5 ways to fool proof your skills in the first week of university
You’ve had the mother of all hangovers, eaten the dirtiest food you can imagine and met people who you just know you’ll be friends with for life (but won’t see them ever again). Welcome to the first week of uni!
Believe it or not, amongst all the partying and the excitement of being a fresher, now is a perfect time to start building up skills and experience that can help increase your chances of getting that all-important job when you graduate.
With competition for graduate jobs at an all time high, employers aren’t just looking at the level of your degree or what university you’ve come from; they want something extra.
So how can you stay ahead of the pack?
At Webrecruit (www.webrecruit.co.uk), we’ve compiled a list of five of the best ways to fool proof your skills and boost your CV whilst you’re studying:
1. Get yourself down to the Freshers’ Fair
Universities have societies for everything you could ever think of – from sports to literature right through to war re-enactment groups. Sign up to a few that interest you and, if possible, work your way into a position of responsibility; it looks great on your CV.
Societies are also a great way of meeting new people and joining one demonstrates teamwork and collaboration; crucial skills that are necessary for many jobs. Plus, Freshers’ Fairs are amazing for freebies (loaf of bread and a badge, anyone?)
I’m not just talking about chatting to that hot guy/girl who you see every morning. Talk to your lecturers. Most lecturers and tutors have years of experience within their discipline and could provide you with valuable advice and important connections that could benefit you in the future.
Talk to as many people as you can during your first week of university. As everyone is in the same boat, no-one will think you’re odd (unless you actually are) and it will enhance your social skills and confidence.
3. Pick the right modules
If you’ve got a specific career route in mind, make sure that you choose the best modules for your aspirations. When you’re applying for jobs after university, you can list these specifically on your CV to show that you’ve got the knowledge and the skills.
I know it’s September and next summer might seem like a million miles away but if you’re thinking about taking on an internship, now is the perfect time to take action.
The best internships get snapped up quickly so if you’ve got strong ideas about a company you’d like to gain experience with, start putting in the groundwork now. Send a few speculative emails out and let people know that you’re interested.
5. Find a relevant part-time job
This is a bit of a bonus. If you manage to snap up any kind of part-time work in your first week, you deserve a massive pat on the back for being on the ball. But if you’re studying fashion and get a job in Topshop or a finance student with a weekend job in a bank, even better.
Having a career-focused part-time job not only gives you the basic skills and knowledge of the industry you’d like to work in; it shows your passion and drive to get there (plus the extra money is nice).
Above anything else, have fun. University is as much about life experience as it is about studying. Keep an open mind, say yes to anything that sounds interesting and really focus on building up those skills. Then after graduation when the real hangover sets in, you’ll be equipped to tackle anything that the world of job hunting throws at you.