Application tips

A guide to finding your first job

Do you have job-hunting jitters and are you eager to start or redirect your professional career? Oh yes! How do you start your search for the job of your dreams? Especially if you have just graduated and/or do not yet know what you want to do, the gigantic range of possibilities can be very overwhelming. As experienced recruiters, we would like to guide you through this challenging search. 

How to find your dream job in 5 steps

1. Start at the beginning: yourself and your wishes

To get a good and complete picture of the job you are looking for, preliminary research and sincere introspection are essential. If you know exactly what you are looking for, the search suddenly becomes much easier. Put on your Sherlock Holmes coat and go out to investigate all aspects. What do we think about, for example:

  • Yourself: Who are you as a person? What are your strengths and areas of improvement? With which type of manager/team would I best fit? What are your personal needs (e.g. no open space)? 
  • Function: What do you like to do and what are you good at? Do my talents match what the job actually entails? Full- or part-time? Alone or in a team? 
  • Company: What kind of company would you like to work for? Are there certain sectors that interest you? Listed multinational or small family business? Which region (home or abroad)? What does the company have to offer (salary package, training, future perspectives...)?

Don't be discouraged by our sometimes difficult questions. As a student, you can think back to your experiences during internships, summer jobs or group assignments. Hobbies and leisure activities can also provide valuable pieces of the puzzle. Look for what you are naturally good at, what you do well and what you get compliments for. Talk to your family members and close friends about how they see you. Find more information about the job itself and what it entails in job advertisements and articles.
The closer you are to yourself and to what you want, the more authentic and powerful your motivation will be. This way you can more easily convince during a job application procedure, create a bond and above all gain the trust of a potential employer. If you have a clear picture of your future, you will be on the same wavelength more quickly without any false expectations from either you or the company. 

2. Make the perfect first impression with your CV

On our blog page you can browse through various tips and tricks to spice up your curriculum vitae. Be sure to mention your most important achievements during your studies. Think very broadly about project work, engagements, student jobs and internships. Be sure to add these to your LinkedIn profile as well.

3. Who seeks, finds.

Now that you have your talents and wishes well mapped out, your real search can begin. Try to make the link between your own competences and what is asked for in the job description. The days of newspaper ads are long gone. Most vacancies can be found on the Internet. Register online not only with the official public job sites but also on traditional job sites. Do not forget to consult the vacancies page on LinkedIn. You can also register with temporary work and recruitment agencies. 
Note that some agencies (such as Arcadius by the way) are really specialised in certain profiles or sectors. If you know what direction you want to go in, consciously choose an appropriate agency. They have a very large network and know which companies are actively looking for up-and-coming talent. They are also best placed to give you specific advice. If you do not immediately find a job on their site that suits you, then be sure to apply spontaneously. Your details and profile will then be in their database. 

4. Found it! Now what?

Do you have the feeling that a vacancy completely matches what you are looking for? Then apply via the indicated channels: mail, phone or online application. Show your sincere interest in the job offer and motivate with your authentic story. Does a vacancy appeal to you, but do you miss a few criteria? In our experience, it is best to apply the 80/20 rule here. If you match 80% of the requested profile, you can just apply. By the way, if you have questions about a job description, be sure to ask the contact person.

5. The job interview: a job and/or an experience richer

Never done it before or in need of a refresher of do's & don'ts? You can visit our blog page for advice on preparing for your interview. Such an interview is a unique opportunity to get to know your potential employer. Just like you, that company is also looking for a perfect match. Such a match therefore means a click and chemistry on both sides. If everything goes smoothly and if you find each other during the selection procedure, you will probably soon start in your first/new job! Hurray! If there is no match, then there is definitely an opportunity for you to grow. So really enter into a 'why' conversation with the recruiter. The key is to learn from every application experience. 

We hope this five-step guide will help you find your first or new job. We wish you good luck with your job interviews. 
If you would like to work with Arcadius on your search, please find out here what we can do for you. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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