Given how stressful the final year of higher education can be, it can be difficult to find time to focus on the future. However, you will soon feel left behind if you fail to prepare for life after university. In amongst writing essays, studying for exams, and celebrating with your friends and social groups, ensure that you make time to prepare for getting a job straight after university.
Make a CV
First things first: create a CV. A CV – which stands for curriculum vitae – is a document that summarises your qualifications and education, and in time will also contain an overview of your career. You should include any job experience you have had in addition to your grades and other achievements. Different professions value different things on your CV, so investigate a few templates to find the right one for your industry.
Set up a LinkedIn profile
In a world that is going ever more digital, a LinkedIn profile is almost as important as a CVthese days. Essentially it is an online version of your CV, with the added bonus of allowing you to create a network with your peers and fellow employees. You can set your status as ‘open to work’ which will help recruiters and prospective jobs find your profile.
Research suitable jobs
Before you start firing off your CV for every available job, take time to research what is out there. Websites, newspapers, and local platforms are all great places to start. It is also well-worth looking into relevant internships to help boost your CV content so that you stand out from the crowd. Often internships are unpaid, so you may need to consider a short-term student loan to tide you over until you can pay it back with your first salary instalment.
Send out applications
Once you have your shortlist of internships and jobs, you will need to send out applications. Although it is much quicker to send the same cover letter and CV to each job, you will find much more success in taking the time to personalise each application. Lift out key aspects of each job description and craft an individual cover letter around these points – this demonstrates that you have taken the time to read and understand exactly what each employer is looking for.
In addition to traditional methods of job hunting, consider what connections you have and whether there are any opportunities to be found there. For example, do you have any friends already working, or can your tutors or ex employers put you in touch with anyone suitable? You should definitely try to set up references at the very least, to help recommend yourself as a good worker.
Finally, take time to tidy up your social media before you start applying for jobs. Make sure that you have a semi-professional display picture, and that your content is not too provocative. Many employers check social media profiles to get a sense of who you are as a person, and it would be a shame to lose a job because of a rogue post. If you would rather keep your work and personal life separate, make sure that your social media profiles are set to private.