5 Ways to Improve Your Job Prospects Before You Graduate
While you’re a student, especially in your final year, a lot of your focus is on your future. You want to get your degree so you can embark on your career of choice, and your future employability is something that may well play on your mind. The job market isn’t the same as it was in previous generations, and you want to bring more to the table than just your college education.
Luckily, these days there are lots of ways to find things you can do to bolster your CV and make finding a job easier when you enter the job market. Here are five good ways to help improve your job prospects as a student, so that when you do graduate, you have an edge over other people with the same degree:
Volunteer work can be a great way to boost your CV to show to prospective employers, while also making a difference in your local area or for a cause you care about. There are usually lots of community projects and charities crying out for people who are willing to come along and help them, and all you need is a brief internet search to find them.
Whether you care about helping the homeless people in your area by joining forces with a local charity that hands out food and clothes, or you want to help plant trees, or take care of animals, these things will all allow you to boost your skills and work experience, while also doing something you enjoy.
Voluntary work is ideal for bolstering your CV, because it is genuine experience of working in the ‘real world’ outside of uni, doing things that are important, but you don’t need to struggle to get a role doing it.
Run a Website
Having your own website can be another nice way to get some good credentials for your CV while you are still a student. Starting a blog can allow you to write about the things you are interested in and make new connections, and you can also make money by doing it if you consider things like advertising.
You can also consider that running a website will give you a chance to make potentially valuable new connections with people in your field from all over the world, or, if you write about your hobby rather than your professional interest, allow you to establish yourself as an interesting authority on that subject.
Do bear in mind that if you are starting a website to help with your future job prospects, that you will need to keep what you post professional and in line with what you want your image to be when you are working – controversial blogs are fun, but you can’t really use them as work experience on your CV.
Trading and Investment
Similar to running a website, getting business experience is invaluable and a great boost to any CV. Even being aware of the economy and the financial markets can give you the edge over another candidate. If you are looking for a career in business or finance, then it can look really good if you have some personal investment experience you can add to your CV.
It is easy enough to set up a trading portfolio, and you don’t really even need that much capital behind you. Try trading things like CFDs or forex and get used to learning how the markets work, and following current affairs so that you can make good choices. It is rewarding both financially and in terms of personal satisfaction, and will also give you something you can talk about on your resume or in interviews as a hobby that has taught you some valuable professional skills.
If you are looking to get started, companies like IG Markets have good trading platforms that let you experiment in all kinds of markets, and you can research as much as you want to plan how you want to invest in things like currencies, commodities and stocks based on what is going on around the world.
Another good way that you can boost your work experience and also make some money is to offer your services as a tutor or mentor to other students who are at a level below your own.
Offering things like high school level tutoring in the subject you are studying allows you to make some cash while also doing the work you are putting into your degree course. It also gives you some important experience in mentoring people and explaining specialist topics in layman’s terms, all of which can add up to some impressive looking skills on your CV.
Simply by asking around or advertising locally you may be able to find some people who want you to tutor them, and you can find doing this enjoyable and rewarding as well as being a source of important work experience employers will love.
It may seem counter-intuitive to do a leisure activity as a way to help you get a job, but sports can actually look great on a CV. Most people just think of the ‘hobbies and interests’ part of a CV as filler, but in actual fact a lot of employers care about this part more than you might think.
If an employer is trying to choose between people with equivalent qualifications, then what they have done outside of studying becomes important, and this is the situation for most graduates. Sports can show a few things to an employer.
If you do a team sport and have captained your team or taken part in major tournaments, this shows that you are good at working in a group and also have leadership skills. More solo sports, like running, swimming or tennis, show that you have commitment and dedication, and also that you don’t mind doing things that are hard or unpleasant at first because you see the rewards further down the line. More creative sports like dance can show that you have an artistic side that could be useful for work.
These are some of the ways you can make your CV fuller and look more employable as you enter the employment market. Most of them are also fun, and can even make you some money!