As an undergrad, the one thing that you’re blessed with is being time rich. Sure, amongst the partying and the travelling it may not seem that way; I mean you’re just about making time to fit studying into your hectic social schedules now, right? Objectively, though, I’m sure if you shift a few lunch dates around, or decide to ditch the afternoon naps, you’ll soon realise that you do in fact have some time to spare after all.
Don’t worry; I’m not about to suggest to fill that time with some extra academia or even worse, get a part-time job. No, I’d never dream of doing something that ghastly! What you could do, however, is use that new found opportunity to develop talent that you already possess and make yourself more employable for the days when eating tuna straight from a can or wearing your pjs all day is no longer acceptable.
To compete in today’s competitive job, here are 4 skills students should learn and perfect during their time at university to help secure a job of their passions:
For those of you who didn’t know, this is now a thing. You can now be paid for spending your whole day on Instagram… Ok, it’s not actually that simple, but learning how to harness the power of social media and understanding the value that it adds to a brand’s digital marketing effort is a key trait that I implore you to explore.
Social Media Marketing is a discipline that requires an in-depth analysis of consumer behaviour, as well as knowledge of industry influencers and an understanding of current trends and emerging platforms to devise a brand’s online communication strategy across it’s social media channels. This not only increases a company’s online visibility and reach, but it can also be used to manage its reputation, build an army of loyal brand evangelists, and strengthen engagement with its fans. This last point is crucial, as the general rule applies: the stronger a brand’s connection with its target market, the more likely they are to buy from it.
So if you’re on Facebook everyday anyway, tweet like crazy, spend hours window shopping on Instagram or Snapchat like it’s going out of fashion, take the time to learn the channels, understand the powerful analytics tools they come built with, and apply the features to improve your own personal branding. You’ll soon begin to understand the value that you could add to your dream company.
You could even try interning in the marketing department of your uni’s marketing team, manage the channels of any societies you’ve joined, or speak to your local tourist board to get a look into how social media can help build businesses.
If you start adding all the hours you’ve spent writing essays or completing written assignments, it can get a bit depressing. However, that mundane process has helped you a lot more than you’ve realised.
Essay writing — well, good essay writing — not only helps to improve literary skills such as grammar use and growing your personal lexicon, but also perfects your researching abilities. The ability to search and cite authoritative and credible sources to reference your work is a highly valuable skill, especially in today’s world where information is easily available at your finger tips, and where the challenge has turned to fact-checking fake news. In the effort of using this opportunity to connect with their customers, many responsible and forward-thinking brands will start a company blog to educate their target market. However, as it’s far too easy now to curate and regurgitate information that hasn’t been fact-checked, or is simply boring, many blogs are not performing to their optimum capacity.
This is where you come in. Swat up on your favourite topics, whether it’s travelling, fitness, nutrition, and start a blog. The idea behind this is that you’re far more likely to write accurate and interesting articles about topics that you’re personally passionate about, and therefore are more likely to attract and retain a readership. You’ll also begin to understand what industry news is trending and what current hot topics are relevant to your audience, and naturally will begin to create in accordance.
This, my friend, is content strategy, and it’s what brands today are desperate to implement into their marketing mix to maximise all of their online channels. If you’re able to write, understand your readership and interpret analytics to adjust your blog strategy to keep an engaged audience, you’ll be of a lot of value to many of your favourite businesses.
… and once you’re aware of the subjects and topics people actually care about, it’s time to get producing. Content isn’t just about blog posts; it’s images and videos too. So start learning how to best use the equipment you have, whether it’s a phone, a GoPro, or state-of-the-art tools and start shooting. Convert the written content you have into visual formats and implement them into your blog and social media strategy to enhance all of your channels.
What’s more, practice practice practice and you could turn your hobby into a full-time profession as a Content Producer.
While we’ve established that you actually have more time than you initially thought to dedicate towards self-improvement, it cannot be denied that one thing you learn at uni is how to multi-task effectively.
You manage deadlines regularly to ensure that you can fit time to pursue personal hobbies around your existing academic schedule, and occasionally will have to manage other people when it comes to group assignments tasks.
All of these soft skills are secretly helping you perfect your project management abilities, which requires initiating tasks, planning meetings to track the progress of projects, executing strategies, managing staff, and analysing findings to adapt your tactics to achieve specific goals. These are vital attributes that any employer will find highly valuable. So make the most of any management and leadership opportunities presented to you — even if it’s just planning a cleaning schedule to ensure your student home is always spotless.
Thanks for reading this post!
Are you familiar with any of these skills? What other key skills do you think students should master to become more employable? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.