Developing your skills from home

JodieAdvice, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

Two hands typing on a silver laptop

Now we’re spending more time at home due to social distancing restrictions, you may be worried how that will impact your career. The good news is, there are still lots of things you can work on from the comfort of your own home – take a look at these ideas to get you started.

Explore virtual internships

These are very similar to traditional in-person internships in the fact that they are a chance to gain work experience with an organisation. However, as it says in the name, you won’t have to physically go into a workplace for these. You can complete a virtual internship remotely – you’ll be able to communicate with your employer, submit assignments and perform duties using nothing but a laptop and the internet in most cases.

There are different types of virtual internships, so make sure to read the job descriptions to see what will be expected of you. For some internship programmes, you will be working on real-life projects for an organisation, whereas some programmes involve a series of tasks that are designed to simulate the real-world experience of work instead.

You can find out more about the benefits of virtual internships in this blog post. We’ve also rounded up some of the best places to look for them in this blog post.

Learn a new language

Speaking a foreign language opens doors and will set you apart from other applicants, especially when you’re applying for placements and graduate jobs.

Why not use your time at home to either build on the language you studied at school or pick up a new one entirely? There are lots of free tools out there to help you, such as Duolingo or Memrise. Hopefully, when travel restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to put your new skills into practise one day!

Take a read of this article by TARGETjobs to get advice for learning a language in lockdown.

Volunteer virtually

Not only is volunteering fantastic for your CV, but it’ll also help you feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing that you’re helping others and making a difference in the world.

We advertise a range of volunteering roles on Aston Futures – check the job description carefully to see if the role would be on-site or remote. You can also look up various charities you’re interested in to see if they are looking for online volunteers and search for ‘Do-it from home’ opportunities on

Complete online courses

If you’d prefer to take a more structured approach to up-skilling, online courses are the way to go. E-learning opportunities are on the rise at the moment, which is great if you want to explore a new topic, further develop skills you already have or try your hand at something completely new. There are a number of online course providers you could consider, such as FutureLearn, OpenLearn and Coursera.

Have a read of this TARGETjobs article for more advice.

Research career options

Choosing the right career for you can be a daunting prospect. However, now’s the time to start exploring your options and working out what you would – and wouldn’t – like to do.

We’ve got lots of useful resources on our webpages to get you started, including tools to help you learn what makes you tick, resources to help you generate careers ideas and advice by career and subject areas. You can also spend some time researching particular employers to see which you’d be interested in working for and what their job requirements would be.

Use our online tools

As an Aston University student, you get access to a number of helpful resources to help you develop your skills and be prepared for the world of work. Whether you want to get ready for an assessment centre or prepare your CV before submitting an application, there’s a tool to help you.

Head to our Resource Library to view all the software you can access.

Look into recruitment processes

Whether or not you’t got some applications in the pipeline, it’s a good idea to spend some time swotting up on what recruitment processes will entail so you’re as ready as you possibly can be when you start applying for roles.

Over on our website you’ll find resources to help with applications, interview preparation, assessment centres, psychometric testing and more. TARGETjobs have a brilliant section on their website where they look at answering tricky job interview questions, which you may find handy. Have a look through the resources to get a feel for what employers will expect from you at various stages of the recruitment process.

Refresh your CV and LinkedIn profile

Use your time at home to go over your CV and LinkedIn profile thoroughly. This could include checking you’ve included all your educational background, work experience and skills you’ve developed (hopefully you’ll have more to add after doing some of the things we’ve mentioned here)! For LinkedIn, make sure you upload a professional, recent photo of yourself. Then, proof your new-and-improved CV and profile to make sure they’re as presentable as possible.

Not sure what information you should include or how to present it? Take a look at the advice and resources on our website.

Book an appointment with us

If you’d like some advice and guidance on anything mentioned here (or any other aspect of your career for that matter!) you can book an online 1-to-1 appointment with us. Just head on over to Aston Futures to book in a chat.

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Jodie, a member of Careers+Placements staff

Written by Jodie Carpenter, Careers+Placements