Five Ways to Improve Your Job Prospects Today
Whether you are eagerly anticipating starting freshman year this fall or choosing an outfit for your graduation, it never hurts to be prepared when it comes to securing work. You might think that landing a job is a simple matter of getting your resume in front of the right people. In today’s competitive job market, things are very rarely that simple. Let’s take a look at five ways that you can improve your chance of career success whatever stage you may be at.
– Take a long hard look at your social media profiles. Try to adopt the viewpoint of a potential employer. Like what you see? It’s not just about removing questionable (ie. drunken) photos of yourself. According to the 2012 Social Job Seeker survey, more than 90% of businesses use or plan to use social media as a recruitment channel. That’s a lot of potential for the candidate who takes the time to ensure their profiles show them in the best possible light. Shout about your achievements and experience, not about how many cocktails you can polish off in an hour.
– Read your CV. Any gaps? You may very well be top of your class when it comes to academic grades, but if soft skills like time management, communication, and the ability to work under pressure don’t come across sufficiently, you might be in trouble when it comes to finding a job. If it’s a particular subject you’re missing, online education offers the perfect opportunity to pad out your resume outside of your usual class schedule. You never know when opportunity will knock on your door, so now is also a good time to point out the importance of keeping your CV up to date.
– Sort your finances out. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) found that more than 50% of students never actually complete their studies. There’s a number of reasons for this, but finances (or lack of them) is a leading cause. Create a budget, apply for financial aid, stop buying beer, or talk to an advisor. Do whatever it takes to avoid poorly managed student finances making you part of that alarming dropout statistic. Taking control now will make life easier not only as you study, but after you graduate too. Drowning under a mountain of student debt is not the best way to kick off your working life.
– Get some experience. Graduating top of your class is commendable but it might not be enough to get you a job. Good grades are far more impressive when they are complemented by relevant work experience. That can be gained in a number of ways. You might secure an internship, get part time work or a summer job, or pursue volunteering opportunities. Either way, work experience will not only broaden your horizons, it will also offer interview practice, the chance to find out what makes you tick in the workplace, and gain an invaluable employer reference. It’s a win win.
– Despite recent improvements in the job market, it’s likely that you’ll be up against hundreds and possibly even thousands of other applicants when it comes to landing your dream job. It’s no easy feat, but your first real job will be to find a way to stand out from the crowd. How you do that is up to you. You might get yourself a personal QR Code. You might showcase your capabilities by writing a college blog. You might think of a creative way to say “Hire Me”. You might turn up for your interview in a polka dot bikini. Okay, that last one is probably taking things a bit far, but you get the idea. You need to be noticed for more than just good grades and a smart interview outfit.
Whether you are attending class in person or studying for an online degree, the goal will presumably be to maximize your chances of entering a career that interests you at the end of it. These tips can help you do exactly that.