The last week of April — we can already hear the sighs of relief. Student exam week is almost done. Freedom!

Well not quite. After all there’s summer employment! For most this means co-ops, internships, contract work or entry-level employment for you newly grads. If you’re on the job hunt as a young professional you’ll want to consider these 5 Riipen pro-tips for landing an awesome work placement or entry-level job!

Know Thy Self.

It may seem obvious, but many end up leaving this up to chance. Hopefully, you’ve already spent time during your studies planning for post-graduation, but if not, we encourage you to take time to reflect on your future career path. You may not know the answer entirely, but going through the exercise will reveal a lot about yourself. There are countless career tools, personality tests, books and online resources at your disposal to help you out with this. A good old-fashioned Google is a good first step! Starting your career on the right foot with the right business and with the right intentions will drastically improve your future career trajectory – not to mention income potential.

Spend some time getting to know your future self. Start researching companies and positions based on YOUR short-term and long-term needs and desires. Find contact information for key individuals at companies that truly interest you. Use LinkedIn or other tools and make a positive connection with people in your chosen industry. It doesn’t hurt to reach out and take the opportunity to learn from their past experiences. Also, read up on the mission, the culture, the people, and the roles in the company of interest (most of which should be accessible on their website).

Look for companies that:

  1. Are in an industry you’re interested in
  2. Have a culture and mission you believe in
  3. Have compelling opportunities for continued education/personal growth
  4. Align with your values and the lifestyle you want to lead

Show Don’t Tell.

With the job market as competitive as ever for those entering the workforce for the first time, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Instead of applying to a plethora of jobs the traditional way by uploading a resume and cover letter, you might want to try a more creative approach. Don’t waste time applying to jobs you don’t really care about. Instead, take the time to sit down and spend a few hours putting together a unique application to impress the people you’re trying to reach! It’s all about quality over quantity. Today you need to prove what you can do; not simply say what you can do on a piece of paper. As an example, at Riipen we live and breathe this idea — we task potential employees to complete our Riipen Recruitment Challenge. Some examples of ways we’ve seen employees showcase their unique skills and talents have been through social media campaigns, graphic design, video production, market research, web development, sales pitches, etc.

Whatever medium you choose it needs to showcase your knowledge of the company, skills related to the type of role you’re interested in, personality, work ethic, and creativity. As an example, if the position you’re applying for is a marketing role, showcase your talents and skills by creating a simple marketing tools guide or a sample social media campaign. This shows that you’re already thinking about what it takes to grow the business and that you have the skills required for the job.

If you’re looking for a work placement or job, check our public Riipen Employer Recruitment Challenges. Your dream job could be one challenge away!

Persistence is Key.

There’s a huge difference between being annoying and being persistent. Employers want to hire people who are serious, driven and won’t let up until they get the results they want.

You’ve already started differentiating yourself by creating a unique application. Now you need to make sure the right people see it! Send a follow-up email or social note within a few days of your original outreach. Thank them again for their time and remind them about your interest in discussing employment opportunities. Being persistent is attractive and can show you’re eager for the opportunity. After a few more days pass feel free to reach out directly by phone. People are busy, so follow up with enthusiasm, passion, and gratitude.

First Impressions.

At this point you’ve taken the necessary steps to create a positive impression and now it’s time to meet in person. Show up early and well-prepared for the interview. Make sure you know enough about the position you’re applying for to be able to explain how you can start positively impacting the company today.

At first, your interviewer will most likely have a set of situational questions prepared. Showing your personality when answering is just as important as proving that you’ve got the skills on demand. Make sure to keep it concise, but also leave room to provide context into how you understand and feel when it comes to each question. Using past experiences during your studies or other roles you’ve held to answer these types of questions is encouraged. Showing a high level of emotional intelligence is also very attractive to employers.

Remember, the interview is not just for the employer, but also for you! Take the opportunity to get to know the people in the room and see if the company is actually the right fit for you. Come prepared with discussion-provoking questions as this will help show your authentic interest in what the company is offering. Try and highlight your interest in long-term employment by asking questions about culture and opportunities to grow within the organization. This shows that you’re keen to progress on an individual level, but also help the company grow. Remind them that you’re not just there collect a paycheck!

Provide Value.  

Hiring is a tough process and if not done correctly it can hinder business growth. People are what make organizations tick! With that said, always keep in mind that every interaction with the employer is an opportunity for them to evaluate the potential that you can bring to the table. It’s important to be aware of how you’re presenting yourself personally and professionally. But above all else, remember to be human and be authentic. So much of the value we provide to an organization comes from our unique qualities as individuals. Prove to them that your presence will enhance the team around you.

There you have it, 5 simple tips to help you land that dream work placement or job!

Looking for a job or work placement, don’t forget to visit us online to see our available opportunities with our partner companies!

Have suggestions for future articles and best practices? Comment below!