There’s no better time than now to start getting yourself ready for your career goals. You’ve taken the bold and wise move to go to university so are clearly already on the right tracks! However, that doesn’t mean to say you’re going to land your dream job as soon as you graduate, so why not start to plan ahead and get yourself into the best position possible? I wouldn’t suggest you compromise on your education or the social aspect of uni, but there’s some really easy ways of making sure you’re one step ahead when it comes to moving on from the academic setting to a real-life working environment…
Update and CHECK your CV
You’ll be surprised just how many mistakes often appear in people’s CVs. It is your one opportunity to impress your potential employer, so make it count! Check, double check, triple check and then get a friend to check there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Keep it brief (maximum of 2 pages, ideally 1) and when you come to apply for positions, include a tailored cover letter explaining why you are a good fit for the job.
Create a LinkedIn Profile
This is such a simple and easy way to create a professional presence online. Create a profile, upload a presentable profile picture, and complete your profile as best you can. Once you’re happy with how it looks, start connecting with people! You can begin by asking around (or searching) for university friends to give your connections an easy boost. Connect with people in the industry you wish to pursue and even people at specific companies you’d like to join. Follow companies of interest, people of interest and start to engage with (comment and like) relevant posts that appear in your newsfeed.
Clean up your Socials!
Chances are when you apply for a job, your interviewer is going to look you up online. If you’ve got a load of pictures from that time you got smashed at Freshers’, it’s not going to be a good look. Make sure any posts which might be deemed unprofessional are either removed or set to private! Create an online portfolio. It’s really easy to create your own simple website nowadays or host a portfolio online. If you are able to send examples of your work (that are relevant to the job you are applying for) it helps your employer get an idea of your ability. So it’s a good idea to host your work online and why not include your portfolio link on your LinkedIn page!
If you are having an interview in person, dress appropriately. If it’s a job in finance you’ll of course need to wear a suit and tie. Invest in some nice shoes or at the very least clean up the ones you have. Not only are first impressions important but if you look the part, you’ll feel a lot better too, and this will likely shine through in your personality. If you’re being interviewed online via Zoom or the alike, make sure your internet signal is strong, that the background is presentable, that the lighting is good and the sound is clear.
Look into the company you are applying for a job with. Understand as best you can, the company, its values, offering and culture. You’re not expected to know everything but it looks impressive if you know a bit of background about the company.
Preparation is key – by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. So if you’ve put the effort in, there’s not much else you can do. Try to relax, be yourself and if you are unsuccessful in a job application, don’t beat yourself up over it! Request for feedback if you don’t get the job and use the feedback to better yourself for the next interview. Good luck!