If you read Part One of this series, you will be up-to-speed on what is required to nail a job upon the completion of your HSC ...... or for a part time role while completing your University Degree!
However, there will be a hoard of students transitioning straight from HSC to University, who have a plan to focus only on University studies. Some will have a specific career path in mind, others not so much.
Some students may lose their way part way through their degree or enter University to complete a generalist degree such as B.Arts and work out their path later.
For the students with a specific career path in mind, completion of the degree can lead to employment prospects in particular professions (such as Teaching and Nursing), however, those students will be up against tough competition with many other graduates seeking the same outcome.
So, how do you make yourself more competitive and more employable? Is a University Degree enough? A University degree is not a guarantee to employment. To obtain employment following a degree, you need to be able to market yourself, be competitive and bridge the gap between what the employer is looking for and what you have to offer! Gone are the days when University degrees were the only pathway to particular professions. Nowadays competition is greater and therefore employment prospects can be more challenging.
You will need a little creativity and fore-planning to ensure you can present yourself to the workforce with everything an employer is seeking. Think about every other graduate who is now facing the same challenges. These graduates are the competition!
It's advisable to start early. From year 1 of your degree you should be chipping away at filling you resume with highly regarded information and engaging in activities and opportunities which will boost your skills and attributes making you more attractive to any prospective employer.
These are our top 7 tips to obtaining employment following the completion of your degree:
1. Work On Your Resume
Fill your resume with valuable information based on part time employment, volunteer work, community work, interests and additional studies.
2. Undertake Further Studies
Don't rely on just your degree. Take up additional studies such as workshops and short courses. Engage in University based programs and volunteer in community initiatives.
3. Get Involved
Attend all the events available at the University, such as career fairs and expos, programs (such as the Univative Program), professional development courses, workshops and employer presentations. Aside from gaining experience and valuable information, you just never know who you may meet and what path this may lead you on.
4. Seek Professional Advice
Engage with a Career Consultant early. Ask them about your resume and cover letter, e-portfolio, LinkedIn profile and your interview skills. Most Universities have a Careers Consultant who can help you or you can engage in one from a private organisation. Get advice about your career direction.
5. Get Practical Experience
Enquire about professional student placement opportunities. If these are not available for your degree, then start offering your services to various employers to gain that experience.
6. Develop a Career Plan
Develop a career plan. A step-by-step guide on what is required to gain entry into your chosen profession. Then work backwards, giving yourself time frames and deadlines to achieving each step. If you need some more help, then again, we recommend that you speak with a qualified Career Consultant.
7. Start Early
It goes without saying, that to engage in all of the above takes some time and planning. To do this at the completion of your degree would certainly set you back a little. To have all this happening in the background over a 3-6 year period is not a huge commitment and is an achievable plan.
Overall we recommend being true to yourself. If you feel that part way through your degree that you have changed your mind or your direction, then get some advice. All is not lost. Parts of your degree may be credited to another pathway.
If you have achieved exceptional results in one particular subject, highlight this on your resume. Ask academics, course tutors, part time employers and colleagues for a reference.
Remember that as you are graduating, so too are thousands of other students. You just need to ensure you are the standout candidate!
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