Plan your future
Today is the first day of your future career! No matter where you are with your studies, there is a lot you can do to work on your skills and get closer to achieving your dream job.
How can you develop important skills? How do you plan your studies strategically in order to reach your goal? What is important to think of? Here are our tips.
Map your skills
Competence is a broad concept, that covers everything from your subject knowledge, skills and experiences to your personal qualities. Mapping of your competence means you think about which of your skills, experiences and knowledge might be relevant to what you want to achieve.
Keep in mind that in many cases the qualities you receive from your education are just as important to an employer as your subject knowledge. See your studies as an opportunity to reflect on yourself and what a career means to you. Maybe there is something you would like to develop and if so, how can you do that?
Where can and do you want to work?
Get to know your job market in order to understand what jobs are available and which skills are required. You can do this by reading industry magazines and job advertisements, and doing research about the companies and organisations you are interested in working for.
Another tip is to contact people with the job title you are interested in. Find out about their career and how they got to the position they are in now. What are the pros and cons with the job and what skills are required?
By asking questions, you get more information about the job which makes it easier to figure out if this is the right job for you. It’s also a great way to build a network in the industry while you are still a student.
Choose your courses strategically
Look in to the possibilities of broadening your knowledge or specialising in an area through your study choices. If you can control the layout of your education, choose courses based on what you want to work with. What subject knowledge do you need, and what other skills could be valuable for the job you want?
If you are unsure what skills and qualities are required for your dream job, do your research. For example, look at job advertisements and employers’ career pages to learn what is in demand, or contact someone in the industry to find out.
Once you apply for a job, you can, by highlighting specific courses, show that you have made well-thought-out choices during your studies. This shows the employer that you are committed and engaged.
Roughly 80% of all jobs are filled though contacts. Your network is an incredibly important resource in your career.
Your personal network as a student already includes fellow students, family and friends, but also tutors and lecturers. If you have also worked or done an internship, you can add even more important contacts to your network.
As a student, you have the opportunity to develop your professional network from day one. You can do this by getting involved in student associations, unions and Nations, as well as participating in different career events. Labour market days, career fairs, alumni meetings and industry evenings are a few examples of happenings where you have the opportunity to meet potential employers.
UU Career regularly offers webinars on the theme of strategic networking for those who want more tips and inspiration. In the career portal UU CareerGate you will find the current program.
In addition to personal development, studying abroad and getting international experience will strengthen your resume. Studying or working abroad shows that you can take initiative, cooperate and that you want to develop. It will also give you the chance to work on your language skills.
In today’s globalised society, good language skills are relevant and something that many employers see as beneficial. Being multilingual will make you more attractive in the labour market and increases your chances of getting a job, both at home and abroad.
Gain work experience
Working over the summer holidays or working part time during your studies is always a good way to get work experience. That is especially good if you do not have much in the past.
Even if it’s not a job in the field of your education, you can still learn a lot. A job, regardless of the title and role, always means opportunities for personal growth and gaining new skills. It’s also a chance to add new contacts to your network and get references for future you can use when looking for work in the future.
Traineeship, in or outside Sweden, is another great way to get work experience, develop as a person and network. You can find traineeship for example through your studies, in the career portal UU CareerGate, or maybe through your personal network? Don’t give up – remember that each time you apply for a job, you become better at it!
Become active in associations and unions
Getting involved in for example, student associations and student unions will give you unique opportunities to try out what it’s like to work during your studies. This can be a job related to the field of your studies, or something completely different. Maybe you would like to see what it’s like to work with communication, staff- or organisational issues in practice? You can, for example, arrange labour market days, run a pub, organise projects and social events, or run educational policy issues.
Being engaged in different organisations in and outside your studies gives you a valuable network and important experience and skills you can add to your resume.
Write a resume
Your resume is a very important part of your search for work. A resume should give the employer a clear and quick overview of your education, experience and skills. There are a lot of resume templates to be found online – both free and paid options.
Are you unsure how to write your resume and personal letter? UU Career regularly arranges webinars where you can learn more and ask questions to our career counsellors. You can see all the upcoming webinars in the career portal UU CareerGate.