Last updated: 07.11.11

Being proactive in job seeking 'could include online learning'

Students looking for employment or work experience should be proactive and explore all options available to them, according to one expert.

E-learning could help people searching for a job keep their qualifications up to date and relevant to a particular industry to make their chances of landing a position more likely.

The Graduate Recruitment Bureau, an information service for students looking for work while at university and when finished in education, suggested that there are lots of things students, young or mature, can do to make them more employable.

Dan Hawes, co-founder of the bureau, said: "There are lots of ways to get work experience, paid or unpaid. You can volunteer, so maybe work at a charity, it is a good way to get some work experience. There are opportunities for networking with people you know [such as] friends or family, they may have openings [where] you could help out."

He added that there are plenty of opportunities for people to expand on their skills and to learn new qualifications, which could be done through online platforms such as e-learning.

Using services for careers advice is another good option, as well as getting tips on how to write the perfect CV and covering letter, according to Mr Hawes.

He also commented: "You need to be a lot more proactive. Contact companies before they even advertise the job, so send out speculative letters to recruiters. Do your research and find out who is looking."

Being proactive and getting ahead of the crowd is something which Mr Hawes continually emphasised as he said that no job should be immediately dismissed as experience is key, especially in the current economic climate.

Speaking on a BBC On The Money podcast, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation Kevin Green said that differences in the public and private sector job market are clearly visible and that while many positions are being cut in public companies, the privately owned sector is still in a position to create jobs for the right prospective employee.