University students and new alumni all face the exact same predicament: you’ve got the instruction, but without significant work experience under your belt, how do you distinguish yourself in the remaining mob and convince companies that you are the one they need to hire for their next entry-level opening?
We have written before regarding the value of internships and work placements, as well as volunteer work and extracurricular activities, to demonstrate your practical skills and then add heft to your own cv. But what else are you able to do to get a jump on your profession?
If you are like the majority of students, you most likely spend a great deal of time reading your favourite blogs or chatting on Facebook to your friends. But have you thought about how you can leverage your online activity into a career-boosting edge?
As a student, you should begin developing your professional networks. As you never know when among your fellow classmates could develop into a valuable professional contact the course down.
Meaning that after you’ve all graduated and gone your separate ways, you need to stay in contact with your fellow grads, attend alumni events and subscribe to your alumni magazine or email network, together with add your uni friends for your LinkedIn network.
Social media is becoming increasingly recognised and supported by schools, and is integrated into certain courses. Pupils are encouraged to build professional profiles to allow them to get professional guidance, and connect with key industry players both in person and through networking sites, arrange internships and apply for entry-level places.
But while on-line networking has blossomed into a powerful professional tool, there is still no replacement for face-to-face contact – so you still need to brush up on your own verbal communication skills, make appointments to fulfill with people in your industry, and attend professional events and workshops to make direct contact.
At APM networking face to face and online is an intrinsic part of each course provided by the school. The networking component of every degree at APM is similar to a referral procedure where pupils are given the chance to establish a connection with industry professionals. It is important to immerse students in the professional world to support their career prospects’.
Having impressed with the Barrington Group during her business placement, and backed up by a complete online profile, Brittany was offered an assistant advertising job while she continues to study. Brittany says her online networking skills, coupled with traditional networking, helped her get the gig.
Construct an internet presence
These days, everyone has an online existence, which could be anything from your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to Twitter tweets, articles you’ve posted online opinions you have made on sites or photographs by which you have been labeled – so be sure to get the most out of your online profile, and make sure it remains professional.
If there’s some dubious content out there which you can remove (enjoy tweets or Facebook posts you probably should not have composed), delete them!
Optimising your on-line existence is certainly worth your while.
‘APM supported us to create our personal online profiles with groups that were related. It is an easy and easy way to stay in touch with industry and has been a terrific method to set a profile that is professional’, says Brittany.
Begin a site or build your own web site
In this digital age, having digital and social media understanding is hugely appealing to possible companies. Imagine how impressed they’d be if you have had the initiative and practical skill to build your own personal web site or begin your own personal blog?
It’s possible for you to create your own personal site to present yourself to the world, showcase writing talents and your layout, and develop your ‘brand’ in the procedure. Make sure you contain an ‘about me’ section where people will be able to read about your background and experience. You can also develop a gallery featuring your portfolio of works that are visual or written.
You could also start writing a blog about something you’re passionate about, be it food, IT, travel or fashion – there is an audience for every subject! In the event that you choose something you love and also you can write about it in a informative and intriguing way, it is convinced to attract an audience and you’ll shortly be viewed as a professional in that area. A site can also be a good way of opening up you to some completely new community of like minded individuals, as it really is by its nature highly interactive.
Blogging itself can be a lifetime career. Just have a look at Mashable (social media) or The Sartorialist (fashion) for two of the world’s most successful and powerful sites.
When it is time to go looking for a job, should you begin making your professional network in these types of means while you are a student, you’ll be one step ahead.