It’s no secret that the final year of university is a busy time. With all the work you’re doing for your studies, you may not have time to focus on what you’ll do next. However, it is sensible to start thinking about your career now. All you need to do is put some time aside each week to plan and prepare for your next move. Here are some top tips to get you started.
1. For those who don’t know what they want to do
It’s not unusual to be unsure of what your ideal career would look like at his point. There’s no need to panic. Take time to think about your interests and which parts of your degree you most enjoy and use that to refine your career direction. In addition to this, you can:
Speak to a career advisor – They can advise you on what sort of career best suits your knowledge, skills and passions and point you in the direction of companies that fit with these attributes.
Take a personality test – Tests like the Gallup Strengths Finder and SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire are highly recommended as they will help to highlight your greatest strengths and the careers that best suit your personality. Also ask your friends and family to highlight your strengths. They may suggest attributes you weren’t aware of.
Attend careers fairs – Careers fairs are a great place to meet employers and learn about a wide range of roles. In doing so, you may become aware of a job that really interests you. Take a notebook to keep track of your thoughts.
Gain work experience – Try job shadowing or gaining some work experience in an industry or role you’re curious about. This could be a voluntary position or a part-time job. Either way, it’ll help you to gain a better understanding of what the job would be like in practice and whether you would enjoy it.
2. For those who have a clear career goal
If you already know what you want to do next, make sure you get a head start and invest time in looking for post-graduation opportunities. Incorporate the following in your job-hunting strategy:
Job boards – Search for a job title that matches the sort of role you are after on job boards such as Indeed, Reed (UK) or Seek (AUS). But don’t just limit yourself to the conventional job boards: check out relevant industry-specific or graduate-specific ones too or use your university’s jobs pages.
Social media – LinkedIn allows you to follow companies in your chosen industry – so you can be the first to know about new openings! – as well as apply directly to positions. You may also want to follow relevant companies on Twitter or even Instagram as businesses often use these platforms to share that they’re hiring.
Networking – Whether online or in person, seek out opportunities to connect with others in your preferred field as they may be able to refer you to relevant positions. Attend careers fairs, join professional groups on LinkedIn or go to other industry events – all offer valuable networking opportunities.
Beyond this advice, make sure you spend time boosting your employability. This includes perfecting your CV, practising your interview technique, reflecting on and developing key transferable skills and building a strong online presence. Again, a little time spent on this each week will go a long way and will set you in good stead for the rest of your career.