While the Christmas period may seem like a quieter time for job opportunities and applications, now would be a good time to develop your skills and make yourself more employable for any future roles you wish to apply for. Here below are some key aspects to consider that will help you achieve this.
Update your professional portfolio
Now is the time to update any extra bits of information to your CV you may have accrued over time that you haven’t had a chance to update yet. A good CV should include your most recent and relevant work experience. Don’t forget to include any new hobbies, interests and achievements you have developed while at University that will stand you out from just your degree! To find out more on how to write a good CV, click on the link for our blog on CV advice.
Where a CV can be more general in the information it provides, a cover letter needs to be specific to the company and role you are applying for. Make sure to do your research and include this knowledge, along with your relevant skills and experience to match this when applying. If you have never written a cover letter before, or would like to learn more about how to improve your technique, check out our cover letter advice page.
Linkedin is a great way to create essentially an online CV for all employers to see without even applying! Companies can even approach you if they like your profile and want to know more. So, if you haven’t created a Linkedin profile yet then now is definitely the best time. Linkedin also goes beyond what an ordinary CV can provide by the endorsements others can give you to prove you have those skills, and your connections can show your engagement within the industry you're interested in working for. Companies can learn a lot more about you from the posts you like, comment or share and the posts you create yourself. So if you would like to learn how to make an attractive online profile click on this link for 7 steps to a better Linkedin profile.
While you may consider platforms such as linkedin to be the only social media platform perhaps relevant for your professional online profile, some employers will also look at personal platforms such as instagram, facebook and twitter. This may be to find out a bit more about you as a person and whether you would be a good fit for their team. Make sure to take some time to tidy up your social media platforms to make sure they are reflecting you in an appropriate way and positive light. To find out more check out Hellograds advice for creating a positive presence online.
Develop or learn new skills online
If you’re looking to go into an industry which perhaps you didn’t study at University, or you are looking for ways to upskill yourself in areas you would like more training and development - There is a plethora of online platforms that provide digital courses for you to learn from all sectors! We have put together a list of some of the best online providers for FREE courses to get you started! Many of these courses provide certificates at the end which you can include on your CV and Linkedin profile which will look advantageous to employers.
- Google Digital Garage - To help build your digital skills in the world of business, from marketing and sales courses to front end development and coding.
- Future Learn - courses range from business and management, healthcare and medicine and teaching.
- Open University - Short courses available across all departments from digital photography courses to learning about the science behind the weather.
- Linkedin - learn more about business, coding and how to use popular software applications such as excel or photoshop.
Learn a language digitally
Knowing a language is becoming more and more a desirable skill for many employees to have in certain businesses. Learning a language could be a great way to make yourself stand out from the other applicants and could open the doors to many more opportunities, especially if you wanted to work in a business that requires you to travel or work abroad! You can find companies that are interested in language speakers on our site.
See below for the most recommended language learning apps and courses to help you get started!
- Duolingo - A fun, interactive, free app with daily challenges stages to build your learning.
- Rosetta Stone - Includes dowloadable lessons, group sessions, phrasebooks, and audiocompanion.
- Open University - Free short courses available on several languages
While there may be many volunteering activities that cannot be undertaken for this time being due to isolation and social distancing measures, many charities and organisations have found alternative ways to ensure help can still be given to those in need. Volunteering is a great way to get involved with the community and to develop your skills. Please see below for some examples of organizations that you can still get involved with during this time.
•NHS Volunteer Responders - Different ways to offer help to respond to those most in need around the UK.
• Giving blood - Travelling to donate is allowed because it helps meet the medical needs of vulnerable people.
• Just Giving - sponsor amazing events across the UK helping to raise money, or take part in an event yourself to fundraise.
As you can see, there are many different ways you can look to develop your skills, tidy your online professional profile and prepare yourself for the world of work. Be sure to also still be looking on the site for the latest jobs to apply for and updates from companies.
And remember to #keepgoing!