I have graduated with a Masters degree in Roman and Byzantine Archaeology and have walked straight into a dream job; in an alternate reality. In our reality I am searching for a job with very few opportunities out there. I am filling in job applications for every job I see in the Heritage sector. Through the application process I am discovering and inventing techniques to make the process of completing application forms that little bit faster and less tedious.
- Make a list of FAS’s (Frequently Asked Scenarios) in a word document. In all application forms we get asked to give examples that show we have specific qualities such as the ability to work in a team or how we have overcome a difficult problem. By making a list of these scenarios you can simply cut and paste them into the personal specification.
- If you are in a current job and during your day you succeed in solving a problem, write it down into the FAS document because we are likely to forget many things we do on a day to day basis.
- In many applications we are often to ask to give full addresses for all previous employers; this information is not normally on a CV. You could keep these addresses in the same document as the FAS’s; again this allows you to quickly cut and paste.
- Do not be afraid to give examples of day to day successes at university such as having to do a bit of research because your university skills are transferable and not all your examples have to come from previous employment.
Sometimes a job advert gives a contact name for an informal chat; CONTACT these people. Before you do try and think of a sensible question that not many people will ask, such as for one job I am applying for I asked if the work I would be doing could offer opportunities to develop a PhD idea. By contacting these people you are making yourself known before an application is even submitted.
There are benefits of having a Masters in the application process. While filling out countless application forms I have been feeling a little more confident about being successful then I did when I graduated with just a BA. This feeling is because I have an MA and I now know that I will stand out from those thousands all with BA’s or BSc’s If you have an opportunity to do a Masters degree; TAKE IT!
Sadly we do not live in that alternate reality where we walk straight into a job, but taking the time to follow these steps which will allow you to apply for many jobs quite quickly it will not be long before success comes your way. I certainly hope success comes my way soon otherwise I will have to find a way to the parallel universe where I am highly successful.