How to crack the career code and increase your employability.
At a recent event titled Cracking the Career Code, Deakin commerce students learnt that while a degree definitely helps get you an interview, there is a lot more to finding that perfect job.
Jane Hahn, who is currently working as a Special Advisor to the Office of Graduate Employment at Deakin and has previously worked at PwC in the Campus Talent Acquisition teams in Melbourne and Vancouver, offered tips to our students for increasing their employability throughout university and after graduation.
Her overarching advice is to be proactive: 'whether you’re just finishing your first year or will be graduating soon, these tips are relevant for all students to help you build your employability throughout university. Remember, if you’re not managing your career, no one else is going to do it for you.'
Top 10 employability tips
- Know yourself - think about your values, what’s important to you, your strengths, your interests and how you like to work. This will help you understand what types of roles and organisations you might like to work for in the future. Deakin offers a range of tips and advice.
- Review and track your achievements - from a unit you performed well in, to achievements outside of your studies. These help you explain the value you have to offer future employers.
- Don’t forget about the things you do outside of university - from tutoring and volunteering, to your casual work. These activities build your transferrable skills, which are critical when seeking graduate employment.
- Consider your personal brand - what do you want to be known for? Does your online and offline presence support that? If not, make changes to align as appropriate.
- Create or maintain your LinkedIn profile - explore other LinkedIn profiles to see what works and what does not, keep it updated. LinkedIn is an extremely popular platform for recruiters.
- Research, research, research - look up the companies you think you would like to work for: what do you love about them, what would you change. Why? Ask yourself, ‘do their values align with mine?’ Consider the industries they operate in and the top issues they’re currently facing as well.
- Be prepared - know what jobs exist (ie graduate jobs and vacation work/internships) and when they typically hire. Do they have scheduled campus recruiting campaigns? If not, how can you connect with the organization in other ways. Make sure your resume is up-to-date and ready.
- Network - this can be intimidating, but it is often easier than you think. Maintain your connections, stay in touch. This can range from staying in touch with your classmate, with Alumni associations after you’ve graduated, industry connections, whether they’re connections you’ve made during internships or even with industry associations such as CPA or AMI.
- Find a mentor - find someone who you can talk to, someone who can help provide advice to achieve your career goals. This could be anyone from a senior student, friends that have already graduated or even family members. Industry Associations often offer formalised mentoring programs, such as AMI’s ‘emerging marketers mentoring program.
- And especially for final year students - complete Deakin Job Search Essentials. This is a great online program than can help you tie it all together.