7 Ways For Students To Become Instantly Employable
For students who will soon graduate, the post-university job market is a place more frightening than the burning gates of hell.
There’s not a day goes by that we’re not met with another recession-driven, scare mongering news headline about unemployment rates and decreasing job opportunities. It’s enough to make you want to curl into the tiny, uncomfortable bed in your university halls and live there forever.
Trying to ignore the problem, however, won’t make things better (as you will probably know if you’ve ever left an assignment to the last minute). If you’re determined to succeed professionally and carve a career for yourself, there are some very simple but effective ways to become more employable, all of which, you can start right now – even before you’ve stepped foot outside the doors of university.
1. Cleanse Your Social Media Profiles
If you have ever looked at (*cough* stalked *cough*) someone else’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile, you’ll know that it’s not just your friends or followers who can see the information on there.
That means when you apply for a job, an employer can type your name into Google, Facebook or Twitter and see what comes up. If there are endless pictures of you passed out in your underwear with a bottle of vodka in your hand, this may influence how the employer sees you.
In fact, many employers will use recruiting software that may pull in information from social media profiles that are linked to the email address you have applied from. So, for that reason, take a good look through your social networking channels and scan and delete any material which may cause offence or embarrassment.
2. Breadth Of Knowledge, Not Depth
Yes, getting a First Class Honors Degree is an incredible achievement, but it does not guarantee you a job once you graduate. There are more applicants than there are jobs on offer, so if you want to be hired, you need to stand out.
A great way to do that is to demonstrate a real breadth of knowledge across a wide variety of subjects. As many companies are scaling down and trying to stretch resources, in your job you might be expected to do a little more than the description specified. So demonstrate to an employer that you have a good range of skills.
For example, if you are hired in a marketing role; sure, a marketing degree is probably necessary. But experience and knowledge in areas such as creative writing, design and digital techniques will set you apart from the crowd.
3. Network, Network, Network
If you have a particular industry or career area in mind, get networking to expand your contacts in your chosen field. You’ve heard it before, but the cliche is true; in life and more so in the world of work, it’s all about who you know – not what you know. Networking may seem like an effort and might seem weird and uncomfortable, but it’s worth it in terms of the peers, mentors and friends that you gain.
Meeting other people within your industry and hearing their thoughts and opinions is the best way to learn. Not only that, but when a new job opportunity presents itself, if you are within the same circles as those in the know, you’ll be more likely to hear about it. And if the employer has heard of you, you’ll be much more favourable to them.
Networking includes attending events, talks, conferences, dinners and social gatherings but can also be done online by joining in on industry specific Twitter hashtags, joining groups on social media or chatting in forums.
4. Know The Influencers
In any job role, an employer wants to hire someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about their chosen industry. An effective way of highlighting this, is to know who the movers and shakers are within the world you want to work in.
For example, if you want to be a web developer then read blogs, listen to podcasts and watch videos about web development. Know who the thought-leaders are in this career area. Know what’s popular. Know what the trends are and keep up to date and informed with the news and new developments. Thankfully for most people who are pursuing a job that actually interests them, this should come naturally.
5. Have A Goal
It’s is good to have a specific goal when looking for a job; it makes it easier to stay focused on the one steady path. And it also makes it easier to find and take the steps that will lead you closer to securing it.
When your mind is set on the one goal and you live, eat and breath this world, you’ll be more perceptive to the opportunities that come along. For example, if you want to work in the fashion industry and you surround yourself with the key names and influencers within that sphere, you will see and hear when they post job openings on their websites or social media channels.
Furthermore, If you are focused, dedicated and passionate about a particular and specific subject, when you apply for the right job, this enthusiasm and hunger will be very clear to the employer.
6. Be Open And Willing To Bend
Although it is necessary to have a goal, at the same time, being very narrow minded in your job hunt might lead to disappointment. You might find that the job you really, really want requires more qualifications or experience than you have, or worse still, your dream job might not even exist. (I was devastated to find out that watching cat videos all day wasn’t a thing…)
Be flexible and open in your job search and be willing to go for something that isn’t exactly what you wanted. Maybe the job title or the salary are a little different that you had imagined in your fairytale, but this doesn’t mean you should reject the opportunity. You’d be crazy to do that because you’ll find that your nearly perfect job could either be the stepping stone towards the perfect one, or it might even teach you that the perfect job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and might lead you to re-evaluate your career entirely.
7. Have a ‘Don’t Give Up’ Attitude
The one thing that separates successful people from those who don’t achieve their goals, is their absolute refusal to give up.
The most successful people in the world are the ones who did not listen when they were told: “Those kinds of jobs are SO hard to get” or “you need at least two years experience” or “that industry isn’t hiring”.
Successful people persist with their dreams because they have a self-determination that lets them know that they only thing standing between them and a positive result, is effort. It’s that simple.
JK Rowling could have binned her draft of Harry Potter after she took it to the first, second, third or even tenth publisher who turned it down. But she refused. And thank God for that, eh? If she had less self-belief we’d be living in a world without Dumbledore. And if that doesn’t give you food for thought and inspire you to persist, nothing will.
Written by Lana Richardson, blog editor for Unibaggage.com – The Student Shipping Experts.