7 Easy Steps to prepare you for the end of your studies
The first half of the craziest year in memory is now a thing of the past. Whether you have been learning online, or chilling on the couch with Netflix, it’s now time to prepare yourself to get back into the real world, even though it’s going to be a little different from what we all imagined it would be.
I have many final year students who are now enjoying a small break between first and second semesters but the reality is, this is not a break. This is probably one of the last opportunities you will get to get your life in order before the final year-end push and the inevitable CV-sending life that will begin the day you submit your last assignment or write your last test.
Using this time constructively is key and will save you a lot of time later in the year.
- Final CV Updates
You have done and achieved a lot during your studies. Perhaps you did exceptionally well in a few assignments or found yourself loving a subject you never thought you would. Incorporate these learnings into your CV.
Don’t just give a list of the subjects you studied. Show us what actual skills you learned while studying and how those skills can help me from day one if I hire you. You may also need specific CV’s for different fields you hope to enter. Now is the time to have everything ready to send out at a moment’s notice.
- Get your Driver’s or Learner’s License
If your goal is to have a car one day, then get preparing for it now. When you start a job you won’t have time to leave the office for lessons or tests so try to schedule as much as possible now. This also includes having updated ID’s and passports. Who knows, we may be allowed to travel again!
There are many organisations who are in desperate need of a pair of free extra hands. What about spending the day cuddling with abandoned babies at an orphanage, playing with puppies at an animal shelter, or reading to Grandparents at an old age home? Maybe you can help a small business or charity set up their social media, or design a website for them? It shows us what kind of person you are, and that you are willing to spend a few hours a week helping someone in need. You also never know who you could meet or what you could learn.
- Watch Webinars
There are amazing discussions happening online at the moment. Use this opportunity to open your mind and broaden your skillset. Most of them are free and you have the chance to ask prominent industry professionals some questions too.
- Clean Up your social media
Have a look at your posts and pictures … even the ones going back many, many years. What do they say about you? What would a potential employer think about you based on what you are saying and doing online? As it gets proven time and time again, your online past can come back to haunt you.
- Read … everything!
Many professionals are using this time to write excellent opinion pieces about the future of the industries they are in. Now is the time to read what they have to say. You can also sign up for industry newsletters and updates to make sure you are totally up-to-speed with what is going on in your chosen industry.
- Stalk the people you want to work for!
If you have an agency, a person, or a brand you want to work for, you should be stalking them online. Not in a creepy way, in an educational way. Follow their senior staff members on social media, visit their website to find out what they are doing, google them, and find out what is being said about them. Imagine how you will sound in a job interview if you know about the business and can ask proper, relevant questions based on all you have learned?
Preparation is key and time is of the essence. Covid-19 has affected everyone but don’t let it be too much of an excuse for not being ready for your future.
*Claire Jackson-Bernardo is a Public Relations lecturer and is MD of Alerting the Media, a Public Relations consultancy started in 2006. She has over 25 years of media and communications experience in South Africa and has a passion for educating the PR professionals of the future.