By Steven Perryman Career Five ways to make the most of National Careers Week 5 Mar 2012 National Careers Week is an opportunity to get ahead of the pack and on your way to your dream job. Steven Perryman shows you five ways to get started This week it’s National Careers Week. ‘So what?’ you may ask. But this week is an opportunity to use the wealth of information that is available to get ahead of your contemporaries or, even better, land that job you have been striving for. So, to help you on your way, we have highlighted five ways you can make the most of National Careers Week: 1. Check the National Careers Week website It may sound obvious, but there is no better place to start than the website behind the initiative. On the site you can register for email updates and find out more about different careers. 2. Let social media do the hard work for you You may not have realised it yet, but many social media platforms are a great way of finding out information – not just staying in touch with your friends. The good thing about initiatives like National Careers Week is they make social media even easier to use for finding information you want quickly and on demand. Two of the best to look out for this week are on Twitter and Delicious. On Twitter you can immediately see what’s being talked about by searching the hashtag ‘#careersweek’. There is also a very helpful Delicious stack that brings together lots of useful links in one place, giving you a break from your trusty mate Google. 3. AAT career help (AAT members only) You can avoid spending hours tweaking your CV and application, changing your mind and putting it all back how it used to be, by using AAT’s own online CV-building and application tracking service. The modular system offers plenty of help with planning, writing and checking your CV, then follows it up with advice on the job hunt itself, as well as interview training and skills development. There’s also help on giving great interviews and presentations, as well as many other tips to help you on your way. 4. Search out that job Searching for a job is never quick, easy or without set-backs, so make sure you use everything at your disposal to avoid missing that dream job when it comes along. A good first step is to search the AAT jobs site. Conveniently, you can also sign up for job alerts on the site, saving you the bother of having to remember to look each week. As you may have already noticed, AAT student Ceris Williams hunts down UK-based job opportunities right here on AAT Comment each week, so make sure you check those posts out too. Again, you can sign up for an email alert which will tell you when there is a new post to read. And later this week, there will be a post from Ceris outlining how she sniffs out these opportunities, so make sure you check that out for some further tips. 5. Think outside the box It’s very easy to get blinkered into doing what you think is right and not what you want to do. Don’t fall into that trap. University is not for everyone, and many people go on to have successful careers without even going. How do you get a job without experience? Well, why not try volunteering? It is a great way to get the experience you need, whilst doing something rewarding at the same time. You can find more tips on how to get started in our volunteering post. There are even a host of recruitment fairs across the UK specifically aimed at getting you work experience. Finally, the internet is a great medium for finding and applying for jobs – but only if you know what you are looking for. What if you’re not sure? Getting yourself along to a careers fair is a good way of finding out about lots of different career paths in one fell swoop and also allows you to meet new people and make valuable contacts. A useful list of graduate and non-graduate fairs can be found on the Prospects website. Steven Perryman is AAT Comment's former Content Editor.