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A student job may give you a head start

Career Advice:

  • Start applying for jobs, while you are still in school. Then you’ll also be able to write in your application that you are currently writing your thesis.
  • Don’t apply for jobs during the summer holidays – your potential employers are probably on holiday and won’t be thinking about hiring new employees till August or September. Have your applications and your résumé ready in May and June.
  • Be visible. Events such as job fairs and company speed-dating offer great opportunities for you to stay active and practice introducing yourself and rehearsing your elevator speech (see Jobmesse – den uforpligtende jobsamtale). You should also start attending events at your trades union and/or the company you interned at or had a student
    job at.
  • Keep up with your specific field. Sitting at home and hiding behind the computer screen will rarely get you a job. Be visible; for instance, attend relevant Ph.D. lectures – lots of interesting people might show up at these types of events. If you have a business card, you can give it to the people you talk to. Afterwards, send them a LinkedIn invitation with a personal note explaining why exactly you should connect on LinkedIn.
  • Find others. There are lots of unemployed people in Denmark – and you may learn something from them. Job search networks such as NJAM have over 24,000 members across the country and offer quite a few free events. You may find them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and online.
  • Personal well-being: make sure to exercise and get exposed to daylight; otherwise, you may become depressed and inactive. Keep socializing and avoid turning your present situation
    into a taboo subject. It’s perfectly okay to go see a movie or go on holiday with your family or good friends.

Keep your spirits up and start applying for jobs while you’re still in school.

If you were lucky enough to land a relevant student job, you already have an advantage, when you start looking for your first job: you have work experience, you have a network, and you probably have a better idea which professional field you want to bet on, than the person who has spent the last five years with their head buried in their books.

Just as finishing your thesis on time requires discipline, being unemployed as a recent graduate is demanding. You may be among the 13,8 per cent of recent graduates without a job at the end of their studies, see Welcome to the warped labor market. If you are able to keep yourself occupied and motivated, this may not necessarily pose a problem. This may depend on managing everyday issues such as getting out of bed, getting dressed, and socializing with family and friends. For some strange reason, unemployed people may also suffer from stress, caused by their own expectations of getting to use their skills as quickly as possible, pressure from their surroundings, and the number of rejections they get in connection with their job applications. When your online deadlines consist of reporting to the check-in system at Jobnet, dealing with summons from the Job Center, and attending meetings with your job consultant or other people, who somehow control you, life may seem utterly boring; make sure positive things also happen to you.

Make everyone aware that you are looking for a job. Anyone. In the first sentence on your LinkedIn profile. At Aunt Oda’s birthday and Knud the Engineer’s retirement party. At job fairs and when you visit companies. At Saturday’s Red Cross fund-raiser or Wednesday’s football practice. There no shame in explaining in your application that you are unemployed as a recent graduate; you should not carry that fact around like a dark secret. Make sure to attend professional events – those aimed specifically at recent graduates but also those that appeal to other professional groups. Ask smaller businesses if they need an engineer and invite yourself around for coffee. At Bisnode or Proff.dk you can find the smaller businesses in your area by searching for specific industries and number of employees.

Sources: IDA, AAK, JobIndex, Jobsogningsguide.dk.