15 Dec The UvA Job board and some golden job application tips
The days when academically schooled students were recruited straight out of their lecture halls are mostly over. Nowadays most of us have to actually put in an effort to find a nice and fun job that isn’t an unpaid internship at some cool but financially limited start-up. Let me introduce you to the UvA Job Board to make it a little easier.
UvA Job Board
The University of Amsterdam recognises this problem and created the UvA Job Board. This resource is exactly what you would expect it to be, a platform where students can find future employers and vice versa. More importantly, the platform is accessible only to UvA students and recent graduates.
Let’s do a walkthrough! First you’ll have to log in using your UvAnet ID, otherwise known as that serial/password combination that you use for BlackBoard and SIS. This is possible through the ‘Log in as a student with your UvAnet ID’ button. You’ll be automatically redirected to the page where you can apply filters. Whether you’d like to only search for English-speaking internships or specifically search for an IT-job in the agrarian sector: in theory the filters will let you find that job. Of course, there needs to be an offer on the other side of the page, but you get the idea.
Icebergs and other solicitation tips
Although the UvA job board is a useful instrument to find your ideal job, you might like some extra tips. First of all, you have to remember that the job market is like an iceberg. Not because of the dangerous situations that would occur when a non-maritime schooled person like me is in charge of a large ship, but because of the fact that most of the job offers are below sea level. These are mostly invisible if you’re solely searching for vacancies on the Internet. Networking is very important, as it is estimated that only 20% of open vacancies end up on websites such as the UvA job board.
When you’ve found your ideal job on the web, the biggest mistake is to send out a standard CV and motivation letter. Recruiters recognise these standard formats and are less likely to hire you. Take for example that incredible programming job with good pay and an office next to ‘t IJ. Why would they care for your checkout boy/girl job at the Albert Heijn when you were fifteen years old? They’ll sift through application letters with an estimated reading time of three seconds for each letter, so you better make those seconds count! Some basic colours might help you, make the layout attractive. However, don’t pimp your CV with all colours of the rainbow, two or three different tones are enough. Want more tips? The University of Amsterdam organises CV-building workshops a couple of times a year.
Have you been invited to a job interview? Great, you’re almost there! In my experience, most people stress too much about their job interviews. It’s nothing more than a chance for both your future employer and you to get to know each other and evaluate whether you two are a good match. Be sure to ask questions, you want to come across as an interested candidate. Furthermore, don’t act differently than you normally do. Let’s say they hire you on your temporary, staged character, are you willing to act like this for the next forty years?
When searching for a job there’s only one golden tip: practice makes perfect! However, we should all be able to learn from each other’s mistakes. So, let us know: What was your biggest job hunting mistake and how could others learn from this? Tell me in the comments!