- Create a LinkedIn profile and utilize it
Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur, said in Forbes Magazine, “Students should prepare it (LinkedIn profile) as early as their senior year in the high school. Even if the profile is just a bare-bones list of where you attend high school, your extra-curricular activities, including awards or accolades, what you see as your skills, and a summary of the sort of career that may interest you, it’s a good idea to create this early”. It is not only a good place to present your profile and ability, but also helpful to start building your connections and developing your network. Connect to as many people as you can and follower key Influencers and companies you have a passion for.
- Evaluate your skills, strengths and weaknesses
We all have differing skills and knowledge, but not every skill is relevant to our current job search. This is especially true when looking for our first professional job.
Therefore, take the time to self-reflect, to review your skills, passions, strengths and weaknesses.
- Ask for recommendations and do career test
There are some excellent career tests on the internet (www.careerfitter.com, www.careertest.net, http://www.ipersonic.com etc) that you can take for guidance. These help you to understand your personal attributes (e.g. interests, value, preference, aptitudes and skill). They also provide a good indicator for your career direction.
Furthermore, finding someone who is happy to be a ‘career mentor’ is another excellent option to help you explore and clarify the career path best suited to you.
Forbes reported, “Of the students surveyed, 70% said they had at least one mentor. Of that group, the greatest share, 37%, named their parent as their mentor, while 28% said they relied on a professor, 21% said they used a family or friend and 17% said their current or former employer was a mentor.”
Just 10% said they found a mentor through social networking. Dan Schawbel (author of 4 Steps to Building Your Future) understands why students turn to parents, family and friends, but he recommends making use of social networks, saying, “Unless your parents work in the field you want to pursue, they are not going to be able to help you most effectively”.
- Follow a professional group or industry you are interested in
There are different blogs and groups on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc. These groups can connect you to established professionals in your area of interest and give you the latest information on a specific industry. Moreover, joining a group of professionals is a great way to bounce around ideas, ask and answer questions and share industry news and tips. Also check out the websites of headhunters, they often have useful information like interview tips, career market overview, resume template etc.
- Get an internship as early as possible
According to a survey of 200 students taken in August 2012 by StudentAdvisor.com, students know that internships are valuable but they are failing to land them. Some 85% said they believed having an internship is either important or very important for their career and 52% said they hoped to have had three or more internships before graduating. But only 40% had done at least one internship thus far. The best internships, those with globally recognized brands, help to draw potential employers’ attention and in turn they are more likely to call you in for an interview. When it comes to valuing internships, “brand names open doors”!
- Prepare and design your CV carefully
It is hard to imagine how many resumes an HR executive, hiring manager or headhunter have to read each day but it’s a lot! How you make your CV look gives that vital first impression, make your resume clean, tidy, easy to read and eye-catching.
First – proof-read your resume. Typos are inexcusable, a potential employer will interpret these as sloppy and lacking in attention to detail.
Second – keep it simple and tidy. You should keep everything consistent- spacing, font size, font style and formatting. The prefect resume should be 1-2 pages, all experiences and abilities can be summarized in point form effectively. There are some creative resume examples on the internet as reference, e.g Canva, Hloom etc.
- Use an Online Career Support Tool
Combining all of the above into a single support platform can be done using an online career center that walks you through building a CV, interview skills, psychometric assessments as well as advice from industry leaders.
These online platforms allow you the freedom to call on them for ‘help’ as and when is needed and offer the support you need as you transition into the world of work.
To learn more about online career tools and how they can support you as you take your next step into a new career contact us at: www.gemini-global.com