unsure about how to proceed with your job search this year? It’s time to stop stressing and  focus on your future with these 12 tips on how to get exactly what you want – your perfect job.

1. Take the time to make the right choice
Take the time to think about what you really want from your future – sure, salaries are important, but they might not be everything. Read as much as you can about different professions, or, if you already know what career you want to go into, think about the effect of different sizes of company, specialisms, and office cultures that would fit you best. Take a look at graduate and senior profiles on our site to find out a bit about what working for different companies might be like –plenty of research is the key to landing on your feet.

2. Swot up on the industry
If you are lucky enough to have a bit of free time on your hands this year, now’s the time to go above and beyond in your job search. Do you understand all of the industry terminology you might come across in interviews? Test yourself from our industry specific glossaries in Banking, Accountancy & Tax and Actuaries. You never know what terms could come up in an interview situation. Our Hot Topics articles are also a great way of knowing about key issues affecting an industry today.

3. Keep on top of the news
Read publications like the Economist – it’s important to keep a bigger picture in mind and be informed when walking into an interview. Consider subscribing to an industry specific publication, like the Financial Times; remember, a lot of institutes give students discount rates on subscriptions to their publications. If you’re a bit more pressed for time, take a look at our industry news feeds
these are an easy way of keeping up to date with industry
and graduate specific news quickly.

4. Network
Do you know what events are taking place near you? These can be a great way of not only focusing your job search, but getting a head start and even securing interviews. Go prepared and don’t be shy about asking questions. Talking to representatives at events is the best way to find out what a firm is like to work for. Don’t forget that professional relationships can be built at any time – joining societies and getting in touch with university alumni are great ways of making lasting and valuable contacts. And why not start following a few key people on twitter?

5. Volunteer
University or college is a great time to volunteer, helping you to gain transferable skills, get experience of the working world and broaden your horizons. All of these things will look great on application forms, but that’s not the only reason to volunteer. You might also find out a little bit about what it is you like and don’t like in the working world – no bad thing when you’re making important decisions, like what you want to do with your life! Here’s an article on the value of volunteering, with a few tips on where to find voluntary work.

6. Take another look at your CV
You may not realise it but as the year progresses you will have gained new skills, taken new modules – are you certain your CV is completely up to date, and shows you in the best light? Take a look at our CV advice and take the time to really get it perfect before you start sending it out to potential employers.

7. Practice application questions
Did you know that the same ten questions formed 90% of all of the application forms asked by 166 companies surveyed by Inside Careers? Make sure you’re getting them right! Find out the top ten most asked application questions.

8. Get on top of your online profile.
This is very important – you might think you’ve got all of those photos of you from Freshers week locked down, but social media privacy settings are always changing, so take the time to make sure. Here are some tips for managing your social media profile.

9. Apply for graduate jobs
A lot of graduate scheme application deadline at different times throught the year, so don’t miss out. Remember that for a lot of jobs that start next year, you need to start thinking about applying now. Check out our deadlines calendar in each profession section for graduate schemes and internships closing soon. When you’ve got those applications in, move on to other live jobs. Remember, as far as getting your application in is concerned, the sooner the better.

10. Apply for internships and placements
If you’re in your first or second year of university, now’s the time to be thinking about securing internships in your chosen profession. These aren’t just the opportunity for great work experience, they can also lead directly to job interviews and offers after you graduate. Take a look at some of the internships on offer.

11. Prepare for interviews

If you’ve been pro-active in your job search, you may already have some interviews lined up – if so, get practising! Preparation is very important for interviews, so set aside the time before hand to learn as much as possible about the company, their key businesses, clients , competitors and practise the STAR principle in answering questions. Ask friends and family to help you to prepare, going through possible questions and perfecting your answers.

12. Relax
Okay, perhaps you’ve earned a little time off! Don’t forget to take a bit of time off to regroup, and if your search has so far not been successful get ready to start your job hunt inspired and refreshed. Good luck!

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