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The Job-Ready Guide

Employability Skills and Strategies for Career Success

By Anastasia de Waal
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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The Job-Ready Guide by Anastasia de Waal

The Job-Ready Guide (2019) is a helpful roadmap for anyone seeking to get themselves on the first rung of the career ladder. In addition to offering advice on job-searching, writing a compelling resume, and performing well in interviews, it provides insight into what modern employers are really looking for.

Key idea 1 of 10

Exploring your options in a focused way is vital to making the right career choice.

So, you’ve just finished university and you’re thinking about where to go next. If you’re like most people, you might find that your degree doesn’t necessarily align with a specific job or industry, like law or medicine. 

Firstly, don’t freak out. Many people leave university without a clear pathway ahead. The best thing you can do is thoroughly investigate your options so that you can work out what type of job would suit you best. 

A good place to start? Jot down your education history, including your qualifications, the focus of your studies, and the grades you achieved. This will help you to set up your own “filters” – as if you were a search engine – breaking down all possible careers into the ones you’re most eligible for. 

For example, some careers will call for a specific degree in a particular subject, or will require candidates to have a minimum grade average or postgraduate training. Applying your own filters will ensure your attention is focused on the jobs you have the right skills for, in the industries you’re most suited to.

Next, it’s time to start your job research. The aim here is to get a solid idea of what jobs are out there – especially in the slice of the labor market that your filters suggest is most suitable for you.

To paraphrase a recruitment consultant interviewed by the author, many graduates fail to identify what their career options are simply because they have little awareness of the jobs actually out there.

To avoid falling into this trap, try to keep up-to-date with the current labor market. You can do this by looking at job descriptions on job sites, chatting with a career advisor at your college or university, or booking a meeting with a recruitment consultant. 

The key takeaway here is to utilize all the resources available to you. Even chatting with friends of your older siblings or parents about how they launched their own careers can help you pick up valuable advice. Ask them to talk you through how they selected which industry they wanted to work in, and how they found their way in. They may even have some helpful contacts to share with you.

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