Kickstarting Your Career: How To Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

2020 has definitely put an unexpected turn on the completion of our degrees. First, we were faced with transitioning to remote learning. Then we had to readapt to life at home whilst coming to terms with the anticlimactic end to our final semester; and just when we thought we’d had enough; we’re being coerced into having virtual graduations or otherwise waiting another year to finally walk across that stage. Dear 2020, f*@k you! Signed, a disgruntled graduated.

Now that we’ve come to terms with the many ways 2020 has screwed us over, how do we possibly move forward?

In truth, the fact of the matter is this, graduation or no graduation, we’re still the class of 2020 and now that we’re spectacular with the Bachelor, it’s time to start securing that bag. 

Unlike for previous graduate cohorts, as it relates to the job market, 2020 grads aren’t just contending with peers with similar degrees; instead we’re also contending with individuals maybe even in the same specialization area as us, who’ve lost their jobs owing to the current economic downturn. Now what? Well, while their industry experience does give them a competitive advantage, luckily for us, all hope isn’t lost. There are many ways to improve your marketability while on the job hunt, and despite everything taking place, kickstart your career. If you’re interested, I’ll be sharing 5 gems in this regard.

Gem One: Network

One of the easiest ways to secure your first job post-graduation is by getting in contact with the right people. Make friends with people who work within your industry and find out if they would be open to providing you with mentorship. If you don’t yet know any such people or know where to find them, joining LinkedIn (which is literally the home of all industry professionals) is an excellent start!

Gem Two: Create an Online Portfolio

Um hello? You do realize we’re in the 21st century, right? Technology is your friend, use it to your advantage. There are many ways you can go about doing this but my quick and easy suggestion is to create a Wix site where you document and publish all your work. Recruiters love this, so take my advice and thank me later.

Gem Three: Pursue Internships

As qualified as you may be on paper, nothing beats real life experience. As best as possible, seek out internships that are in line with your degree field (whether or not they are paid) and see if you can at least make the best of being stuck at home (p.s. a lot of companies are now allowing interns to work from home). In addition, many companies are more likely to hire an intern who has previously worked with them for a permanent position, rather than an external job applier.

Gem Four: Pursue Online Certifications

Listen, Coursera, Hubspot Academy and Google Garage (just to name a few) have way too many free online courses in a variety of areas for you to still be applying to jobs with just your University degree. Either you get with the times or be prepared to get left behind.

Gem Five: The Wow Resume

Imagine you are a Recruiter; you see thousands of Resumes a week and spend less than a minute reviewing each. You’ve seen every kind resume that exist from the stellar to not so stellar to not even worth your time. As a result, for a resume to really wow you it has to be unique, different and definitely outside of the box. So, think of your resume as a first impression and the contents of it are your personality. Do you want people’s first impression of you to be dull and boring? Or creative and interesting? I’m sure we know the answer to that.

That’s it lovelies, facing graduation amidst everything happening in the world may not have been what we envisioned when we began our final year in the fall of 2019, nonetheless it is what it is and if you really want to kickstart your career, it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

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