Eight ways students can get a head start on their career while studying

It’s no secret that graduate jobs can be hard to come by, particularly when it comes to securing your dream job. However, while finding an excellent role isn’t easy, it’s certainly not impossible.

In this article, we’re sharing eight of our top tips to help students get a head start on their careers while studying. From networking and job fairs to optimising your LinkedIn and brushing up on soft skills, we’ve got you covered. 

1) Use your network

As cliché as it is, your network is your net worth. From your fellow students and peers to university professors, alumni and decision-makers at your ideal employers, start networking early on, and it will pay off. The key to networking is to offer value, and you’ll receive the same in return. So, think about what you can offer and what you’re looking to gain from networking. 

2) Attend job fairs

Although they often get overlooked, job fairs offer students and employers an excellent opportunity to meet each other and build rapport. Whether you’re looking for a job, volunteer opportunity or an internship, putting yourself out there at job fairs is an excellent starting place. 

3) Consider a graduate training program 

As a graduate trainee, you’ll benefit from gaining hands-on experience and support as you work your way up the career ladder within your chosen profession. From retail and marketing to law, finance, and HR, a vast range of well-paid roles are up for grabs each year. But, of course, graduate training programs are competitive, so do what you can to stand out! 

4) Develop an online presence 

Unfortunately, having a large Instagram or TikTok following isn’t the online presence we’re talking about (unless it’s relevant to your career, of course). So instead, focus on building a professional online presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter or a personal website or blog. You can think of your online presence as an interactive CV, so let your talent shine! 

5) Find a mentor 

Having a great mentor by your side can make a world of difference in your job hunt. When it comes to choosing your mentor, there is no right or wrong. Whether it’s a lecturer, a parent or an industry leader, as long as they inspire you and keep you accountable, they’ll be valuable to you. 

If you struggle to find a mentor, consider buddying up with a fellow student to discuss all things career and keep yourself accountable. 

6) Brush up on your soft skills

Along with your chosen degree, soft skills will get you far in life. From time management and teamwork to communication and leadership, employers will always look for soft skills. So, think about how you can effectively improve and display your soft skills to help your job search. 

7) Volunteer 

We understand that as a final year student, you’re busy. However, finding the time to volunteer in a realm relevant to your future career can improve your chances. Not only will you get the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in a specific field, but you’ll also get an opportunity to meet new people and network. Plus, it also looks good on your CV. 

8) Make use of resources available to you 

Although finding a job can feel like an uphill battle, particularly for post-graduates, there are endless free resources available to you. From blogs and YouTube videos to job fairs, webinars and books, make use of what’s on offer and use it to your advantage.  

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Photo by Christina