University is a busy time, yet with so much going on it’s important not to lose sight of why you’re really there: to set yourself up for the rest of your life. The sooner you start thinking about your future, the smoother your transition into full-time employment is likely to be. Here are some simple steps to help you achieve this:
1. Realising your strengths
Give some thought to the type of person you are and the kind of career that individual might be suited to. Your choice of degree and extracurricular pursuits will provide an idea of where you’re strengths lie; it’s also important to recognise any gaps in your skill set that require filling.
2. Exploring your options
You can then begin looking at the options available to you. Research online and start talking to people working in areas that interest you. Many employers now hold campus events for first and second year students, where you can get a sense of what different professions are about.
3. Building hands-on experience
Getting experience in your area/s of interest is a logical next step, and larger organisations now offer structured insight and internship programmes. Informal work experience or volunteer work is also valuable, bolstering your CV while giving you something to discuss as you start applying for roles.
4. Developing your documents
As you move into your final year, now’s the time to begin developing your application materials before things start getting busier. A strong CV is essential and it’s useful to get some guidance on how best to convey your skills and experience. The same goes for building cover letters and profiles on networking sites such as LinkedIn.
5. Beginning your job search
With your materials in place you can begin your search in earnest. Your university careers service will usually advertise current vacancies so it’s worth signing up to job alerts if available. Careers fairs and networking events are another excellent resource – meeting employers face to face can be a great way to build relationships and kick start the application process.
6. Applying and interviewing
At this point the application forms and interviews are likely to start coming thick and fast. Working on your interview technique is essential, and you need to practice. Consult Us 2 can assist you with this through conducting mock interviews and questions to market you effectively. Give some thought to aptitude tests, which are being used increasingly by employers and practice numerical and verbal reasoning tests which are widely available online. While each person has their own path to follow, the important thing is to take charge of your job search and begin positioning yourself for the next phase of your life as early as possible. Knowing exactly what you want and how to get there will make success all the more achievable.