What can you do at uni to get ahead in your career path?
This may sound a little preemptive… Job prep when you are yet to finish education, but it could prove to be very worthwhile.
When you leave university you will likely be in the same boat as hundreds of thousands of people. The future of your career will be standing in front of you with your education now firmly behind you. One way to stand out from the crowd is through experience and a further knowledge of the career world. So now is the time to start preparing!
Here are some tips on how to get ahead of those around you.
Volunteering is a great way to show a company how dedicated you are. Not only will doing this feel extremely rewarding as you will be helping those in need, but it will also look great on your CV.
Doing this will show that you are a passionate, good person and will do whatever you can to help - without the added incentive of being paid.
Get a Part Time Job / Summer Job
Sometimes working for free may not be financially viable for students; this is perfectly fine too, you will not be looked down upon for taking this route!
Having a job alongside studying is quite common, it is no secret that students often struggle with their finances since they are expected to spend their time studying instead of working.
A part time job will not only provide more money for a student but also a lot of experience and skills that an employer will look out for.
You will show your ability to work under added pressures and show that you are able to be flexible with your working.
Take A Sandwich Year
Similarly to the last point of gaining career experience, a sandwich year could be a good solution if you are worried about the distraction from your learning.
If your course allows you to have a sandwich year then you will be able to get a placement for a year, pushing your last year of study back.
If you take up this option, you will gain a year’s worth of pay and experience without taking time away from studying, so you accumulate experience in a field you are interested in too.
Use Your University’s Facilities
Most universities will offer help in regards to career advice. This will tend to include CV writing help, interview practice, and assistance in looking for jobs best suited to your needs whilst at university.
This will help so much as the people who work in these places have a lot of experience in helping people just like you trying to understand the job world a little bit better.
Even if this is just for the perfect volunteering scheme for you or for a part time job tailored to your needs, these facilities are very helpful.
Take An Active Role Where You Can
This can be as a student rep for your course, running to be an ambassador for your university or maybe even leading a society.
Taking on a role like this can be perfect to show your leadership and organisational skills, both being highly desirable in a workplace.
Taking on a role like this will also exhibit problem solving skills since it would involve having to work around a big group of people’s schedules.
As well as this, these roles are just generally rewarding as you will be helping advance the university/subject. Or, if it is a University Society Role, you will be leading a group of people in a society that is close to your heart and will be simultaneously helping people feel welcomed and happy in a society that means the same to them.
You will likely have a lot of practice at this, as a uni student. Though, these notes will obviously be much less academic.
Try to take notes throughout your time at uni wherein you did something particularly impressive that showed off your skills.
Maybe you had to overcome a big challenge and you did so with success, this shows that you are able to adapt and do whatever is needed to achieve your desired goal.
Taking notes of instances like these will also mean that you will be prepared for any questions that may come your way in an interview as you will be more familiar with all of your achievements at university, having a quick and natural answer as opposed to being stuck on the spot trying to come up with something coherent.
These notes can similarly be added to your CV or any Cover Letters you may have to send out to companies!
Search for Graduate Jobs
After having done all of the prep needed throughout your time at university, the next step is actively seeking jobs that look specifically for people like you!
With companies like The Graduate Project helping graduates find the perfect job for them, signing up with a graduate recruitment company may be a great solution. Having a team of professionals who are searching for jobs that fit all of your needs and skills will alleviate some of the stress on you.
Looking for Graduate specific jobs will mean that the company will not expect you to have loads of relevant experience, they know you have recently finished university and are likely to have never worked in your chosen field.