The Great British Bake Off is fast becoming a British institution. (Or would ‘obsession’ be closer to the mark?) The combination of good-natured sportsmanship, the impressive confectionery creations and god-awful puns seems to be a winning one.
Perhaps its massive success is down to Paul Hollywood’s delicious buns or Mary Berry’s aversion to a soggy bottom. Whatever the reason, every summer Bake Off fever sweeps the nation. Britain dons the bunting and becomes a more wholesome and sugary sweet place.
Tents in flowery fields, pastel coloured cookware and twee theme tunes aside, taking part in the Great British Bake Off is not for the faint of heart. With challenges, setbacks and obstacles around every corner, the competition is pretty relatable in many respects.
In fact, for anyone who’s ever job hunted, the trials and tribulations of the bakers will surely resonate. Let’s take a look back on last year’s competitors who perfectly illustrate the ups and downs of the job hunt (without a soggy bottom or burnt biscuit in sight).
“Where do I start?!”
CVs, cover letters, application forms… It can be tough knowing exactly where to begin. Taking a step back and pulling together your plan of action before diving in head first should prevent you from having too much on your hands.
Learning to juggle
When job hunting, most of us are also trying to balance our mission alongside a full-time job and our personal lives. It can feel like a struggle at first, but once you get into the swing of things (and with a little CareerExperts know-how), you’ll be juggling like a pro in no time.
“I’ve got an interview, what do I do?!”
Don’t. Panic. The pressure can sometimes get the better of the contestants on Bake Off. Similarly, interview nerves can get to even the most hardened professionals! Battle them by being super prepared for any interview you attend. Remember, the interviewers are only human – they won’t bite!
“Hi, please hire me.”
Have you ever been shaking hands with your interviewer whilst simultaneously trying to telepathically convince them to hire you? Full marks for effort, but it’s pretty unlikely to work. Being confident, letting your personality shine and selling your skills and experience will give you a much better chance.
When the interview doesn’t go so well.
The steely stare of Paul Hollywood is enough to collapse anyone’s soufflé. Sometimes, interviewers can have extremely good poker faces, in which case, you’ll need to hold your nerve. However, other times you just know that things are falling flat very quickly. In the kitchen, not every cake rises and in the job hunt, you can’t win them all! If an interview does go badly, use it as an opportunity to learn then keep moving forward.
“We regret to inform you that we will not be progressing your application any further.”
It’s funny how one sentence can leave you feeling like a melted Baked Alaska. Rejections are just par for the course when you’re looking for a new job. Don’t be disheartened or put off. Again, this is just another opportunity to improve. Seeking feedback following a rejection is a great way to give yourself a head start on your next application.
“I give up!”
When the rejections keep coming or the vacancies start drying up, it’s understandable that you may feel like quitting. Instead of throwing in the towel (or chucking your bake in the bin in a sulk), keep at it. Giving up won’t get you anywhere, but if you continue trying then you’ll definitely get there, even if it takes a while.
Keeping your eyes on the prize
Don’t lose sight of things. You set out with a particular goal, make sure that you achieve it. It’s tempting to just accept any old job, especially if you’re out of work or desperate to leave a job you hate. This may be a means to an end, but in the long run, you may regret it. Stay focused and soon enough you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it.
“I’ve got this.”
After a while, you start feeling like a job hunt pro. Modesty aside, deep down you know when an application you just submitted will knock their socks off or when you absolutely smashed an interview. Now all that’s left to do is wait, looking as smug as Mary Berry with a big slice of rum cake in hand.
Considering a job offer
They’ve offered you the job? Congratulations! While this is brilliant news, remember to take a step back and consider the offer. Too many people accept a job offer straight away without weighing up their options. Make sure that the job and the company are right for you before you say yes.
“Yay, I did it!”
Woohoo! You finally got that dream job! All the frustration, hard work and perseverance paid off in the end. When you stroll into your new office and sit down at your new desk, you’ll be feeling like a champion. Well done!
Sick of the job hunt blues? Make the jobs come to you!