Dear Bubble Trouble: What can I do to be more employable?

Question: I’m in my final year at Durham, and I’m worried I’ve not done enough work experience. I’m a little scared to begin my career as I think other people will have done more things than me. What can I do?

Answer: It’s common for university students to feel like they’ve not done enough. A Durham University degree can take up a lot of your time, especially with the lack of reading weeks. Whether you’ve been having a well-earned break over the holidays or partying a little too hard, there’s still a lot you can do before you graduate and start thinking about jobs.

Get involved in societies

Durham University is known for its weird and wacky societies. There are hundreds, so there’s bound to be some you’re interested in. As it’s still early in the year, a lot of societies are still recruiting executive members. If you’re tech-savvy, why not opt for the role of Publicity Officer, or maybe you fancy your hand at taking minutes, in which case, go for Secretary. If you’re looking for something to really stand out on your CV, it’s worth applying for Vice President or President, as you’ll be able to demonstrate managerial and leadership skills. Many societies don’t require prior experience, just good ideas, and enthusiasm for their theme. It’s an easy way to secure yourself a professional role and can be great fun too!

Start researching internships

LinkedIn, Durham University newsletters, and Indeed are all great places to start searching for Winter/Summer internships. Whether they’re paid or unpaid, the experience really matters, and they can help you stand out when applying for future jobs. You’ll be able to gain vital skills like teamwork, leadership, and time management. Many opportunities are advertised daily, so you’re sure to find something to suit your interests. Apply to as many as you can!

Secure yourself a part-time job or volunteer

In your final year of university, it may be difficult to maintain a part-time job alongside your studies. Though, if you have some free time, why not give it a go? Or perhaps think about applying for seasonal voluntary positions while you’re away for the holidays. Any experience is good experience, and paid part-time roles can be extremely rewarding, not just for the cash but for the real-world experience. Volunteering can make your CV shine, and you can give back to your local community at the same time. Your local coffee shop, clothing store, or supermarket can be a great place to start searching. Why not enquire at your local place of worship, community centre, or library for volunteering? Showing you’re employable is essential.

Start your own blog

Whether you’re a humanities or STEM student, starting your own blog is a fantastic way to show off your writing skills. You could journal about anything from news to advice to opinion pieces. Who knows, if your blog becomes popular, you may already be well on your way to establishing your online presence! It’s also a great way to get to grips with online software such as WordPress, which can be helpful when considering the ever-growing importance of social media. You may also be able to meet like-minded people and make some great connections in the process.

Build your online presence and network

As well as blogging, making yourself known online is the place to start. Whether that’s by creating a LinkedIn account or a professional Twitter, it’s worth starting somewhere. Networking events are run across the university; the 93% club usually runs useful networking sessions with big company representatives where you can make yourself known and start building your dream future with valuable connections.

There is still plenty of time to transform yourself into an employable, in-demand graduate before the end of your final year. Don’t panic and start working towards your future!


Featured image by MD Duran on Unsplash

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