When I moved to England I knew the job market was going to be tough. I knew, from industry contacts and the news, that finding work was going to be difficult. Even though I have a specialism (which apparently helps when trying to find employment) it still took me a few months to secure permanent employment. I think the biggest challenge was trying to find a job whilst living in a different country. It’s hard to look for work, speak to employers and attend job interviews when you are on the other side of the world! But there are some tips I picked up along the way that I wanted to share which hopefully might help someone else looking for a job.
The first thing I did was update my CV. Pretty simple step but you’d be surprised at how many rejection letters I got when I first sent out my CV. After reading advice and watching a lot of tutorial videos I realised that I needed a CV that was going to stand out from the crowd – something that looked a bit different. I did a bit of research online and found a website that specialises in free CV templates. A CV template is basically a form (available in a variety of designs and lay outs) that you can input your CV data into. The one I chose had well laid out boxes and neat bold headers so by the time I had finished creating my CV I knew it was going to be different from the competition.
I then went about contacting recruitment agencies and the biggest piece of advice I could give here is to pick an agency that specialises in the industry you want to work in. I used a general recruiter at first and although I spoke to an agent once a week during my job search it didn’t return many results. But as soon as I used an agency that specialised in Architecture careers I was offered a number of part-time and temporary positions. The temporary contract has since turned into a full time position and I also do some work for my portfolio out of hours too.
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The main reason (I feel) I was offered a few jobs, once I had met the right recruitment company, was not purely my CV or my previous work experience. Practicing job interview behaviour definitely helped! I had one or two telephone interviews which I was really worried about and even had a Skype one too. I had never had a Skype job interview so did some research on what to expect and how to stand out to the employer. This advice definitely helped me – my tone, body language and job interview answers were all improved. Another thing that I was able to demonstrate during interview was my genuine interest in architecture and design. It’s something I think about day in day out, regardless of whether I am at work or not! And I think that is important to most employers – most organisations what an individual that will be passionate about their company and believe in their work.
I’ve been in the job for over a year now and I’m still improving on my experience every day. I keep my CV updated and add in new hobbies, interests and skills when necessary. I think this is crucial to any job search – whether it’s abroad or not. Your CV should be up to date all of the time, you never know when you might need to send it out.
I hope this helps anyone reading it who might be looking for a job – just remember to work on your CV, find a recruiter that can help to broaden your job search and be persistent – it’s what helped me to secure my role. Click here for more..