These days, more students are graduating from university than ever before and trying to get ahead in the careers market is getting tougher and tougher. Only thirty years ago, having a degree was the exception rather than the norm; in 2020, it’s now not uncommon to see vacancies advertised with a degree as a pre-requisite for employment.
Differentiation has always been the key to finding work – showcasing skills or talents that separate you from the crowds. Here are just a few ways you could improve your chances of employment once you’ve graduated:
Take an online course
In the internet age, there is a huge range of courses available purely online allowing you to study at a time and in a place that suits you. Online learning has exploded in recent years and the diversity of internet courses available these days is truly astounding.
Consider diversifying your skills by taking completely unrelated studies or build on your existing qualifications – perhaps by taking a masters degree. Merrimack College (https://online.merrimack.edu/online-bachelor-degree/) offers bachelor degrees purely online which could significantly enhance your employment opportunities.
Learn a different language
In today’s internet world, business has gone truly global and despite attempts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make computer translators, there will never be a substitute for knowing the in-depth workings of a foreign language. Having a second (or third) language can be a tremendous asset in many jobs and will certainly make you stand out against your peers.
Think of studying one of the more common languages used in business like German, French, Spanish or Portuguese. There are numerous online aids and learning tools which will help. Also, consider using one of the huge range of apps now available, for example, Duolingo which has the added advantage of offering a free version.
Improve your resume – and tailor it to suit each job
Your resume is the first impression a potential employer gets of you and is normally the most important deciding factor in whether to invite you for an interview. Thoroughly check your CV for spelling mistakes or other inaccuracies and consider making small amendments to text and details on a per-application basis. For example, if an employer cites a specific skill in their vacancy advert, think about changing your text to highlight that talent.
One of the most common mistakes graduates make when applying for jobs is using the same resume over and over, without paying thought to the particular skills the employer mentioned in their advert.
Check and edit your social media profiles
You may not think it but most employers these days now check candidate’s social media pages to assess their suitability to a job. Delete any content you think might not create the best impression or think about tightening your privacy settings.
If you don’t want to limit access, think about how your profile looks from a professional perspective and filter out any offensive content (e.g. swear words or raucous holiday pics). Also, you can significantly improve your profile by following respected industry bodies or professionals and liking or commenting on their content. Another common solution is setting up separate social profiles – one for work and one for personal use. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram all make it easy to set up accounts.