Preparing for the workplace starts long before you begin your search for your first full-time job. There are lots of different things that students can do now to give themselves a head start over other school, college and university leavers and put themselves at the front of the queue in the increasingly competitive jobs market.
So, just what steps can you take to give your career the best possible start? Here’s our guide.
1. Study another language
As a specialist bilingual recruiter, you might think we’re biased, but never has the ability to speak a second language been more valuable than it is today. With Brexit now firmly underway and the UK free to form trade deals with more countries outside the EU, being able to speak a second or even third language will certainly help you stand out.
China is the world’s second-largest economy, making Mandarin a language that’s in high demand among businesses in much of the western world. With the economies of South and Central American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Panama expected to skyrocket in the next few years, Spanish would be an extremely useful language to learn, too.
2. Find your voice
Over the last decade or so, communication has changed immeasurably. For Generation Z, communication that’s dominated by social media and smartphones is all they’ve ever known, to such an extent that traditional skills such as public speaking are increasingly difficult to find.
Although public speaking is something not everyone is comfortable with initially, it will feel more natural over time. Putting yourself forward to speak in front of groups whenever you have the opportunity is a great way to develop this skill and help you impress potential employers. It will also improve your ability to think clearly under pressure and communicate your ideas and opinions in a well-reasoned and clear way. Those are also skills that are useful during those nerve-wracking job interviews.
3. Gain experience of the world of work
The more experience you have of the workplace and the skills required to perform a role, the better. Vocational courses are excellent at preparing students for the challenges they’ll encounter when they enter the workplace, while more academic qualifications tend to focus very little on what working life will be like.
Work placements are a great way to gain first-hand experience of what a particular role will involve. They can also help you identify a career or path that you hadn’t previously considered. Schools, colleges and universities should all be able to help you arrange a work placement, but you can also speak to family members, friends and even reach out to businesses online that you’re interested in working for. As well as gaining experience in the workplace, the contacts you make during this time could prove to be invaluable later on.
As a recent school, college or university leaver, your CV is likely to be full of qualifications but lacking in experience. Volunteering is a great way to gain some real-world experience while also doing some good. Even if you’re unable to volunteer in the specific field you want to work in, having experience as a volunteer will show that you know how to manage your time, work alongside others, complete tasks and commit to something, even when there’s no monetary reward.
Here’s a handy resource you can use to find out more about internships, work experience, volunteering roles, work shadowing placements and more.
Searching for your first bilingual role?
Get in touch with the team at Linguistica Recruitment today. We can help you find well-paid and rewarding bilingual jobs across the south coast of England. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV, call our team on 02392 987 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.