It’s really important to spend time working on your career direction no matter what year you may be in. Below are 10 top tips suggesting activities you could be doing over the Christmas period to enhance your career prospects.
1. Take time to reflect
Reflect upon what you learnt from 1 module this term. What did you learn? What skills did you acquire? Did you work on any real-world case studies? Try to identify these ‘transferable skills’ and add them as a bullet point to your degree entry under the Education Section in your CV.
2. Spend time on your CV
Spend time working on your CV. Creating a strong CV is a prerequisite to any graduate job search so it’s important to make it the best it can be. Start by noting down what you might want to include in your Education and Work Experience sections. There are lots of useful CV tools on CareerLink, you can also send your CV to email@example.com for a review.
3. Update your LinkedIn headshot
Update your LinkedIn headshot with a new professional-looking photo, read articles to understand how to do this yourself at home. Try creating a new banner at the top of your profile – you can download a well-designed, free template on Canva.
4. Research companies
Take time to research different companies. There is a lot out there which sometimes can be overwhelming. Take time to read up about companies who post jobs you are interested in. What are their values and mission, how do you align with them? Do you want to work in the public or private sector?
5. Use LinkedIn Learning
Enhance your skills through LinkedIn learning. You can sign up for a free month trial, use the time over the winter break to put this to good use! LinkedIn learning offers a variety of online courses from in depth Excel knowledge, tutorials on Adobe, Quickbooks and coding.
6. Upskill with free online courses
Continue your upskilling by searching for other free online courses. For example, Google Garage offers a free 40-hour course on the fundamentals of digital marketing. Coursera also run a 7 day free trial and host a range of free online courses such as improving your English communication skills and Entrepreneurship. Some other sites you can use are FutureLearn, Udemy and Allison.
7. Use our CareerLink portal
Did you know the University has a free online careers portal called CareerLink? On CareerLink you can book appointments with Careers advisers and speak with the undergraduate work experience and placements team. CareerLink also provides lots of other useful tools such as CV 360, Cover Letter Builder, Graduate scheme information, Job Search engine and Mock interview simulations.
8. Complete the Chancellors Career Award
Complete the Chancellors Career Award on CareerLink. The award is designed to help you explore your career readiness, prepare a strong CV and cover letter as well as help with next steps towards job applications and interviews. On completion you can download a certificate signed by the Vice Chancellor, which looks great on the CV!
9. Start your placement journey
Are you an undergraduate student in your 1st or 2nd year and thinking about taking a placement year? Christmas is the key time to be making steps towards applying for placements opportunities. First visit the placements FAQs page on CareerLink. Once you have understood the requirements complete the placement preparation module on CareerLink to give yourself the best chance of securing a placement.
One of the main challenges students face is getting relevant work experience. Have you considered volunteering? Volunteering adds vital work experience to your CV which later down the line could open doors to work placements and internships. There are a huge variety of volunteer roles out there, during the winter break find out more by looking at ourvolunteering pages.