We’re living in uncertain times, and now more than ever, it’s best to be over-prepared than underprepared. So if you’re currently in university and planning to graduate soon, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about your career prospects.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do now to help enhance your chances of landing your dream job outside of university.
In this post, we’re going to cover a few ways you can maximize your time now to help you become more employable.
Land a sweet internship
Check with your university’s career counseling department to find out whether you might be eligible for an internship. Many companies hire interns to work during the school year. This is helpful to everyone involved because the company gets free or low-cost labor, and the college student gains real-world experience that looks great on a resume.
If there are any opportunities available, they may be competitive, so prepare an internship resume to highlight your skills. This will give you an edge over other applicants and help you land the opportunity.
If you impress your employer enough, there’s a chance they may hire you after graduation. This will obviously depend on available job openings, but it’s a great way to increase your chances of getting employed immediately after graduation.
At the very least, an internship in your desired field can help you network with people who may be able to refer you to open job opportunities.
Participate in extracurricular activities
If you aren’t involved with any school-related activities yet, now is the time to get involved. Find out which clubs you can still join and choose one that sparks your interest. Ideally, it should be related to your area of specialty in university, but it doesn’t have to be. Joining a team or club shows that you are capable of teamwork and leadership, and these are skills all employers value.
Team sports are also a valuable addition to any resume, and they offer a way to have some fun while making sure you’re employable after graduation. Who said planning for your future has to be boring? You’ll earn bonus points for becoming elected president or MVP of any group, but this is also a case where there are benefits for participation.
Volunteering is another way you can show a potential employer that you have the soft skills to succeed in the workforce. Through volunteering, you can show that you exhibit creativity, problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork.
If you can volunteer your time in the same industry where you plan to work, this is best. For example, if you plan to become a social worker, you may volunteer to work with the homeless. If you’re interested in becoming a veterinarian, volunteer to work at an animal shelter.
And you can get creative with these opportunities too. For example, if you’re studying to become an accountant, there are probably many opportunities to volunteer as a bookkeeper. You may not end up volunteering at a financial institution, but it’s still a relevant experience that shows initiative. Potential employers like to see that you’ve taken the initiative towards your personal career goals.
If you have the opportunity to compete at something you’re good at, take it. Whether it’s a math competition, robotics, or volleyball, let your abilities shine as you display your skills against some of the best competitors. Even if you don’t win, competitions look great on a resume.
So even if you have mediocre skills, if you have the chance to join a winning team at your university, it’s probably wise.
In addition to teamwork and leadership, competitions show potential employers that you have a competitive spirit. This may indicate that you’re willing to do what it takes to stand out among your coworkers and make a good impression. Of course, being overly competitive isn’t desirable either, but having a competition or two under your belt is a good thing.
And if you can’t find a path to a competition within your university, look locally. You may be able to join a club or group outside of school and compete there.
Look for a Toastmasters group near you to work on your public speaking skills. Regardless of your desired industry, public speaking can be a valuable asset.
Potential employers will look favorably on a candidate they can trust to address large groups or give presentations. Even if it’s not something you’ll do straight out of university, being ready, willing, and able will enhance your career prospects.
Although we are living in very uncertain times, there are plenty of things you can do to take control of your future. When you can show potential employers that you are willing to take the initiative towards your career goals, you will instantly enhance your job prospects.