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Careers: 8 steps to get ahead

By BzAimee 16 Nov 2016

It might come as a shock, but life progression post-uni isn't all about grades, despite being taught this since primary...

Yes, your degree and any education beforehand are important, but nowadays employers want more.

Here are some ways to give them just that!

  1. Be Social Media Savvy - No, not by writing witty status's for likes. Social media profiles can detriment employment opportunities. If you have to question 'is that appropriate' to posts or pictures, then you know the answer. Take it off or make it private. Also, get LinkedIn to allow employers to search for you and, you for them. 
    Image result for social media
  2. Make a CV and cover letter - And if you're applying for slightly varying positions, make different versions. It'll seem daunting when you finish uni to have to do these before you can start applying. 
  3. Get experience - Whether you do a year placement in the exact company and profession you're aiming for, or a year abroad travelling you're gaining valuable skills that employers look for. So get stuck in!
    Woman in Gray Shirt Seating in Between Woman in Blue Black and White Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt and Man in Blue White and Black Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Having Conversation
  4. Use people - No, not in THAT way. But ask yourself: Who do I know? Get networking with course friends, tutors, university sectors, family friends - ANYONE. It's not what you know it's who you know.
  5. Confidence is key - Even if you're not a confident person, act it. Whether networking, in an interview, or asking about a position, show that you can be a leader. Breathe. Make eye contact. Ask questions.
    Glee Star animated GIF
    (but maybe be slightly more modest than Lea...)
  6. Know what you're applying for - It's easy to panic and send applications here, there and everywhere. Believe me. But imagine showing up to an interview for a position you know hardly anything about. If you struggling, email the company and ask for a job specification.
  7. Preparation, preparation, preparation - You can almost guarantee certain questions getting asked in an interview, so have a Google of common ones and pre-plan your answers. It might just save you a few embarrassing umm's and ermm's.
    3 Women in Suit Sitting
    DO: Know the company, know your CV ( & don't lie on it) and research in depth the career sector.
  8. Grad Gains - Get in the know about graduate job websites and schemes now! A few useful ones include Milkround, theguardianjobs and graduate-jobs.

     Forget to check out your university's careers webpage and see what links and suggestions they provide too!

Get down to these before you finish final year and you'll be well on your way to securing a job when you graduate - or even before. Good luck!