Things are going to be changing a little for me as I'm starting my new job in a couple of weeks. I've been working in retail for nearly 6 years part time, through my A-Levels and Uni and carried this on after graduating while looking to start my career in the area I'm going into. Now I've managed to get my dream job, I thought it would be useful to do an advice post about what I found useful and things that should help you. Some of you may not know what you want to do, even after graduating, which is completely fine. I had set myself on the area and found certain things that helped me to achieve what I wanted.

Tailor Your Modules

Whether this is in uni or other educational courses, if you have the ability to choose which modules you take, then think carefully about which ones will be the most beneficial. It may be easy to have a quick read over them and just pick the ones that sounds fairly easy but you may well regret this further down the line. Some modules may be different to what you first think, so read into them before deciding. Go and talk to your tutors if you want more information as they will be happy to help. Certain modules will give you specific skills that are highly valued by employers so keep this in mind. 

Get Experience

Any experience in a work environment is valuable and can really help you stand out above other candidates. If you can get experience in the same or similar area then this will be a real bonus as it gives you experience that is even more transferable and shows that you are keen to work in that field. Experience gives you plenty of things to draw on when applying for jobs and can be a great way to demonstrate your skills and capabilities. I did an part time placement while in my final year of uni which definitely helped and is one way to get key experience even if you don't have a year out as part of your course. 

Take Time Doing Your Application

There is nothing worse you could do than to rush your application and missing out key information or making mistakes with what you have put in. If you take the time to submit a quality application it can make all the difference and give you a much better chance. Even once you have finished and checked your application, getting someone else to look over it may spot things you had missed and could save those pesky spelling mistakes.

Interviews

You can spend so long doing your application, if you are successful in getting an interview you may feel like you can relax a little. You now have the opportunity to prove yourself in person and can really be the make or break point. Use this chance to demonstrate why they should hire you over someone else. When preparing, there are a variety of questions they could ask you so be sure to plan for each. There could be basic questions about the companies values and why you want to work for them so don't overlook these basic details. Other ones could be situational which will ask you to draw upon your previous experience to prove yourself. You may also get technical or specific questions related to the role, so make sure you know your stuff before going in. 

Don't Give Up

When you are applying for jobs, don't get disheartened if you get knocked back. I knew the company that I wanted to work for and had applied for a number of jobs with them, even had some interviews but couldn't make it over the last hurdle. I felt like I was never going to get where I wanted to be and it would have been easy to give up trying. At one of the interviews, one of the interviewers told me I should go for the graduate scheme and this gave me another boost of confidence and fast forward to present and here I am ready to start my position on the scheme. 

My past applications and interviews made me realise certain areas that I needed to improve on so were definitely not a waste. One bit of advice is to take something away from every application whatever the outcome and make sure you use this to improve your next one. This is what I did and I put everything into my grad scheme application to give myself the best chance and I proved to myself that if you don't give up you can do it