5 steps to enhancing your employability
International study is just one way to impress potential employers, so we’ve asked graduate careers specialist, Jonathan Day from Up Skill 4 Life, to share 5 essential tips for enhancing your employability while studying…
1. Choose the right uni
Before applying to university, define your career goals as best you can, then seek out the institution that will help you to meet them. Do your research and choose wisely. How does an uni perform in the global league tables? What’s the employability record of its graduates? How will it support you with skill development, placements and networking? Is a degree from one country seen as more beneficial than a degree from another? These are all critical questions that you need to ask yourself before applying to uni.
2. Break your social habits
When you arrive at university, the easy choice is to socialise with people from your own country. What a wasted opportunity! Remove your social comfort blankets and challenge yourself to mix with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. You’ll develop your cultural awareness, your confidence in social situations will go through the roof and you’ll build extremely important international networks in the process.
3. Work part-time or volunteer
A good degree alone will not get you a graduate job, it just allows you to apply for one. It sounds harsh but it’s true. Graduate employers look for knowledge, skills and experiences that can add value to their organisations. People skills, time management and commercial awareness are all excellent by-products of working part-time or volunteering while studying. Furthermore, just think how much working or volunteering in a foreign country will enhance your language skills.
4. Don’t just study while studying abroad
Take time to learn about the country you’re living in: the politics, the economy, the social habits, the environment and the legal framework. If you return to your home country with insights into these areas, you’ll become a much more attractive employee to international companies.
5. Create your own opportunities
Do all of the above effectively while studying abroad and you’ll seriously stand out from the crowd. So much so that you may even be able to create a job for yourself that never existed in the first place. Identify who you want to work for, then put together a business plan highlighting the value that your time studying abroad could add to their organisation.
Jonathan Day is the Learning & Development Consultant at Up Skill 4 Life Ltd, a learning and organisational development consultancy. Follow them on Twitter for tips on graduate employability and self-development.
Want more CV development tips? Read about how part-time work, extra-curricular activities and volunteering can all make you more employable. Or read our 5 questions to help you choose your dream career.
Find out how you can boost your employability by studying abroad with INTO Higher.