How to get a job in property
You don’t have to have a degree to get into the property profession. Employers value different types of people with different skills and perspectives, and find that ambitious employees who study while working also learn quickly and are open to new ideas. Many firms, however, recruit only degree graduates, particularly in the commercial sector. The larger companies and the public sector seek out the cream of each year’s graduate talent – competition is high for places on the structured graduate development programmes leading to chartered status.
Where to find property vacancies
Vacancies in the property sector are not widely advertised in the national press or in recruitment agencies. The most straightforward route for degree graduates is to apply for graduate recruitment programmes. Otherwise, the best way is to shortlist the companies you would like to work in and to make speculative applications by CV and covering letter. This method of application is recommended as employers see this approach as evidence of good marketing ability. While there may not be immediate vacancies available, companies may contact candidates for informal interviews should anything suitable arise in the future.
It is equally important to build and maintain good networks with your peer group and with academic staff and by attending events organised by the companies and professional institutes, as you will often hear of career opportunities by word of mouth.
What recruiters want – key skills for the property sector
Job applicants need to have a good grasp of the property sector, have a passion for the industry and present a confident image. Employers also look for a high level of motivation, interest and enthusiasm, as well as the personal qualities that will give the right cultural fit in their organisation.
While academic achievement and technical ability are most important, employers in this sector also look for well rounded individuals with the right ‘soft skills’ for the job. For example, the ability to build relationships and good rapport is invaluable for jobs that involve dealing with clients.
Most firms will expect you to have good communication and negotiation skills, commercial awareness and analytical ability. Leadership and teamwork skills are also important. People who can think creatively are much in demand as property companies are constantly looking for new ideas and approaches to move the business forward.