Effective job hunting requires that you have a good knowledge of who you are, what you want and what you can do. Focus on the important things about yourself and on being able to present yourself in a concise but professional manner to potential employers. It can be difficult to know what types of tasks you can work with, especially if your education is a generalist education (does not lead to a specific profession) or if you do not want to work with what your education mainly leads to. Below we have written some tips on how to prepare for the job hunting. Also check ÅAU’s intranet.
Checklist for job hunting
- Before looking for a job: think about what you really want to work on, what you want and what your strengths and weaknesses are
- Focus on your CV and cover letter
- Send in a few targeted applications rather than try to search everything that could possibly suit you
- Convince the employer that you are motivated and interested in the position
- Realize that job searching takes time: the process includes e.g. to identify suitable workplaces, make application documents and wait for a response from the employer
- Remember that first jobs are rarely dream jobs, but that they often open doors to new interesting opportunities
We recommend that you start your search for a job or internship on Career Services’/Arbetsforum’s JobTeaser platform, where positions are published specifically for applicants with a university background. Register and log in via HAKA with your ÅA username and password.
You can also use other workplace databases (e.g. Duunitori, Monster, Oikotie, Valtiolle, (jobs in Finnish government bodies) Kuntarekry (jobs in cities and municipalities) , TE services (employment office). Visit new service (beta) Jobs in Finland service aims to aggregate job openings that don’t require Finnish skills.
Also keep an eye out for job opportunities and interesting employers via social media and organizations’ own pages. You can also use the CV banks of recruitment companies and employers.
Also think about what kind of personal contacts you already have (e.g. previous employers you may have had a summer job or internship with).
A CV summarizes you, your knowledge and the skills you have. The CV is often the first impression you make on the employer and its task is to arouse the recruiter’s interest and trust in you. Invest in informative, visually clear and well-structured CV.
It it is recommended to include following things in your CV:
- Personal information: Name, contact information. You can also add a link to your Linkedin-profile or a portfolio.
- Education: Degrees, starting from the latest. Higher education institution and time period. Major subject, minor subjects. Bachelors/Master thesis topic, if relevant for the position. If relevant even separate courses names in you degree can be mentioned. Courses that ids not part of any degree should be listed under other headlines like “other education” or other courses”
- Work experience: Starting from the latest. List Job title, employer namne, and describe the
experience that is relevant for the position you are applying to, do not just repeat your job description
- Language skills (add also language level e.g excellent, fluent, good, intermediate, basics)
- IT skills – including programmes you can use, such as Microsoft Office applications or other programs for e.g. statistics. You can also add an evaluation of your skills.
- Positions of trust and other experiences
- Possible spare time activities or hobbies (quite common topic for CVs in Finland). They might signal your creativity or other interest.
- Possible references from previous employers (including contact information)
The CV doesn’t have to be a document-like list of your work history, you can also build a more visual whole. A visual CV can be especially useful in positions that require graphic skills. You can think of a CV as an example of your skills.
The same rules apply to a visual CV as to a regular one. Clarity, readability and visibility are important. You should not get too excited when using different colors and elements, so that the whole remains pleasing to the eye. It is still important that the CV is clear.
Exampes of tools and programmes to make an visual CV:
- MS Word (there are ready-made templates for Word on the internet, but you can also make a template yourself)
- Powerpoint (set the paper size to A4 and use ready-made elements for the layout)
- Canva.com: (search for “resume” to find tons of free templates)
- smartCV: in the free version you can save a version of the CV
- Adobe Indesign (licence needed)
- Adobe Illustrator (licence needed)
When using ready-made resume templates, consider the appropriateness of your own experience to modify them.
The purpose of the job application is to convince
the employer that you should be invited for an
interview. The application sells your expertise
and describes your motivation. It is usually one
page in length.
MATCH YOUR SKILLS TO THE REQUIREMENTS
Why are you applying for this job? Why should you be
interviewed for the position? The employer seeks
answers to these questions. Read the job advertisement
carefully and find out what the employer is looking for.
Find out more about the operations and goals of the
organisation. In the application, reflect your skills to the
needs of the organisation. The better you tailor your
application to the organisation in question, the more likely
you are to make an impression. If you write an open
application, try to arouse interest by telling what expertise
you could bring to the organisation
HIGHLIGHT YOUR MOTIVATION
Each employer wants to find a motivated expert as an
employee. Lack in experience can be compensated with
high motivation and a desire to learn. Relate your
special interests and goals in the application.
AVOID CLICHÉS AND SUMMARISE
Decide what you want to say and say it concisely. Even a
short application can be very effective. Avoid truisms and
officialise and write a text that is clear, informative and
Spelling errors do not impress. The application has to be
professional and smart. The CV and application are a
pair: use the same font in both. If you send the
application and CV by email, send them as PDFs.
Fill in as many fields as possible, as empty fields do
not show up in a search. Use concise language that
includes key search words for the employment. You
can often add the application and/or CV to the online
application, but all the information should be included
in the form as the attachments might not be read.