Tuesday, 18 July 2017

5 Ways To Improve Your Employability

While the holidays have been fun, and all of us at the University of Sydney’s Business School have all benefited from a well-deserved break from classes, now the semester break is coming to a close. That means we need to start getting serious. Not only about our studies, but employment prospects as well. 


If you’re guilty of slacking off over the semester break, don’t despair. There’s still time for you to get your brain into gear and your resume up to scratch. Here are five sure-fire ways to get yourself motivated and prepare for the next exciting step in your career.

1. TED Talks

Get inspired. Learn stuff. What’s not to love about watching TED Talks? TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design) has hundreds of topics and speakers. It really is the easiest way to learn without trying overly hard. It’s also the perfect way to stay up to date with disruptive changes in your industry. Not to mention learn about concepts that might otherwise be foreign to you. 

My pick of the week is ‘Linda Hill’s - Managing for Creativity’, but with thousands to choose from, there’s surely something for everyone. For those in the Masters of Marketing program, follow the link for a selection of the 10 Best TED Talks on Marketing That Will Blow Your Mind.

2. Free Online Courses and Webinars

Have you got some gaps in your learning? Well there’s nothing to gain from sitting on the couch. Since the proliferation of free online courses, there’s a huge range of free options that can supplement your studies or introduce you to subjects you know little about. 

Most of the free options don’t allow for full access to the materials, but there is a vast range of tutorial videos from lecturers at top universities like Harvard, Stanford and even the University of Sydney. 

Nothing beats the quality of a full university degree, but if you’re curious about learning about topics like data analytics, languages or communication, then it’s a great start.

Check out Coursera, Edx, and Open Learning to start expanding your horizons for little more than the cost of your time. 

3. Networking Events

Besides meeting other like-minded people, networking events are a wonderful opportunity to work on your social skills. Maybe you already have a job, but do you know how to work a room, interact casually with your superiors and navigate through the finer subtleties of face to face communication?

It may seem obvious, but networking allows you to get out of your comfort zone and talk to people with much more experience than yourself. People, who perhaps you would have never had the chance to meet outside the office context.

Besides events hosted by the University of Sydney, there are sometimes some held by the Sydney Marketing Society (SMS) and the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). 

Coming up shortly is the Business School’s Marketing Welcome Function on the 25th of July at The Refectory, Level 5, Abercrombie Building H70.Hosted from 6pm to 8pm, the welcome will host a range of alumni and marketing professionals such as Linda McGregor from All About Eve. 

If you haven’t already registered, do so now by following this link

4. Conferences

Although it may not be affordable for everyone, going to a conference is a great way to network, broaden your mind, and get pumped off the energy of the crowd. If you’re one of the lucky few who get invited or paid to go by your employers, GO FOR IT! 

Success Resources organise events in Sydney frequently, boasting speakers like Tony Robbins, Lisa Messenger, and Sir Richard Branson. One of the best I’ve been to is the National Achievers Congress, who in the past has even welcomed past and present leaders such as Tony Blair, and Donald Trump.

If that’s over budget, the University of Sydney also organises a range of interesting lectures. While you missed out on John Howard On Trump last week, on the 26th of July there’s an upcoming seminar on Robots, Agriculture, And The Australian Economy for the bargain price of $79!

Keep an eye on the events calendar so you don’t miss out.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. Many conferences ask for volunteers to help out, and even give free tickets away in competitions. So if you really want a seat in the auditorium, there’s plenty of ways to get in there. 

5. LinkedIn

Last but not least, there’s LinkedIn. Think Facebook is important? If you haven’t already got LinkedIn, then you’re missing out. A highly underrated tool, LinkedIn is the social media platform of choice for any self-respecting professional. So while your scrolling your Facebook feed, watching videos of cats, the rest of your switched on peers are perfecting their personal brands, applying for jobs and extending their networks to enhance their employability.

It can’t be stressed enough. LinkedIn is so important. So if you haven’t already, get your profile up to date, get connected and start interacting. Both the Business School and the Master of Marketing both have pages to join and are active.

It’s not enough to simply have a profile and be done with it. You have to share articles, like others posts, comment, endorse others’ skills, and follow people. You may not know it yet, but LinkedIn is your most strategic tool as far as visibility is concerned.

Take it one step further and capitalise on the blogging function to start voicing your own opinions. As long as you keep it professional, you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Just remember to update your profile regularly because you should be always constantly growing and improving your skills.

So there you have it. That’s a great start to getting yourself ready for study and enhancing your job prospects. Just one last thing, whether you think you’re ready or not, stop procrastinating and log into the Career Hub or go to their office to talk to one of the counsellors. 

You never know what job opportunities you might find. If nothing else, a professional can have a look at your resume and give you some interview tips. It’s time to get serious. 

Alyce Brierley
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

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