It’s the beginning of the year, and after a much-needed break, you’re looking to get back into the groove of study, self-improvement and of course, the job search. Whether it’s graduate jobs or internships you’re after, here are five simple steps to help shake off those post-holiday cobwebs and get you back on your way!
1. Set Achievable Goals
Before you do anything, it’s important to have a think about what the career goals you want to achieve this year are. While this can seem intimidating at first, it could be anything from attending your first careers fair, putting down a certain number of jobs you want to apply for or landing your first internship in your dream field. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting technique to ensure they're Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
2. Brush Up your Resume and Cover Letter
It might sound obvious, but it’s probably been a few months since you last touched your resume. Maybe you’ve just wrapped up a summer job or internship, and while it may not have been directly related to your discipline, it could add some quality value to your profile! See how you can maximise the experience you do have in our blog post here.
Something else that might seem like a no brainer is to update your references. This means making sure they are people you would still feel comfortable reaching out to and have relative confidence that they would remember your name on the chance of an employer reaching out. Whether it’s your former tutor or manager from two summers ago, you might want to consider reconnecting or finding some more recent prospects in your network!
3. Create a Portfolio Website
Portfolio websites are becoming an increasingly popular platform for students to showcase their relevant university or personal work. This one-stop-shop makes it easy for employers to click away to online articles or multimedia - essential for those in creative and design-oriented disciplines. But even if you don’t have substantial work to showcase, including a quick bio and links to your social media could do wonders in helping you build a strong ‘personal brand’ and ensure you stand out from other applicants. Just make sure you do a thorough ‘clean’ of your digital footprint of any inappropriate material that could end up doing more harm than good. With so many free options out there such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace, it’s not hard to create something visually impressive with minimal website building knowledge!
4. Start Researching Companies
So now you’ve touched up your profile, it’s time to start looking at which specific companies you might want to work for that are aligned with your career goals. You might want to start out with a mind map or list of experiences you’ve particularly enjoyed, or company values and attributes that are must-haves before venturing onto their websites. Check out this video to hear from expert grad recruiters themselves:
5. Plan Ahead
Before things get too hectic, stay organised by making a calendar of the key internship and graduate dates throughout the year (Pssst - we’ve already made a handy version of one for you! Check it out here.) And if you’ve already completed the previous step, then be sure to jot down anything company specific that could be beneficial for you to attend e.g. networking events, virtual career talks and meet and greet sessions. We also have an interactive jobs calendar which offers a convenient monthly view for you to track which of your relevant opportunities are opening and closing on each day - so you’ll never miss a job application deadline!
Ready to start applying? See the current open opportunities now.