Simple ways to boost your employability – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

Simple ways to boost your employability

What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want from the next 5/10/20 years? What do you want to do when you finish Uni?

Whether you have answers to these questions or have no clue (I’m somewhere in the middle), I wanted to share some of the things you can do during Uni to become more employable, no matter where you end up.

Follow your interests

I think this is one of the most important tips I can share. Not only is following your interests good for your mental health, it can also be great for your career prospects without you really trying. By following your interests you could meet people, do things that are really interesting to talk about during interviews or possibly even find your dream career!

Following you interests means saying yes to opportunities which sound fun, asking questions when you think of them and giving things a go. If you want to make a start right now but are not really sure what to do, then I would suggest writing down all of your interests or anything you’re curious about and then seeing if there are any opportunities for you to explore those things further. One great way to explore interests is to do an online course! Search for a topic on the internet or browse different options available on places such as Coursera and FutureLearn.

Societies and Sports Clubs

Joining societies and sports clubs is another way of following your interests and provides a great opportunity to meet new people and try new things. Being part of a society or sports club (or several) is great to talk about during interviews. It can show commitment among other skills and also lead to interesting conversations during an interview (you might not think it’s all that relevant, but interviewers want to get to know you and talking about your interests is a great way to do this).

If you want to take this a step further, think about joining an exec committee – being on exec gives you lots of experience in a variety of tasks, challenges and situations. I’m currently on 2 execs and have greatly improved my communication and graphic design skills among many others.

Use LinkedIn

I think that LinkedIn is really useful. A lot of recruiters use the platform to find people they might want to hire and it’s a great way to show your learning and development to potential employers. You can use it however you want but if you’re unsure where to start, take a look at some tutorials or blogs and also see how other people use the platform.

Careers workshops and services

Warwick has some great careers services available! They offer workshops, events, individual guidance and much more. There are many great blogs on this site which you can read to find out more but I suggest starting with this post by Shika.

Volunteer

I’m a big advocate of volunteering. But there are other reasons for volunteering besides helping others. Volunteering can show commitment and adaptability as well as helping you to develop and learn many other skills. If you’re interested, have a look at Warwick Volunteers for opportunities at Uni, What Can We Do? (WCWD) for a wider choice of opportunities (currently focused on helping the UK through Covid-19), or just explore the internet for opportunities that interest you!

Holidays

Uni can get very busy so don’t feel that you have to fit everything into term time. There are lots of things you can do during the holidays which can both fill the time and look good to employers. The obvious ones are internships and spring weeks (at least they’re the obvious ones for a Computer Scientist) but you could also apply for research projects or summer jobs (I highly recommend summer camps when travel’s allowed again). There’ll be lots of other programs and activities which I’ve not mentioned so just have a look around and see what sounds interesting.

You could also set yourself a challenge or project to complete over the holidays. Projects allow you to explore a topic in depth and also to explore the links between that topic and others. When it comes to employability, having completed your own projects shows your self-motivation and (if related to the job you’re applying for) can impress interviewers with the knowledge you gain and your appreciation with how that topic links to others.

These are some of the things you can do during Uni to make you more employable. But don’t worry too much about it – do things that interest you, not just to look good. Being able to talk passionately about 1 or 2 experiences is much better than having a list of experiences which you just don’t care about.

Cover photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

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