Getting your foot in the Door

by Apr 10, 2020

When you’re studying, you might also be working casually or part-time in industries you’re not planning on sticking to long-term. Sure it pays the bills, but do you ever suddenly feel overwhelmed by the pressure to find a job related to what you’re studying before you officially graduate? I sure did.

I know it sounds daunting, but you should really start thinking about your career on day one when you first start uni. I don’t mean like knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life, but just get an idea of what are your interests are and what’s out there to help you reach that goal.

close-up of white door

 Start Somewhere

Like I said, you might normally be working casually or part-time in industries you’re hoping to move on from once you graduate. Despite the lack of longevity, this type of work is great for building your soft skills – communication, organisation, time management – that can help you in future roles.

They can also help you establish what you are, and aren’t, looking for in a job. Maybe you’re currently working somewhere that involves a lot of talking and communication with customers or clients and your find yourself completely depleted after a day of talking. It might be worth exploring more ‘behind-the-scenes’ style roles that involve less human contact, if constant socialising drains you.

So although you might not realise it, a lot of the time these experiences will dictate what you look for in your next job. Hence why it doesn’t matter where you begin as long as you start somewhere.           

runner at starting line                

Build a professional resume

You probably hear people say having a good resume can really make a difference, and yes this is true. Having a well laid out and succinct resume really does set you apart from other candidates. I recommend signing up to Canva, they have thousands of cool resume templates you can use to customise and make your own.

Also make use of the UTS Careers services such as Rate My Resume and Drop-in which can help you better your professional profile. Again emphasising that your casual/ part time jobs have helped you develop some essential skills to kick start your career in your area of study is also key in developing your resume.

close-up of hands typing on laptop

Do your research

If you don’t know what sort of roles are out there, I suggest you do your research. Whether it be looking at LinkedIn profiles or scrolling through CareerHub, these platforms provide invaluable insight into the world of work. Especially if you’re about to graduate, it’s worthwhile to know that applications for grad programs open up a year before they actually require you to start.

Apply, apply, apply!

Don’t be afraid of applying for multiple jobs. You might not land the first job you apply for and hence it’s important to be optimistic in these situations. Don’t feel down if you don’t ace the first role you apply for or the one after, this will give you an opportunity to re-evaluate what you can do better, whether it be in revising your resume or doing additional interview practice to prepare for next time. It takes a lot of courage to accept that there is always room for improvement so keep on going and keep growing!

small indoor plant next to a sign that says 'difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations'

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Cecilia Dinh

Cecilia Dinh

Recruitment Advisor

Cecilia is a passionate and people focussed HR professional. With previous experience working in a Shared services team, she has experience in managing the employee life cycle. Now working as the Recruitment Administrator for UTS Careers, she enjoys engaging with industry, assisting them to connect and hire UTS’ student talent.