Quick Ways to Brush Up Your Skills Before Graduating
By Danielle Williams on May 20th, 2016
Are you excited about finishing your studies for the summer ahead? Or are you facing a job hunt, worrying about whether you’ve done everything you can to maximise your chance of a job?
However confident you feel about the end of another year, the truth is you can never do too much to improve your chances of grabbing a graduate job, no matter what stage of uni you’re at; The good news is that it’s not too late – there are still things you can do to brush up your skills before graduating…and afterwards too.
Check out these tips.
Your career advisors are there to help you brush up on all important aspects of the job (and career) hunting process. Whether you need an objective opinion on your CV, want to practice your interviewing skills or just want to figure out what to do in the first place…your advisors can help with all of this and more.
But be aware that, you won’t always have access to their services in the future, so make the most of things and book a meeting preferably before you leave.
Before heading off for good, it’s a good idea to meet with all of your tutors one last time. Talk to them about your recent grades; exams that you’re particularly concerned about and your hopes post-graduation. Your tutors will be able to give you incredible insight on your current strengths and weaknesses, and may even have contacts they can put you in touch with when you start the road to employment.
And whilst you’re at it, get their university contact details, so you can always ask them for a reference if need be.
Whilst you have access to an extensive library and journal archive, it pays to absorb as much career advice as you can from those in the know; Two big ones to get you started are The Graduate Career Guidebook by Steve Rook, and Knock ‘em Dead 2016: The Ultimate Job Search Guide.
One of the biggest peeves of employers regarding Gen Y applicants is that they just don’t have the adequate tech skills to make them stand out in a crowded market. Given how much students and graduates use technology every day, it’s surprising that this would be the case. But unfortunately, knowing your way around the Microsoft Office Suite just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Do something that will help you stand out and really come in useful in your chosen industry. Teach yourself to code, or get Google Analytics certified. Hit up your Tech Society to see if they offer free tech sessions, or see if there are courses offered at your student union or library.
See if there’s a tutor centre in your department for the chance to pass on your hard-earned knowledge and feel good while doing it. Not only does tutoring others help to impress potential employers, you’ll also hone and consolidate your own knowledge in the process.
Today’s employers are also impressed by those who know a second language. If you’re not a language student and never had a chance to otherwise expand your multi-language skills throughout your course, you may be interested in picking up some lessons elsewhere.
If you’re uni has a student language society, you may be able to pick up a few free lessons from native speakers who will gladly chat with and tutor you. Alternatively, check out any local adult education courses, which offer discounts to students.
If possible, arrange to speak with a previous graduate who did the same course you did or who managed to secure a position in your chosen industry. Ask them what went right with their job hunt; what went wrong, and what they would do differently. Also ask them about the industry and whether they have any inside info that could be of benefit to you.
Talking to someone who has gone down a path you want to go down is a sure way to broaden your insight and approach your job search in a more informed light.