We all know job hunting can be a gruelling process. Pair it with studying for a degree and things get a lot more complicated. You look around and all your friends seem to be securing internships or graduate roles with prestigious companies while somehow still managing to get that essay in on time.
Here are some top tips on how to balance the hunt for employment and keep on top of your studies.
Your education is a priority
First, remember that your priority above all else is your studies. Whether you get a job in a few months or in a few years – if you fail to achieve the best results you can right now it won’t matter. You will get a job eventually! So, don’t spend all your time applying for jobs if you haven’t even managed to finish that essay due in this week. Your education is the most important thing right now.
For most people, the toughest part of the job-hunt while studying is starting. Once term starts, and all your course deadlines are thrown at you, job hunting gets put right at the back of the shelf. The secret to a successful job hunt is starting early. Before the start of the term start researching potential companies or roles that appeal to you – make a schedule of the application deadlines and have a plan of attack on which applications you want to complete first. Knowing who you want to apply to, and what roles, before the start of term can give you established goals once you are back studying.
Know your course schedule
Great time management and organisation skills are essential for you to balance the job hunt and studying. Have all the important dates and deadlines planned so you have a clear view of when your busy periods are and times where you will be able to get a good quality application done. Prioritise your work efficiently, ensuring your work will not suffer because of completing job applications.
You’re not the only student looking for a job, so ask for help from your peers. Share notes on companies or opportunities and get your friends to read through your applications. By job hunting with others you are much more likely to keep active in your hunt and find out opportunities that you did not know even existed. Job hunting efforts can be reduced when a friend has already laid out a blueprint for you to follow.
Ensure your search is targeted
It is best to focus on a small number of opportunities that interest you and create well researched and tailored CV’s, cover letters and applications. Sending out a generic CV to loads of companies might work in some cases but for the most part it will not catch the eye of the person reading it. Spend more time on an opportunity that excites you rather than splitting your time over several applications with companies that you don’t know much about.
Less socialising and more networking
We all need down time from our studies – but make your down time increase the likelihood of you getting a job. Instead of going to the pub after a long day in the library why not go to a networking event. There is usually plenty of food and drinks and it gives you the opportunity to meet people from the companies you are interested in and find out more about the organisation. You won’t be hired on the spot but they might be able to pass your CV on to a hiring manager or even get you an interview. As the saying goes ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who!’.
Good luck with your job hunt!
Written by: Joe Danter; Researcher at Futureboard