You may still be a few years away from graduating but it’s never too early to start boosting your CV. Take a look at this guide to find out how.
In today’s competitive job market, it’s difficult to score your dream job with stellar grades alone. You need to put in some extra work to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
As an international student, you may not be able to get a job without a work visa but there are plenty of other ways to build up your resumé during your degree. These 10 tips are guaranteed to boost your CV and bring you one step closer to landing that job you’ve always wanted.
1. Write for the student newspaper
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in journalism, you should definitely consider joining your university’s student newspaper. When applying for jobs in such a competitive field, having practical experience is crucial. As a student journalist, you’ll gain plenty of skills that will make you stand out among all the other graduate job seekers. Even if you’re not interested in being a journalist, writing for the college paper will give you great experience in researching, interviewing and being very resourceful. And most importantly, you’ll also have lots of fun finding new stories.
2. Join the student union
Having a take-charge attitude is a trait that’s highly valued by employers. As an active member of the student union, you show that you take matters into your own hands instead of sitting around and waiting for things to change. Make sure you highlight what you’ve achieved on your CV, be it launching a campaign or running for a high-profile university role.
3. Take on a leading role in a society or club
Simply being a member of your university’s football team probably won’t give your CV much of an edge over your peers, but taking on a leadership role within the organisation definitely will. As a committee member of a society or sports club, you’ll gain valuable skills that are bound to impress employers.
4. Participate in volunteer work
Not only is volunteering a rewarding experience but it also makes your CV stand out. The cause you choose to support may be completely unrelated to your dream job but you gain important experience and show that you care about improving the lives of others. Most universities advertise volunteering opportunities online, so take a look and get involved!
5. Write your own blog
Having your own blog is a great way to show where your interests lie. Whether it’s about travelling, technology or beauty, you’ll score bonus points for being passionate about something as employers will likely think you’ll have the same attitude in the workplace. What’s more, lots of successful bloggers have turned their blogs into great platforms for a career. Blogs are great places to showcase your interest and experience in a certain field and may even turn out to be your full-time career if you work hard enough.
6. Learn a new skill
Use your free time to learn a useful skill that looks good on your CV. Sign up for a language course, become an expert in using Photoshop or learn how to design a website. Such courses are often offered by your university and are a lot cheaper than they would be elsewhere, so make the most of your student discount to widen your skill set.
7. Find a part-time job
In most countries, you’re allowed to work a certain number of hours on a student visa. Even if you take on a job that’s not related to what you want to do later on, it shows that you’re capable of juggling different things at once and have a good work ethic. Plus, you gain an immediate advantage over all the students who finish their degree without any practical experience.
8. Get some work experience
Many companies offer short work experience placements to give students an insight into day-to-day operations. Contact the company you’re interested in and ask if they will take you on for a week or two. While these placements are usually unpaid, you learn lots of new things, meet people in the industry, and prove to future employers that you’re committed to the career path you’ve chosen.
9. Be active on social media
Social media is becoming more and more important, and knowing how to use it is considered a big plus by employers. Build up a strong social media presence across different platforms and include the links to your accounts in your CV so your potential employers can get an insight into your interests and social media skills. But always make sure there is nothing on your profiles that you wouldn’t want your boss to see!
10. Last but not least, focus on your studies
When putting in all this extra work to boost your CV, don’t start neglecting your studies. Having lots of work experience will make you stand out when applying for jobs but employers also care about your grades, so don’t forget to study.