You’re in the middle of a busy semester but you know that you need to get on top of your learnership applications if you’re going to have a job over break. How in the world are you supposed to juggle your school work AND write up killer applications when you’re this swamped? Regardless of the time of year, you should be prepping for your upcoming applications, because there are always opportunities around the corner and university doesn’t last forever!
Here are 5 ways you can get ahead on your learnership and job applications, even when you are busy with school.
1. Meet With Your Career Counselor
Your University Career Center is there for the sole purpose of helping students get jobs! Career counselors understand how challenging it can be to apply for jobs while working through a semester and they are there to help you. Visiting your counselor can present you with tips and opportunities that you may have never known existed! Companies often send university career centers lists of job openings before posting them on job sites to give priority to students. Your counselor can not only help you clean up your resume and cover letters, but can also speed up the job search process by showing you what is available and where. The job hunt is a long and grueling one, so you can totally get ahead of your applications by taking the help while it’s available!
2. Adjust Your Resume Throughout The Semester
During the semester, you will inevitably gain experience and acquire new skills as you take different level classes, learn new programs and maybe even volunteer or work a part-time job. These are line items for your resume! If there are classes that are relevant to the jobs you are applying for, add them. If you learned how to use a new program or picked up a skill that is tailored to your field, add it. If you volunteered or worked any type of job while going to school, add it. As a student, every bit matters because you are currently without much experience, and recruiters want to see that you are not only getting the education that you need, but kept busy with other life experiences. Later in life, as you work multiple jobs, you will remove bits like which courses you took and specific skills that are no longer relevant to the jobs you are applying to. But right now, you can use it all!
3. Clean Up Your Social Profiles
We know, social media is oh so tempting, but, you may remember us telling you how it can hurt you! If your online presence on networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not presentable, you may be hindering your chances of getting hired. These days, more companies than not do go out of their way to screen their applicants online. It’s so incredibly easy to look someone up on the internet and get a peek into their everyday lives; the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly is what we are worried about.
Employers care about how their employees present themselves to others because when hired, you are a representative of the company. Your behavior could be misconstrued as a direct reflection of the company’s ethics to potential customers and clients. With that, they want to be sure that you are going to put your best foot (and face) forward when it comes to what you post on the internet. So, get ahead of your applications by cleaning up your profiles and only publishing photos and posts that you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing. Don’t just hide content for your eyes only… delete!
You should also consider limiting your friends’ ability to post content without your permission. A friend could easily tag you in an unflattering photo that you would definitely not like your future boss to see. So, head to those privacy settings to protect your professional image!
4. Go To Career Fairs
They’re offered for a reason! Career fairs are your opportunity to get a firsthand look at what companies are currently looking to hire, and to meet face-to-face with company representatives. Five minutes with a company rep (and personally handing over your resume to said rep) is far greater than submitting your application online and hoping that the right person will see it. It’s the chance to gain an advocate, to put your face to the name, and to verbally express your interest in the company. Most people don’t even get the chance to speak to someone, so take it while you can!
Put on your best professional outfit, print off a handful of resumes, grab some business cards (if you have them – not a bad idea!) and find out which companies will be present. Make a hitlist of those you are interested in and get there early so you are among the first to meet them!
We will beat the importance of this tip into your head so long as you keep listening! This goes hand-in-hand with attending career fairs. Your network is, without a doubt, the most important weapon in your arsenal. When it comes to getting learnerships and jobs post university, your network means far more than what you know. A bit confusing, we know, but it’s a hard truth. The earlier you develop your professional network, the more luck you will have when you are ready to apply for jobs.
Networking is an ongoing task because you never know who you will bump into and when. Whether there is a guest speaker in your lecture or you happen to bump into an alumni member that has been seriously successful in your field of choice… these are contacts you’re not going to want to lose! It’s never too early to start building, so network away!