University is a time to study, meet new people, explore different places and have fun. However, most students are also hoping for a career after university. Making yourself as employable as possible during this time is extremely helpful when it comes to job searching, so we have put together a simple guide to marketing yourself while you are still studying.
In the world we live in, we start making a digital footprint very early on. Taking control of this can be very useful when starting to think about applying for jobs. Using social media or a blog to express your passion is a great place to start. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook all have their own particular uses. Quote people who inspire you and interact with the communities that are relevant to what you want to do. Write about the industry and your experiences.
If you still want to use your social media for more personal output, why not create a second profile? It is sometimes a good idea to make this private as employers can easily check the online history of candidates. Ask yourself what kind of person you are portraying through your online behaviour. If this isn’t particularly appropriate or professional, consider making it private.
If you have a portfolio or body of work that can easily be displayed online, it may be a good idea to create a personal website. There are several website-building sites like Wix and Squarespace that are specifically for those with little to no experience creating websites. You can include a biography and let employers know exactly who you are.
Throughout university, you are constantly learning things – and not just what’s on your course. Essay writing, research, analysis, teamwork, leadership skills, time management and strategy are all highly useful and very much transferrable. You may have also taken part in societies and clubs which have exposed you to different kinds of people. If you ever planned an event, that can involve marketing it and putting it on social media.
Often when called on to tell an employer about your skills, it can be difficult to think of all the different things you have learned. Make a list and this can then eventually become the basis of your CV. While you’re at university, take advantage of all the opportunities to join in and participate – this environment is unique, so make the most of it.
An essential part of marketing is content. A potential employer may like you and want to give you a chance, but they often need something more to go on. Start compiling relevant university assignments and any extra-curricular projects into a portfolio that you can easily show to people.
Make sure the format is accessible, the layout is clean and easy to read and that it is all spell-checked and fully vetted. You don’t want to go to the effort of gathering all your work together only to spot an error just before an interview.
This can be in person or online. If you are using LinkedIn, take a professional looking headshot for your profile picture and fill out your profile with details from your CV or what you have studied as a student. Add people you know from university, clubs or part-time jobs as connections. Join groups or follow companies in the industry/field you’re interested in working in. LinkedIn is useful when you’re actively looking for a job: it will show you job postings and tell you if any of your connections know someone at a company you’re interested in working at.
You should also attend relevant events. Check your university’s website and the Student Union for careers fairs and networking events. You can even ask your tutor or lecturer if they can put you in touch with people in the field you want to work in. Often, career opportunities arise from these connections and they can be a great way into your chosen profession.
If you want more information about studying at Northumbria University Pathway or about potential careers after university, visit our website.