Got a Career Plan for 2013?

Yes, maybe? Well, here are a few points to consider when you are conducting your job search!

Know what you want – I mean REALLY know what you want!

Make sure you are clear in your head of what you want, what you can offer the employer and what examples you have got to prove this. Simply list all the skills and the experience you have to support these and see what you get? Be honest with yourself. If you’re not confident in a particular skill or never had any experience in that area, then is it worth putting it down? You can fool yourself, but not your potential employer – they will pick this up!

Next find some generic job profiles for your chosen role. Look at the skills and requirements for that role and match them up with yours. If you find you cover at least 90% of the job profile, then you’re already on the right path, but if you don’t, then you will need to reconsider if this career path is good for you in the first place.

Be realistic when it comes to what you are going for. Such as the salary – expecting too much or too little? Remember, salaries can depend on the location of the work. Can you travel easily for the role or do you have any other commitments which need to work alongside your job – will that job enable you to do that?

This might sound like a simple task but it’s strange how when we are job searching, it is so easy to start drifting to job titles and profiles which sound much more attractive than yours. Before you know it, your career plan is out the window and you’re applying for 30 jobs a day with no cause! Stay focused and you will be able to prioritise applications effectively.

Essential Requirement: Personality!

When it comes to speaking to employers, regardless of whether it is on the phone, face-to-face or on social networking sites, please do not forget that you are human, which mean you have personality!

Employers who have attended the ‘Enhance Your Employability’ presentation series at DMU have all commented on the importance of showing your personality when engaging with them. This doesn’t exactly mean being over the top in your approach. Employers respect the fact that everyone is different. Showing genuine interest in what is being said by asking the right questions will show you are actively listening to them.  Have open body language when face-to-face with them – no crossed arms!  Oh, and SMILE! It’s amazing how much a smile can say!

Remember, the employer does not want a robot in the office, but someone who can inspire, motivate and have fun at the same time!

Expand your horizons in 2013

If you thought large blue-chip companies are the only way forward, then think again! SMEs can also offer you opportunities similar to large companies but with even more responsibilities which will challenge you, reflect well on your CV and expand your skill-set. Target your local area or use LinkedIn groups to connect with SMEs. If this is not the route for you, then try finding connections via your Alumni or professional bodies to find contacts. Making connections via networking is key!

If you want to talk to someone with regards to your career plan in more detail, please feel free to make an appointment with an adviser at Student Gateway; Gateway House on 0116 2577595 or email


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